WTVQ anchor recounts being under fire in Afghanistan
I take issue with a letter describing WTVQ anchor Doug High as a “public relations desk jockey, exposed to minimal hazards” during his tour in Afghanistan.
I have personal experience that contradicts that characterization. After a combat tour in Vietnam, I switched to public affairs as an occupational specialty. I was exposed to RPG fire in Beirut in 1983 while serving with the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit that lost more than 200 members when a truck bomb destroyed the barracks.
I was with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force as it liberated Kuwait from Iraqi forces in 1991, side by side with combat correspondents.
In military operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are no front lines or rear areas. Deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces face risks daily, regardless of location or duty assignment.
To even suggest that High’s commendations for his service there are tantamount to “stolen valor” insults not only him but all U.S. military service members who risk their lives overseas under extraordinary conditions, whether serving in combat arms or in critical supporting capacities, such as public affairs.
John Shotwell, Col. USMC (Ret.)