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Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives May 15 1983, Page 5

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 15, 1983, Tokyo, JapanSunday May 15, 1988 Pacific stars and stripes fort Knox by. Up on the Wall of the office of Brig. Gen. James l. Dozier is a plaque bearing a pair of stereo headphones and a plumber wrench. The plaque has a Gold plate with the inscription on the anniversary of a great Day 28 january 1982, the front office gang Verona plumbers local 42 and the Padua music appreciation it was Given to him by the staff of his office at fort Knox to commemorate the anniversary of his release from an apartment in Padua Italy where he was held 42 Days by red brigades kidnappers. The kidnappers had threatened to put him on trial and kill him if they found him guilty of their allegation that he was an executioner in Vietnam. Dozier explained that the wrench symbolizes the terrorists who posed As plumbers when they broke into his Verona apartment seized him and bound and gagged his wife. The headphones Are a facsimile of those that were put Over his ears blaring Rock music when the terrorists wanted to talk without him overhearing their conversation. Dozier is not a fan of Rock he heard during his 42 Days of Captivity was enough to last lifetime he said. When Dozier was rescued by italia police he did not have to listen to any More rolling stones. What he did face was a barrage of news conferences and the Label of hero some thing he thinks is inappropriate. That s the Media s name for it Dozier Deputy commanding general of fort Knox said of the hero Label. When i look at the heroes of this world i look at the Guys who make routine sacrifices. I was somebody swept up into a no matter How he sees it Dozier was an instant celebrity when he greeted the television cameras Ona january morning in 1982 in a Beard and Long hair that made him Loo More like a College professor than a top nato , now clean shaven and sporting his Normal Crew Cut is trying to piece Back together a nor Mal routine a year after his release. He and his wife Judy admit it has not been easy getting used to a life that has seen More than 100 appear ances across the country thousands of letters from Well wishers each requiring an answer and people at airports who still Point and pull at their . Dozier said she thinks she knows Why the world turned its eyes on think we were More symbols than heroes she said. Symbols of what America is trying to do. And symbols of answered former Judith Simpson 48, is a face the world came to know during those six weeks As she anxiously awaited word on her husband. What kept her going she said was that she knew she was not alone. The Church groups the school groups the children the people that prayed with us cheered with us were just reaching out she said. It was response. I mean really she described the night after ital Ian police broke into the apartment where the red brigades were holding her husband in a Pup tent an overpowered the terrorists. Her Hus band it seemed did not know the import of his just sort of laughed at him that night she said. He expected to go Back to work quite were sitting in the room and he said what we better do i la be debriefed and i la go Back to work an clean up the office and then i think we ought to take a couple weeks leave " Brig. Gen. James Dozier a year later Dozier wants to talk about army not his Kidnap ordeal Dozier 52, said he could Best describe his ordeal As a Toad in a just had no feel for the situation at All he said. When i first talked to my american Boss i recommended i not even conduct a news Confer ence. I guess he s still laughing about Dozier did hold a press Confer ence. News conference after new conference. And even today when he makes a presentation or speech in town the local Media turns out in guess they just have a need to hear about it from the people who went through it mrs. Dozier said. Dozier said he does not like to walkabout those 42 Days anymore. That was a year ago and the things that Are going on now have to take priority he said. He wants to talk about today army about the two Caps he wears at fort Knox As second in commandant As Deputy commander of the Armor wants to talk about How the country has the Best peacetime army Ever assembled and the Best equip ment in years and How the Public must change its perception of the 1968 and 1969 Dozier was a major with the Lith armoured cavalry regiment in Vietnam where he won the Silver Star legion of Merit Bronze Star and purple heart. He said he is often asked about his Welcome Home from Italy and about that of the iranian hostages in relation to what is regarded As the american Public s rejection of the thousands of soldiers who served in Vietnam. I watched television then he said of the return of the Vietnam vets pointing to the Large to that dominates his fort Knox office. I m More positive in the Way they were welcomed Home than most people. They were received Home in the context of having done what their country asked and that is what most of them Dozier described his Vietnam experience As very very positive. The performance of the soldiers and the thing we were asked to do were in perfect synch with the training i had received. I am not unhappy about that aspect of it. I am unhappy about the Jane fondas of this world and the people who Don t really know what is going on in the world and the United his wife grimaced and said no names the general continued. The kind of people who advocate a unilateral reduction in our Arma ments Are just not real world Dozier said adding that the nuclear freeze movement represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what real Power politics Dozier equated the arms race to a Bridge game and the country s Mili tary preparedness to the number of Trumps they have in their hand. You Lead from he pointed to four photographs on a Wall of his office of three new tanks and an attack helicopter. They he said Are changing the Way Amer Ica can go to War. They Are giving us for the first time a genuine 24-hour-a-Day fight ing capability he said. All of them Are designed to fight in a nuclear and a chemical Dozier said arms spending is absolutely necessary despite the Bel leaching of Many. The next War is going to be tremendously destructive in terms of material and As expensive As it weapons spending is it s something we just can t do without he said. The general does t flinch about using terms like the next from a military standpoint you have to assume there will be he said. We All Pray that there in t one but if we Are not constantly looking Forward to one and planning for it we Are not doing our Job. You have to sort of plan for the worst and Pray for the getting this message out is one of the biggest benefits the general said of what his wife refers to As his camping without doubt it has Given me opportunities to say what i think Access to forums i otherwise would not have had he said. Now whether people pay attention to it or not i Don t Dozier s viewpoint is not hard to understand. A West Point graduate practically his entire life has been involved in the military. Although Gray Chest hairs poke through the opening in his camouflage combat fatigues he has a body that is fighting trim after 25 years of commissioned service. Dozier admits the Pentagon May have used his celebrity status to push for its goals in the last year. But he thinks that s All la talk about the army with anybody who will listen he aftermath of the kidnapping has really been More exciting than the event

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