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Excerpts from the book "Not A Hero" by Ron Fitts, LT.

Excerpt from the foreword:

This book is not written chronologically. It is written to tell about the topic of that particular chapter. For example, I start with a gunfight in Vietnam in March of 1969 and I tell about going to officer candidate school later in the book.

When I was a young man I thought that almost all people were basically good, except for a few "small" sins. But as I have gotten older and experienced more of the world, I have come to agree with the Bible that people are basically evil. I have learned that some people desire power, control and or money so much that having tens of thousands of people killed and wounded is of little consequence to them.

When our soldiers came back at the end of WWII, there were celebrations, parades and great rejoicing. The entire U.S. was proud of them and what they had accomplished at a tremendous cost of loss of life and limb. Patriotism and pride in our country and the strength of its military flourished.

But most of us who went to Korea and Vietnam went for just as noble a cause as did those who fought the Germans and Japanese. My father, CWO4 Ulvie Fitts, USNR, and some uncles were in WWII and I was proud of them. They taught me that we needed a strong military force, not to attack other countries, but to defend ourselves in case of attack and to keep other countries from looking at the U.S. as a weak duckling. I was also taught that the military was a good place to learn discipline and maturity. These are the reasons I joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in early 1964 and then went to officer's school in the first place.

I really did not know about the thousands of advisors, helicopters and pilots, as well as military armament, that we had been furnishing Vietnam over the years. The Gulf of Tonkin incident in the summer of 1964 was a real shock to me. I was in the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School when this took place. Since I was already in the navy and in college, they were going to let me finish college before sending me to Vietnam. Thousands of others and I had a choice to make: to go to Vietnam and fight or to flee the country like some draft dodgers did. One of my very best friends, Sammy Grayson died there. Most of us stayed and fought bravely with courage and pride in Vietnam. Why? In large part because our country's leaders asked us to do it, and we felt that our democratic government was better than what the Communists were offering in Vietnam.

Those of us in Vietnam were doing our job just like teachers or carpenters were here in the U.S. Yet, we are different, because we have killed other people and shot at them with the intent to kill. We needed help in order to become proper citizens, because we had learned to be violent. Many of us were affected by battle stress fatigue and many still are. I believe I have recovered from it and want to help others with recovery. I tell you how to get in contact with me later in the book, if you think I might be of help to you.

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