To the Editor:
I read your article titled “Mayor’s Military Service Records Resolved at Last” (9/19) and it still left me with questions old and new.
First, did Stafford Township Mayor Spodofora serve in Vietnam, Thailand, in the waters of either or the air above during the Vietnam War? Or did he simply serve in the Navy, but in another location? If he served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he should simply just state that fact.
It’s an honor to just serve, and we all have our place while serving, whether it’s in-theater of a conflict or in another outpost.
The mayor should be proud of being part of a group of men and women who make up about 7 percent of the U.S. population: those who have served and those who continue to serve. Roughly 3 percent of the population serves right now.
My father-in-law was in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korea War but didn’t land in-country. He is proud of his service, yet he is not a veteran of the Korea War, but is a veteran. My father served in-country during the Vietnam War and my two grandfathers served in the Pacific during World War II. Those men are veterans of the conflicts they served in.
That leads me to ask about Mr. Boerner’s true relation with our mayor. I wonder about his ties and who he is in the whole mess.
Your article states Mr. Boerner is a Korea War veteran while never serving in Korea. While he is a veteran in the eyes of the VA, at last check, the only way a person is considered a veteran of a conflict is having served in-country, waters off said country and the airspace above.
If Mr. Boerner was considered a Korea War veteran, then I am a veteran of the Gulf War while serving in Korea, or a veteran of Afghanistan while being deployed to Germany in support (on military orders) of the same conflict. I was in flight school for the Army during the Panama invasion (December 1989) yet that doesn’t make me a veteran of that operation.
As you can see, there are those who have served in a combat zone and those who have not while being enlisted during the same timeframe. I don’t walk around telling people I was in any location that my brothers and sisters died in when I wasn’t. If my duty assignments or experience come up in conversation, then I’ll answer the questions as they are asked.
It is due to the memory of those I’ve mentioned that I become disappointed in any veterans who mislead others about their service because they feel left out. Trust me, some of those who served but didn’t see combat feel left out. Believe me when I tell you that it isn’t fun to have someone shooting at you or to shoot at someone. If one is shooting at someone or a group then odds are they are shooting at you, and with real bullets.
To clarify, a DD-214 is issued to anyone who serves and is discharged from military service under any condition. A DD-215 is issued upon any correction to the DD-214 for inaccuracies such as a medal not listed or listed when it was not awarded to the individual.
I did enjoy the article. Thank you for an interesting article and reporting on our community.