02/18/1991 at 01:00 AM EST
The war in the gulf (PEOPLE, Jan. 28) had barely begun when readers started writing to express their support for U.S. troops and disagreement with war protester Alex Molnar's assertion that "this conflict makes absolutely no sense for this country." Some correspondents hoped fervently that America would not allow itself another Vietnam experience, either abroad or at home. "It is important that we unite and support our government," wrote one. "Please, don't let this madman, Hussein, separate our country too."
AMERICA GOES TO WAR
Your piece on the day the war began made me cry—for those who died in Vietnam and for those who will die in the Persian Gulf. Though I don't support this war, I do support the men and women fighting it. Godspeed and a safe journey home to all our men and women in the gulf.
Allison J. O'Neill
I am not for war, but I support the decision to attack Iraq. I think the UN coalition would have fallen apart before the sanctions had had an effect sufficient enough to force Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait. He would have eventually attacked another country and continued to expand his military. If he is hard to stop now, I can only imagine what it would be like to stop him in another five or 10 years. Now that we are there, we should fully support our troops. After this is over, we can assess our mistakes.
I'm disappointed that educated people such as the Molnar family believe that this war with Iraq is as simple as their son's fighting for the continued "right" of Americans to consume oil. This war is not just over oil, but over the power Saddam Hussein would attain with acquisition of Kuwait and two thirds of this world's oil reserve.
Bossier City, La.
What kind of blind, insensitive thoughtlessness does it take to produce a 15-page photographic spread on the first day of Operation Desert Storm and the only picture that even hints that blacks are part of that effort is of a lone black woman protesting the war? As a black American with two nephews in the gulf, I found it insulting. Lest you need to be reminded, 30 percent of the troops assigned to the gulf are black. I fervently hope that your future coverage of the war accurately reflects who is doing the fighting and the dying.
New York City
Your picture of antiwar demonstrators on the cover of PEOPLE is an insult to our people in the armed forces. I suspect your magazine is read by the troops. How would you feel if you were over there and saw that picture? If you are trying to show all sides, show the majority for a change.
Carson City, Nev.
Twenty years ago I purchased a bracelet bearing the name of a soldier listed missing in action in Vietnam. Through the years, I have searched in vain for information about him. This week some of my questions were answered in your article about Maj. Victor Apodaca. Thanks to your staff, Capt. Robert Apodaca and I have spoken by telephone. Tomorrow I will mail the bracelet to him, feeling sad that his father is still listed MIA but honored to have worn his bracelet. The memory of Captain Apodaca's father will always be cherished by me.
My confusion, anxiety and fears over our participation in the Middle East conflict continue to plague me. The constant barrage of reportage by the media neither offers relief nor brings sustained enlightenment. How many "special reports" by ex-military officers, politicians and experts on international strife can we possibly absorb? Only your brief but moving story of visitors seeking solace (or answers) from the Vietnam War Memorial broke through my roller coaster feelings. In Mike Shen-uski's simple statement, "We do not need another wall," I discovered what I truly believe. It deserves repeating.
Linda J. Caplan
It is difficult enough for friends and neighbors when one of their own is brutally taken captive and held as a prisoner at the mercy of hostile forces. It is inexcusable when they are made to suffer further as a result of an unfortunate description in PEOPLE characterizing Lt. Jeffrey Zaun's neighborhood as a "military ghetto." The contemporary subdivision in which Lt. Jeffrey Zaun lives is definitely not an economically disadvantaged or neglected area. The neighborhood is typical of the many beautiful Virginia Beach subdivisions proud to be home to the nation's bravest and brightest military personnel protecting America.
Meyera E. Oberndorf
Virginia Beach, Va.
We meant to say only that Lieutenant Zaun lived in a neighborhood made up primarily of military personnel and their families. Our choice of words was poor, and we apologize for it.