Note from Victoria Ross

I am a former Belknap student. I am also the daughter of a WWll veteran who was shot down, captured, escaped from the Nazis and then worked with the French Resistance and was there when they liberated Paris. He was awarded the highest honors possible from the Bristish and French governments. My uncle also served in WWll in Burma.

I volunteered for EIGHT years to work with Vietnam Veterans at the Boston VA and would not accept any pay for that work -believing that I should contribute something out of respect for the sacrifices the veterans made.

My partner and I were also asked by the Office of Veterans Affairs to start a program to work with incarcerated vets with PTSD. We subsequently started the first program if its kind and went into 4 prisons (from maximum to minimum security) for years to work with veterans.

In addition, one of my sons is in the military and has been deployed to Bosnia and Iraq twice- once for 16 months (when he was awarded the Bronze Star), and recently for 12 months. In civilian life he is a police officer.

Even if a student at one time disagreed with the Vietnam war, most of us were and are smart enough to understand the difference between disliking a political policy but were and are able to respect the men and women we ask/ed to fight our wars and often make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

I, and most of the students I know, hold soldiers in high respect and honor their commitment and service.

To attack students over 35 years later without talking to them and without the facts is just as disrespectful as attacking the veterans.

I would hope that all these years later we have all learned from whatever mistakes we may have made and can come together in a spirit of forgiveness, understanding and respect.

Victoria Ross

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