Five years after founding The Gratitude Campaign, I've received over 10,500 e-mails, and 1,500 comments on YouTube. It seems that there is a lot to talk about with regard to gratitude for those who serve; not the least of which is the ever present challenge of understanding how to keep the politics out of it. Hopefully this blog will give us an opportunity for some rational, reasonable, and respectful discussion. I hope you'll join us...

~Scott Truitt, FOUNDER


Monday, April 11, 2011

On What We Can Do

This week I want to share an e-mail that I received a few days ago. I think this sums up well many of the themes that we've been discussing in recent blogs, but in words that I could never offer:

Dear Scott,

Please allow me to thank YOU! As a Vietnam Vet from 1967-68, I know the pain of anonymity and rejection. You understand veterans and their plight completely. For someone to say to me, "Welcome Home" is a sentiment that always brings tears to my eyes, and even now I am crying as I write this.

War changes you irrevocably. Your eyes and psyche are burned with images that will never fade from view. Returning to the states and trying to re-integrate into your lifestream becomes a surreal and dreamlike event. Believe it or not, the war became our reality, and back here everything seems so banal, so trivial, so inconsequential. We are no longer of this time and place, but Outworlders, forever looking in but somehow never a part. It is a state of Being that is incomprehensible to those who never left. They try to understand our faraway gazes, our detachment, our tears, our silence. But they never will.

The best anyone can do is embrace us, hold us, allow us our contemplation, accept us, but never try to condescend, understand, sympathize, or patronize. Some of us saw and did horrific things. We remember our fallen brothers with honor, and wonder why the better man didn't go home instead of us. This is true for all who served, regardless of their campaign.

Anyway, from the deepest recesses of my heart, Thank You.


Doug Fedele

Thank YOU, Doug. And Welcome Home.


  1. Doug,
    My husband is also a vietnam vet 70-71 but will not let anyone know because he always says "we were spit on when we came back". I know how you guys feels so I just wanted to say Thank you, God Bless you, and WELCOME HOME.

  2. When 911 happened I left my home to go to a store and by a US flag. All flags were sold out. Now I can see that in the US but why in Canada. All up and down my street US flags were flying. We are neighbors that's true, but it is really more than that.

    I think it is great that we show our approval to the troops. Show we really care. Yes I am a Canadian but the USA is also my home!


One of the things that we at The Gratitude Campaign are most grateful for is our Freedom of Speech. But with Freedom comes responsibility. We ask that you keep your comments constructive and respectful to others. Disagreement is fine -- in fact, we celebrate it. Let's just show that we can disagree peacefully and respectfully.

Out of respect to the families of those who have served and struggled, please do not use last names when referring to Service Members. Posts with last names may be removed.