Vice Chairman’s Take on Vietnam 50 Years Ago Today

A few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not.

A few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not.

Fifty years ago today, I shipped from Jacksonville aboard the USS Boxer with others from the 1st Air Cavalry Division, bound for Vietnam via the Suez Canal. We were the first full division sent to the war.

Please hold off on what has become the obligatory “thank you for your service” comment. As I look back on this anniversary with mixed feelings, I would like you to thank me another way.

As with many of our wars before and since, we fought in Vietnam for the wrong reasons and wasted lives, treasure and some of our claim to honor as a country. We were lied to. We were misled. If we learned something from that waste, I’d be prouder to have served. As it is, we repeated and magnified our mistakes and we now find ourselves in an endless war of attrition, again because of the lies of our leaders.

As Pete Seeger sang, we’re still “waist deep in the big muddy and the big fool says to push on.”

So, yes, you can thank us for our service, but not with a few perfunctory words. Do it by holding our leaders more accountable. Make them prove the effort is worth the sacrifice. And demand to throw them in jail when you find out they lied again. Don’t just “support the troops.” DEFEND the troops!

Anyway, the photo is one I took the day we sailed. It shows a few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not. Not many smiles then or now, I’m afraid.

Jim Salvas


WC Dem officer election

Congratulations to the new and continuing officers elected by the West Chester Borough Democratic Committee at its July 21 meeting:

Chair: Stephanie Markstein
Vice Chair: Jim Salvas
Secretary: Nathaniel Smith
Treasurer: Suzanne Adams

Terms are for 4 years.

The Chair also serves as Zone Leader and the Vice Chair as Assistant Zone Leader. West Chester Borough comprises Zone 9 of the Chester County Democratic Committee.

The Vice Chair assumes the Chair’s functions if the Chair is unable to be present, notably in conducting WC Dem meetings and in voting at the Chester County Democratic Committee’s Executive Committee meetings.

All Democrats are welcome at meetings; see the schedule in the calendar at the CCDC site.

Cassandra with FLOTUS (Michelle Obama!)

“I had the most amazing experiences last week in DC. Mayors Against Illegal Guns was invited to a congressional hearing, to a White House briefing and then to a watch party for the Presidents’ State of the Union speech.

So fulfilling to be a part of these national conversations on violence among our youth in this country. God will give you the desires of your heart!”

Cassandra Jones

  • West Chester Borough Democratic Committee
    Committeeperson, Ward 2
  • Member of West Chester Borough Council



Spotted: at the DNC

Photo credit PBS Newshour/YouTube.

Bill Scott, our Ward 1 Democratic Committeeman and former Borough Council President, is seen here with Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, representing us as delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

At the moment captured here, Bill and Kathi were listening to President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday, September 6. These two local Democratic Party stars also appeared onscreen a few other times during the convention, as the TV cameras caught them responding to the speakers.


1/24/12 email from Stephanie Markstein, Chair, West Chester Borough Democratic Committee—

Cassandra JonesWC Borough Committee Members,

It is my pleasure to announce that our own Cassandra Jones will be seeking the endorsement of the Chester County Democratic Committee as a candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 156.

We are fortunate to have her running in this important race against Dan Truitt. Please join me in wishing Cassandra well as she begins this new chapter.

And, Cassandra, on behalf of the West Chester Democratic Committee, may I offer you our full support and enthusiasm.  Please let us know how we can help!