Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Date: 11/11/1999
Source: Daily Star (NY)
Author: Walter F. Wouk, Cobleskill
Note: The author, a Vietnam veteran, is president of Capital Region NORML.

On April 1, 1970, Specialist 4th Class Peter C. Lemon was serving as
an assistant machine gunner with the U.S. Army at Fire Support Base
Illingworth in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam, when the base came
under heavy enemy attack.

Lemon fought off a numerically superior enemy with machine gun and
rifle fire from his defensive position until both weapons
malfunctioned. He then used hand grenades to fend off the intensified
enemy attack launched in his direction. After eliminating all but one
of the enemy soldiers in the vicinity, he pursued and disposed of the
remaining soldier in hand-to-hand combat.

Despite wounds from an exploding grenade, Lemon regained his position,
carried a more seriously wounded comrade to an aid station, and, as he
returned, was wounded a second time by enemy fire. Disregarding his
injuries, he moved to his position through a hail of small arms and
grenade fire and was wounded a third time, but his efforts drove the
enemy from the position.

Securing a machine gun, Lemon stood atop an embankment exposed to
enemy fire, and fired upon the enemy until he collapsed from his
multiple wounds and exhaustion. After regaining consciousness at the
aid station, he refused medical evacuation until more seriously
wounded comrades had been evacuated.

Lemon was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.
After receiving this nation's highest honor he told reporters that he
was "stoned" on marijuana the night of the battle.

I don't know if Lemon still uses marijuana but if he does, he should
be aware that the Republican Party wants to put him in jail. The
Republican Party's national platform on drugs states, "We support
strong penalties for drug-related crimes." That includes using
marijuana and that includes Vietnam veterans like Peter Lemon.

Walter F. Wouk,