Former USMC Capt. emphasizes the cost of war

Photo by Amy Cherry - Former USMC Cpt. Richard Anderson was the guest speaker at the annual Veterans Day ceremony held Friday at St. Marys Area High School. Anderson was the platoon leader of the late John Paropacic of St. Marys, killed in action in the Vietnam War.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Former United States Marine Corps Capt. Richard Anderson demonstrated the cost of war during his speech at the annual Veterans Day ceremony held Friday at St. Marys Area High School.
A native of Portville, New York, Anderson was the platoon leader of the late John Paropacic of St. Marys, killed in action the night of April 21, 1967 during the mission Operation Union.
As the guest speaker, Anderson focused his address to the students.
Anderson called two groups of seniors to the stage. The first group included 20 male students. Nineteen of them represented his friends killed in the war in 1967.
"One of these represents John Paropacic killed after fighting all night long. When the sun camp up I had eight Marines and a Navy Corpsman lying dead on the battlefield," Anderson said.
Paropacic was just 19 years old when he was killed.
"You're looking at reality people. This is what we fight our wars with. We don't fight our wars with old geezers. We send our best into wars to die for you and me," Anderson added.
The second group consisted of 10 female students.
Nine of them represented the nine women whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – all of whom were nurses.
"They weren't there to fight, but to try to save our lives," Anderson said.

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