John's Open Letters Vol. 1 #13
November 19, 2001
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
I said I would print the good as well as the bad e-mails I have received, so here goes.
A letter addressed to me stated, "Your name should be with these imposters. You should be ashamed of yourself, getting publicity on the backs of Army Infantry who fought in the Korean War. They are the Korean War Veterans not you, sorting mail in the rear Echlon; Big Mouth, Know Nothing, Did Nothing. Watch the movie Saving Pvt. Ryan, TV. Sunday Night." The sad part is this guy is 'for real'. This letter was printed with blue ink with no name or signature and no return address. The envelope has my name printed in black ink with my address in very bold black ink. Enclosed were two pages about "Rambo Wannabees" from the Nov. 2001 V.F.W. Magazine.
Anybody who really knows me would never call me a wannabee. Uncle Sam chose my M.O.S. and sent me to school so I could do my job properly and I know I did. I'm thinking of having the paper dusted for fingerprints. Then I can personally expose the writer of this trash. I wonder if some of these complainers of my
letters ever got involved in the affairs of the K.W.V.A. or did they sit back and wait for someone else to do the work and then try to get on the bandwagon. I'll never know because people who write this type of letter hides under a cloak of secrecy or a big rock.
After reading the article Mr. No Name sent me I can see why he would be upset with the so-called 'Rambo Wannabees'. It is a gross insult to the line troops, P.O.W.'s and others who have endured the hardships they did but to include me in that some category as a wannabee is also an insult. There are doctors for people who feel the way this writer does.
I forgot to mention Veterans Day and I want to apologize for that. God bless all of our Veterans and today's service men and women in these trying and dangerous times.
Under what authority does Mr. Pratt have to take the side of Mr. Coon about my Hearing and possible expulsion? I was under the impression Mr. Pratt was the legal advisor of the K.W.V.A. Does that not include all the members who are in the K.W.V.A.? He admits to helping Mr. Coon in drawing up the letter about the Hearing against me. I question who suggested the wording of charges against me. They could only have come from someone who is used to drafting legal documentation, like someone with Mr. Pratt's legal background and not by Mr. Coon. What right does he have to take sides in this matter? He is being paid by the K.W.V.A. for his interpretation of legal determinations of official business. The membership will decide the outcome of these preposterous charges against me. From my observations of Mr. Pratt stating, "The functions of the K.W.V.A. at a meeting must go on", when there wasn't a quorum present shows an abuse of his official status toward the Membership of the K.W.V.A.
There was a lot of interest in why the next General Meeting was moved up to January instead of the previously announced scheduling of July. My personal opinion is so the Hearing and possible vote against me can be gotten "out of the way" so Mr. Coon can run for office for another four years. This will work if there are not enough Members at the January Meeting. It is in your hands, not mine.
Mr. Coon never asked me why I was writing my Open letters, he just told me to stop or be suspended. I wonder if he has any sincere feelings towards his fellow Members? Since he has labeled all my information I have heard from other Members as "hearsay", I feel it is appropriate that anything I hear from him is also hearsay. Maybe he doesn't have trust in his fellow Korean War Veterans but I do. He isn't the first person who said I don't know what I am talking about, and I question his judgment on that, but I DO believe what I hear from the sincere dedicated Members who have contributed the vast majority of the information I have received since my first Open letter.
We are not employees of his where he can hire and fire at will. We as members of the K.W.V.A. are Members because we have earned that right, according to the criteria on the Application for Membership by serving our country in the armed forces. It matters not where you served, only when you served.
Again a received a nasty e-mail from Kwar1950. He states, "It's time you told the truth and answer the questions If you are in a wheel chair ,how can you check find out the truth. We are sure you wrote this letter and you are trying to keep your membership. It proves what a phony you are. Maybe you should see a PTSD Dr." Unsigned. Who could "we" be? I am not stressed out and I am very fortunate to not have needed a doctor for that. I don't normally say things like this but I think this guy is 'nuts'. No one can have that much hate for no obvious reasons, to write like this . I pity the poor bloke. I'll not refer to him in the future.
Upon receiving an e-mail from a Member of The Chosin Few, as well as the K.W.V.A., I took heart in what this man wrote. He expressed his disgust in all the infighting between ex-Members, present Members, and nationally Elected Officials, and I have to be on his side when he says it is a shame and a sad situation for this to happen.
He states he belongs to several other Veterans Organizations that have had or are presently having turmoil within their Membership. I further agree that all this ruckus has come from a few to the detriment of the majority. As I stated in the beginning, I pointed out, but was not the cause of the dissension and animosity within the ranks. The problems were created by lack of respect, consideration, and recognition of many good and well-intended elected and non official members and has gotten worse as time goes on.
To the gentleman who wrote this compassionate letter I can only say our fallen comrades did not quit and no good soldier should surrender to the actions of a few no matter how dark things appear.
An e-mail sent to me and others from an ex-Ranger in Georgia parallels what I feel has happened in the K.W.V.A. After a lot of effort to establish a Memorial at Fort Benning, Georgia, a retired General somehow gained control of the Ex-Ranger Organization and subsequently had a severely injured veteran threatened with removal from the Ranger Hall of Fame. The General was given a free Life Membership and does not like the handicapped man because he had opposing views and the General did not like what he said or the way he said it. Bob, the sender asked, "Have we now reached the point in the Rangers that no one has the right to dissent from your position? Are you now so stuffed with your arrogance that you will take it upon yourself to determine if men placed in the Ranger Hall of Fame by their peers will retain that honor? When we start throwing people out of the Ranger Hall of Fame because you don't like them, the Hall of Fame won't be worth having. You are not serving the Ranger community by threatening this action. You are bringing disgrace on it. This Ranger community belongs to each and every one of us and you are not our ruler." These men fought in the Viet Nam War and deserve all of our respect. Does this sound all too familiar? This just shows what can and does happen when someone in a position of leadership gets out of control and will not accept the fact we all can have opposing ideas and views.
Bob, I hope reason will prevail on behalf of the Ranger in question for he, like I, should not be treated like that. Someone should take the General's stars away from him for not respecting his fellow associates. Thanks, Bob, your words have come through loud and clear to all who feel like you do.
I've heard all kinds of excuses for some of our officers' shortcomings, like old age. But who in our group isn't getting older? I cannot accept that for poor official judgment. If someone has a health problem that impedes his ability to be able to function properly at activities where he is representative of the K.W.V.A., I would hope he would have the best interest of us all and seriously consider letting someone else do the job.
Since I have started my Open letters I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted, by phone and e-mail, with many who I feel are intelligent and articulate enough to help the K.W.V.A. grow to greater heights. We are blessed with a tremendously large number of men and women who have had a lot of experience in Veterans Organizations and their causes plus their own professional background. The K.W.V.A. will get the respect it deserves and the bickering will go by the wayside. We should maintain an open dialogue and accept opposing views and criticism for much good can come out of it.
Please acknowledge receiving this letter and your personal opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Freedom is not free, and it never was.
Respectfully, John Kronenberger