CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the

CIB Badge

67- The ‘War at Home’ lingers — due to Media editors

Since Veterans’ stories are becoming more and more prevalent to be published on the Internet, some projects (like ORAL HISTORY PROJECTS for certain groups or minorities) want to publish their content from interviews they have had, especially with combat infantrymen. In our case, it was the story I told about my experiences in the Vietnam War.

This episode deals with the experience of one of these Veterans Oral History Projects — and the struggle to tell the story without the meddling of media editors who want to change the truth to promote their own agenda, and to retell history– but retell it THEIR WAY — which could many times not be the truth, and thus, put the veteran in a negative and unfair light.

OralProject-Latino-web site

As you will hear in this brief audio episode, my own story was delivered in the form of a video interview for this type of oral history project from the University of Texas.

However, the web posting was going to be edited from my story by one of the project editors. This is where the issue started.

As you can see from the web site where the story was finally posted, the editor took liberties that no journalist or media editor should ever do. She literally CHANGED my story and added her own agenda, politcal point of view and words (which were NOT mine and contradicted my story and content) — and this was unacceptable.

What this did was bring back the intrusive thoughts of THE WAR AT HOME (which we, as combat infantrymen, suffered from when we returned from combat). For those who are combat veterans of the Vietnam war, we remember all too well the rejection of an ungrateful American public and the mistreatment we received — mainly from our own peers of our generation (who, as you will hear, sometimes can be spotted today as having the yellow ribbons with “support our troops” written on them–what hypocrites!). We also remember how the media lied about us, pictured us as “psychos, baby-killers and dope-addicts” and how they tried to spin their content to suit their sensationalism and sometimes just plain LIE.

Well, this content spun by the editor of my story caused me anger and frustration. We went many rounds of dialogue, where I specifically mentioned that her content was not valid, and I finally put my story that I wanted to be told in quotation marks with a warning that she was NOT TO CHANGE WHAT I SAID IN ANY WAY (otherwise, I would not sign a release for my story to be published). After nearly six rounds of frustration and warnings in this confrontation, the story was finally told with my quoted content, and this editor finally quit trying to change my story to suit her political agenda — or, as they would try to defend this practice by saying that they were just “adding their own value.”

Just a word of caution to veterans who tell their story to these projects that are titled as “ORAL HISTORY” ones — do not sign releases or give permission for these editors to publish what THEY want and spin your truth to suit their political views or their agenda.  Read everything and hear everything they will say about you and your story

Your signed release for these projects to publish your story is your weapon to safeguard the truth AS YOU TOLD IT — not as they will spin it to promote it as what could be construed as propaganda.

Select this link to listen to the audio episode in another window.

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