Troops deserve support
March 7, 2003
Nothing productive comes out of name calling. Neither the accuser nor the accused gains from this.
Un-American, unpatriotic, liberal, dove — they are words callously used to describe people who are against the United States invading Iraq. War-mongers, hawks, oil-slick conservatives — those are words used with disdain to describe people who are in favor of a war with Iraq.
Lost in the battle of who can come up with the most disparaging remarks are the people who will do the actual fighting when the president gives the orders to commence fire.
Forget whether you think this is a viable conflict our country should be partaking in. Remember who is doing the fighting.
It is our brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, moms, dads and so on who will be risking their lives. A handful of people from the South Shore have been activated. Where they will be deployed is often even a secret to their loved ones.
Men and women from the United States have willingly signed up for the military. It is easy to do so in a time of peace. But ultimately they know that war is a real possibility.
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They deserve our support. In doing so it does not mean condoning the government’s decisions. The two are separate and need to be viewed as distinctive issues.
People in the armed services have a job to do. A job most of us will never fully appreciate because we will never walk in their boots. They go through rigorous training that most of us would fail.
Ultimately they risk their lives for us. They risk it every day they train. They risk it every day they don a U.S. uniform in an unfriendly country. They risk their lives every time the generals order them into battle.
War is never good, but sometimes it is necessary. You decide if this is one of those times.
What we as a nation cannot do is repeat the horrors of when Vietnam vets returned home. We treated them like scum, as though it was their fault for what happened — as if they had something to do with policy, with the decisions that resulted in them slogging through rice paddies. They were doing their job. It is that simple.
The hatred was misdirected. It was the government and military leaders who should have been shunned.
We need to support the men and women who fight for the United States no matter the cause. If we disagree with the cause, then Washington is where we should direct our concern.
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