The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 30, 2013

Impossible to forget

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Warner, 72, was the avionics officer in a Marine Corps attack squadron when his fighter plane was shot down north of the Demilitarized Zone in October 1967.

He said the communist-made goods he was issued as a prisoner, including razor blades and East German-made shovels, were inferior products that bolstered his resolve.

“It was worth it,” he said.

A native of Ypsilanti, Mich., Warner went on to a career in law in government service. He is a member of the Republican Central Committee of Washington County, Md.

———

A DIFFERENT RESPONSE

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Duane Johnson, who served in Afghanistan and is a full-time logistics and ordnance specialist with the South Carolina National Guard, said many Vietnam veterans became his mentors when he donned a uniform 35 years ago.

“I often took the time, when I heard that they served in Vietnam, to thank them for their service. And I remember them telling me that was the first time anyone said that to them,” said Johnson, of Gaston, S.C.

“My biggest wish is that those veterans could have gotten a better welcome home,” the 56-year-old said Thursday.

Johnson said he’s taken aback by the outpouring of support expressed for military members today, compared to those who served in Vietnam.

“It’s a bit embarrassing, really,” said Johnson. “Many of those guys were drafted. They didn’t skip the country, they went and they served. That should be honored.”

———

ANTI-WAR ACTIVISM

John Sinclair said he felt “great relief” when he heard about the U.S. troop pull-out. Protesting the war was a passion for the counter-culture figure who inspired the John Lennon song, “John Sinclair.” The Michigan native drew a 10-year prison sentence after a small-time pot bust but was released after 2 1/2 years — a few days after Lennon, Stevie Wonder and others performed at a 1971 concert to free him.

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