Koutz calls for CBS to apologize to Vietnam veterans

Koutz calls for CBS to apologize to Vietnam veterans
On the most recent episode of CBS' "The Amazing Race," contestants visited a "B-52 Memorial" in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the Vietnam War.

In a scathing letter sent to CBS, Vietnam War veteran and American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz called for the Tiffany Network to apologize for "its disgraceful slap-in-the face administered to American war heroes" during a prime time broadcast Sunday night.

"The show is called ‘The Amazing Race,’ but I call it ‘The Amazing Gall,’" Koutz said. "In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith – famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’ – would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda."

The B-52 visit was not the only portion of the show that The American Legion found objectionable. Contestants watched a performance by young people singing a song before a portrait of communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Lyrics included the phrases, "Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…"

Ken Danilson, a prominent Legionnaire from Iowa, was particularly offended. "As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and to our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society," he said.

Koutz is encouraging Americans to show support for Vietnam veterans by letting CBS know of their disapproval and by refusing to watch future episodes of the show. "Vietnam War veterans were maligned enough when they returned to this country. We need to send a loud message that we will never again tolerate America’s veterans being disrespected."

The following is the letter Koutz sent to CBS.

Mr. Leslie Moonves

President & CEO

CBS Headquarters

51 W 52nd St

New York, N.Y. 10019

Dear President Moonves:

As National Commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion and as a Vietnam War veteran, I would like to register my disappointment at the disgraceful slap in the face administered to American war heroes during your recent broadcast of the show "The Amazing Race."

The show is called "The Amazing Race" but I prefer to call it "The Amazing Gall." In a broadcast reminiscent of Tokyo Rose, reality game show contestants visited a ‘B-52 Memorial’ in Vietnam, which featured the wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down during the war. What wasn’t shown were the U.S. crewmembers that were killed or the grieving American families that were left behind. The Department of Defense is encouraging Americans to honor and commemorate our Vietnam War veterans for the sacrifice that they made 50 years ago. The American Legion takes this obligation very seriously. We only wish that the network that once gave us Kate Smith—famous for her rendition of ‘God Bless America’—would return to its great roots and not be so eager to broadcast anti-American propaganda.

Not only did your show do a disservice to those who served aboard the B-52, it included young people singing songs with the lyrics, "Vietnam Communist Party is glorious…Socialism is growing more beautiful with time. Follow the party’s step. Be loyal. Be pure…"

A prominent Legionnaire from Iowa said to me, "As a Marine Corps veteran having served two tours in Vietnam, it is extremely offensive to me and our country to glorify a communist regime that without mercy killed and tortured our Vietnam allies and now is portrayed as something that is acceptable in our society."

Mr. Moonves, at the very least, I think that you owe our Vietnam War veterans an apology.

Sincerely,

James E. Koutz

National Commander

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oldnavyvet

March 24, 2013 - 7:22am

Remember this is the home of Walter Cronkite. Who was no friend of the military.

JKULESZA45

March 21, 2013 - 9:28pm

VIET NAM INFO: A little history most people will never know. Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall "Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." ~President George Bush SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased. There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties. Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself. The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965. • There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall. • 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger. • 8,283 were just 19 years old. The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. • 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. • 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. • One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old. • 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam . • 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam . • 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. • Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons. • 54 soldiers on the Wall attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school. • 8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded. • 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall. • Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. • West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall. • The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home. • The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. • The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. • The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred. For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors. Please pass this on to those who served during this time, and those who DO Care.

3rdAFCrewChief

March 21, 2013 - 7:01pm

This just makes me sick, why even go there 1st of all to film anything let alone have the nerve to show a B-52 Memorial...A Memorial to WHAT? The death of our brothers in arms...

Frenchy39

March 21, 2013 - 4:49pm

Why doesn't the DOD round up all of the CBS executives especially those involved in the sacrilege and ship them to Guantanimo. Have CBS make all of the improvements needed prior to their release and disgraceful return to the country that they have no respect for.

Bob95490

March 21, 2013 - 3:52pm

Thank you, Commander Koutz, for speaking out about this disgusting explotation of American servicemen's sacrifice. I will be joining the boycott of the CBS "Amazing Race" program. Robert Ireland (PUFL)

Dazedlion70

March 21, 2013 - 12:59pm

totaly agree with Commander Koutz! Anyone who speaks or glorifies the communism party should go live with them and leave our country to the GREAT soldiers and Marines that made us free and the liberties we enjoy.That includes CBS!!!!!An Apology is NEEDED to Those Veterans!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

alotta59

March 21, 2013 - 10:08am

I totally agree with Commander Koutz and so many American's that are on Facebook! You don't allow links to web sites but if you have account there than type in Amazing Race in the search area and click on the link. The Americans have spoken! We have plastered Amazing Race's page!

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