Letter: Moment of pride

I was a 20-year-old hippie girl working at the Navy Exchange in Alameda, California. The manager asked for volunteers to come in the next morning before the store opened for the Vietnam POWS to come shop. My arm shot up as a volunteer because, even though I was anti-war, I wanted to see true American heroes. 

It was a somber moment, they were very quiet, the store was very quiet. I hope I wasn’t infringing on their privacy, but I went up and introduced myself and shook their hands. They were so gracious. 

That day I felt a pride in my country that I have had for the last 46 years. One of the POWs I met was Everett Alvarez, who was the first shot down and the second longest POW in North Vietnam. He and all of the other POWs were true heroes and a young hippie girl got that. I liked all of those men that were captured.

Chris Carlson

New Castle

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