This past Veteran's Day, I was pulled and tugged by two outside forces. I had recently read an article on LatinoLA ("Honoring the Fallen" at http://latinola.com/story.php?story=2217) that listed the U.S. Military Forces, who were killed in action in Iraq, since June 28, 2004.
It started innocently and listed the dead, stage by state, similar to the Military Times. But at the end of the list was the most appalling statement, "Who have lost their lives in this needless war". I then received a few calls from friends. They called to wish me well on Veteran's Day and to say thank you.
After hanging up, I thought there was no need to thank me for something I had volunteered to do, which was to serve and defend our country. It was a decision and action that has affected my life forever.
Regardless of the circumstances, the sacrifice remains mine and mine alone.
I became angry, because these few people have balanced the scales. That these few "well wishers" had taken away my disdain towards those Americans who were voicing their opinions loudly, as if they were the righteous ones. I wanted to swat those pests like flies but now I am subdued by the honor of a simple "thank you" from an American. Thank you America, for the privilege and honor to serve.
Some of my brothers and sisters did not return from the Vietnam jungles. And those who did are left with issues. Did we die and suffer for a needless war? Did the politics diminish the ultimate sacifice and honor in service to our country. I say not! We serve for the honor of serving, and not because YOU say it is OK or not! And I say that using the "needless war" description of the political cause in the same sentence that gives honor to those who have sacrificed IS DISHONORING! It is dishonoring to "those who have fallen" to voice your political views or voice your justified sentiment of honor to a fallen warrior.
Keep It! We don't want it, unless you leave it simple.
Our men and women, who are presently in harm's way to protect and to serve, are doing so without reservation and are of honor. It is that fire that lights the candles to honor. They will undoubtedly return to a fuzzy state and some may not return at all. If you have a genuine concern for our warriors, please do not give them a cold shoulder when they return. Please make certain that the medical needs and support are ther for them. If not, then consider slitting your wrist 17 ways. That would get attention.
I hate to tell you this, but the elections are over. They new direction that was cried for was denied. Deal with it and try to change political views and direction by action. Have compassion for those who need help and demand action from those who are responsible. I saw J. Kerry on the news and he still wants to fight. Fight what!?! You better fight yourself and understand that liberal views without substance and action is just nothing but talk. Michael Fatass is a big loser. His antics and political exponent is treasonous in my view.
Let me take a deep breath and try again.
I am a Chicano. My Catholic school education; my close family ties; my loyalty and service to our country; and a close to law abiding as I can be, has definately curbed my present state. It's ok with me.
I volunteered for military service while I was in high school and was in the Republic of Vietnam less than eight months after graduation After discharge, I continued a 20 year career in the military reserves. I have since retired and have also concluded 32 years in a large, semi-federal/private organization. I served 15 years as a union official and represented the best interests of the workers. I have been a contributor to our community; pay my taxes; and abide by the laws of the land. I have a right to speak, tambien!
My effort is not to kill the messenger because of the message, but damn the message!
You may be able to support our troops and not agree with the politics, but you cannot wave the American flag and yell out "baby killers" to our faces. And to dishonor those gallant warriors, who so unselfishly died for our country, by saying that it was a needless action is a disgrace.
Voice your political views but don't use death as your cause. And while you are protesting the war in Iraq, you are pumping one of the worlds cheapest gallons of gasoline into your automobile. Or do you ride a camel? Americans are getting a big break on the gasoline prices. The rest of the world is paying triple. If you have noticed that Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iran are on the quiet side. Hooray for the USA! The Saudis and the United Nations are exposed as the dogs and liars that they are. Palestine and Israel are busy killing themselves and no one has pushed the button. While you are whining, the world is turning.
I went to Vietnam under President Johnson and return under President Nixon. I was for my country and not for the Democrats or Republicans. I don't do parades, and I don't drink beers with the fellas at the local VFW, but I do appreciate a thank you.
The Ayatola of Rock n' Rolla:
An occasional contributor to this site and one who appreciates the opportunity to voice our sentiments and learn from others.Thanks to LatinoLA.com