Hometown hero

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2001

The former avid hunter and fisherman says he’s given both sports up because &uot;I just don’t want to do any more killing if I can help it.&uot;

In fact, the last time he used his angling skills, he says he was unable to eat a single bit of the fresh-cooked fish.

&uot;You see, I’d been watching those fish swimming all around our boat for hours . . . I guess I just ‘bonded with them.&uot;

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Douglas Herbert no longer daydreams about being a super-duper soldier.

The 54-year-old walks with a cane; the constant pain in his leg prevents him from lying down on his left side.

He remains a bit self-conscious about the now-faint scars on his cheek and the discoloration of his scalp by the controversial Agent Orange defoliant used in Asia. &uot;I kind of hate having to take my cap off inside, you know.&uot;

Herbert does have a few special wishes, however.

He wants to meet his all-time favorite USO entertainer, Bob Hope, again. &uot;I just want to shake his hands one more time and say, ‘Thank you.’

He’d like to see General Westmoreland given proper respect for the general’s part in Viet Nam &uot;If the politicians had stayed out of it and let Westmoreland do his job we could have won that war&uot;.

And one more thing: he’d truly love for all Viet Nam veterans to be able &uot;to come home in peace.&uot;

Perhaps nobody appreciates peace more than war veteran and three-time Purple Heart recipient Douglas Herbert.