I received my notice from the draft board just before I graduated in June 1972. I was attending Aggies in Farmingdale, Long Island afterwards, as that September 1972, I had just turned 18 years of age.

I received notification to report but I decided to enter into the U.S. Marine Corp rather than be placed in the U.S. Army, as the training is far more intense, for a three-year enlistment, and entered into active military service in May 1973. Vietnam was still going on and the Vietnam Era did not end until 1975.

After serving my three-year enlistment from May 1973 to May 1976, I went to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. While working for them I again decided to enlist into the reserves. I joined the U.S. Army National Guard (Infantry) and served another six years service. I then joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in Clearwater, Florida, for another three years. I finally retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs in November 1999 with a total of 27 1/2 years service.

Last week Donald Trump during an interview commented on his lack of military service in a country he says "nobody ever heard of" and that he was not very fond of that war. I'm sure that his supporters like this type of trash talk but his words do matter and this country has troops in three different theaters: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. His comments only serve to demean/demoralize our troops abroad as there is no war that is fond of by anybody but we remain silent and perform our duties. I ask that all veterans write to their congressman, John Katko, and our senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, and denounce this draft dodger Donald Trump and his absolutely ignorant comments and his behavior. Also, I did not serve all of those years in the military for this miserable excuse of a human being to call anybody a "socialist," when the only person colluding with socialists is Donald Trump and his campaign!

It was my honor to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era and I am 100% proud of being a part of the greatest military service of all times. I love my country and in my opinion it is the duty of any and all Americans to enlist when called upon to serve and not cry out "bone spurs!" Semper Fi.

Andres Villamarzo


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