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US veterans were there

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I would like to thank John Dzioba of Auburn for inviting me to the V.A. Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno, Nev. Mr. Dzioba is a Vietnam vet. As we walked down the long hallway, Dzioba said with tears in his eyes, “We were only doing our duty,” when referring to the many soldiers who passed us by in the quiet hospital. Few veterans talked of their war experiences when asked. Some simply said, in a rhetorical voice, “I was there.” I looked on with great pride to have known these true heroes. In a calm voice, Dzioba remarked to me, “You never forget having to kill and the friends you lost along the way. You just don’t forget.” I graduated from Placer High in 1983. There’s no doubt my former history teacher, Paul Callahan, would have enjoyed these living legends from the decades of wars that have passed. Dzioba, like many of these men, hold so much honor and lived to tell about their experiences of war. As Dzioba tapped his knee, sitting in the well-worn chair, he said, “Any war is hell when you lose so many young people. The price of war is tremendous.” The voices were low as a few of the men talked about their various appointments. Dzioba, like many of the vets, believes the Reno Veterans Hospital has done a superb job for our soliders. “They have taken good care of us,” stated Dzioba. In a final remark, Dzioba told me, “Our boys will come first as we hold dearly the American flag for which it stands.” As Dzioba made his way back to his car, he puffed slowly on his cigarette, and from beneath his graying hair, said, “There are no real victories in war time, but just loss.” John Wesley Noble, III, Auburn