Monday, October 1, 2007

This Vietnam veteran did not like our recent label headline

Harry Galloway, a reader in Atascadero, called to complain about a headline over a Local section story we published last Wednesday. The headline said: "Police chase, shooting has Morro Bay connection." The subhead read: "Fresno officers return fire on fleeing gunman believed headed here to home of a fearful wife." And the overline said: "Vietnam Veteran." It was that last part that drew Galloway's criticism, for he is a Vietnam veteran.
"To me it is so disrespectful because in the public's mind it puts us all in the same category," he said.
I can understand his sensitivities, and see his point. But in this case, the police made the strong link to this man's Vietnam experience as a way to explain why he was acting in such a threatening way now. That past was relevant to the present, according to the police.
Also, in the course of our coverage every year, we write about positive things veterans are doing to better our community, including those who have served in Vietnam. In this way, we show readers that Vietnam veterans do more than act out negative behaviors spawned from their service years.
_ Tad Weber

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very sad story for everyone involved. First we have a veteran who apparently was denied the medical care that he required. Shame on our government. I don't know if that is what caused his actions or not but very possibly could have. Second is the officers that were involved in the shooting. They will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. Was it justified? Yes it was justified under the circumstances, the officers only had a split second to make their decision. Unfortunately there are no winners here.