(Facebook Post Oct. 3, 2016)
My dear Mr. Trump:
You suggest that PTSD veterans can’t “handle” war, and are therefore somehow weak.
No, we are not.
I am a decorated Marine combat veteran, and I “handled” war. I handled a fellow Marine officer being burned alive when his “bird dog” spotter plane crashed in Khe Sanh and we couldn’t pull him out while he cried, “Tell my mother I love her!” as he burned to death. I handled holding friends with their faces blown off, or bodies blown nearly in half, who were hoping they weren’t being any trouble.
I “handled” mortar rounds coming in every night, for week after week in the winter monsoons of 1966, tearing apart our ponchos and sand bags and bodies, one after another, day after day, in a never-ending dirge, mud and leeches all over our bodies. I “handled” killing people I’d never met and didn’t hate. I knew the language, spoke with them, then killed them face to face,
I “handled” facing a North Vietnamese division attacking head-on in human waves by the Ben Hai River in Con Thien on Sept. 6, 1967, when those behind me were dying, but four or five of us drove off the attack, moving the NVA to our right, dammit, right over mortar platoon,whose members were mostly unarmed, and most of whom died.
The first time I shot a man was from ambush; and standing over him, watching blood pulsing out of his back, I screamed to the Universe, “Dear God, can I have this moment back; can’t we start again, please.” But no, that doesn’t happen. Death is not to be feared, Mr. Trump, killing is. Killing leaves a hole in your soul..
I “handled” being ordered to march elderly Vietnamese out of their villages, at night in the rain, until they died, one after another. I carried one or two until I couldn’t any longer, and they fell to the wayside and died. I “handled” being ordered by our company commander to cut the right ear off dead VietCong for the sake of a body count, and wouldn’t follow that order and went to the battalion commander who ended the practice, thank God.
I “handled” all of that, and I have PTSD, but I am not weak, you little pile of shit.
But YOU, Mr. Trump, are weak indeed. You are crippled, and I am sorry.
Peter V. Fossel.
Mike Co.,3rd Btn. 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. USMC