May 1972

Attleboro High School graduate and Vietnam War veteran Al Magnin in 1972.

As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I am sickened by the vile statements that the supposed leader of our country spewed forth when speaking of our nation’s heroes.

Two members of my flight crew were killed in that war. They were my friends and brothers in arms. Neither was a “loser or a sucker.”

The patch and oath that we wore on our squadron flight suits was proof of this. “That Other’s May Live.” This is shortened from our rescue squadron creed: “This we do that others may live.”

I served in both the 1550 ARRS and the 20th Air Rescue Squadron. I was a sergeant assigned as a crew chief and door gunner on a Huey UH-1N twin engine gunship. I also volunteered for a post-war operation known as “Palace Dragon.”

I am a 1970 graduate of Attleboro High School. I enlisted right out of high school.

Many of you who are reading this may recall the black and white POW-MIA flag showing a prisoner hanging his head. In the background a Vietcong soldier stands in a gun tower looming ominously high above the prisoner with barbed-wire strung lengthwise across the flag. Below this image are the words: “You are not forgotten.” In direct conflict with the flag’s statement, POWs apparently have been forgotten by the commander of our armed forces.

I can’t help but finding myself wanting to scream: “TRAITOR.”

I had a similar flag in my barracks above my cot that read: “POWs Never Have a Good Day!” A sad yellow smiley face was centered at the bottom.

Now along comes this yellow-haired, fat guy and throws this all away. Suddenly, being a POW is something to be ashamed of, or a dishonor perhaps as this man vomits out the phrase: “I like people who weren’t captured.” In other words, he just admitted that he does not like, nor respect, POWs.

Did he actually call those American soldiers/heroes buried at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery in France after World War I, losers and suckers?

Based upon a recorded video statement of our American POWs, I say in a resounding voice “HELL YES HE DID!”

He is far worse than a coward and does not deserve to be called by the office which he holds. After months of tantrums he got his military parade, yet Commander in Chief Donald Trump did not want injured veterans to be present at it because he believed it would make spectators uneasy saying: “They don’t want to see that.”

Was this statement accurate as the media reported? As a proud veteran — aka loser and sucker, if you will — at this point I for one see no reason to dispute it.

Al Magnin was a helicopter crew chief during the Vietnam War and served in the United States Air Force from 1971-1975. He later worked as an aircraft structural support technician for the Department of Defense. Although retired, he is again back at work for a defense contractor. He lives in Ogden, Utah, and says he misses his hometown of Attleboro.

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