Letter to the Editor: No excuses
BY Herb Childs, Broken Arrow
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11/14/12 at 2:19 AM
Veterans Day parades: March those bands, wave those flags, salute those vets! Nothing wrong with that but this while vets are also committing suicide in the nation at the rate of 18 per day, using drugs, sleeping under highway bridges or in boxes in our cities' alleys.
When will we in the streets of America start remembering the words of George Washington in his farewell address, warning about those foreign entanglements and proposing independence, tranquility at home and peace abroad? Or, at least we should be more selective in our entanglements, as suggested by Rudyard Kipling in his 1889 "The Ballad of East and West:" "Oh, east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet...."
More than 58,000 dead young Americans in Vietnam before we salvaged what was left by helicopter from the roof of the Saigon embassy, leaving thousands of Vietnamese workers of ours at the mercy of the North Vietnamese invaders.
Now 6,000 dead young Americans in Iraq, another 2,000 in Afghanistan - parts of the world still so backward that they deny education to girls, disallow women to drive autos unless in the company of a male relative or are force them to walk the streets in veils.
American veterans deserve all the praise and help that we can muster - but we should also start asking our leaders why their dead or abused young bodies are somehow more precious now than when they lived - or why the continued needless loss of young American lives somehow excuses or atones for those wasted before them.
Editor's note: Childs is retired from the U.S. Air Force.
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