This is in response to Rosalio Munoz & Jorge Mariscal story on "Latino Support for Latino Conscientious Objectors"
With all due respect I must choose to differ. I have nothing but respect for a person of principle.
If you indeed are a conscientious objector, then I say more power to you. This is the land of the free and you have the right to believe whatever you want.
Many people before us died to give us that freedom.
If you want to march in the street and voice your opinion in public, that's great. Go for it. This war isn't just about Latinos. Anybody can die. Go ahead and do your little bit for peace.
There's a lot of people out there waiting nervously for their loved ones to return. Maybe they believe in the President and the war and maybe they don't. Maybe what you have to say and do will bring the troops home sooner.
I say if you want to speak as an intellectual and want to be heard, than do it right. If you're going to talk the talk then walk the walk. Don't burn the flag and don't speak disparagingly of our brothers and sisters in arms. They raised their right hand and made a pledge. That was their choice. They were not drafted.
Like you they too have principles and they are all out there doing what they have to do.
If there's a person out there who put on a uniform hoping to reap the rewards of being in the military and then when the time comes to go, he has a change of heart? I don't feel sorry for him and I certainly don't respect him. You can't have it both ways. You're either in or you're out.
If you were truly a conscientious objector you never would have joined in the first place. You think they ever wondered why they would have to be trained to fire an M-16? Come on now, think about. It came down to the nitty gritty and they got cold feet. Don't make it out to be anything more than that. They will get their little smack on the hand and be sent home so they can pretend to be somebody else.
Quitting will probably become a regular pattern in their life.
The military is no different than any other civilian job other than the fact that quitting isn't that easy. Sometimes you just think it's what you really want to do and then come to find out, this job sucks. Breaks my heart! If you sign on to do a job then do it.
I believe in people who keep their word.
If you're a conscientious objector then stay on your path and be true to your word. If you're a soldier then be a soldier and God bless you.
Like the late Corky Gonzales, said in his poem:"
Here I stand before the Court of justice
Guilty for all the glory of my Raza to be sentenced to despair.
Here I stand
Poor in money
Arrogant with pride
Bold with Machismo
Rich in courage and
Wealthy in spirit and faith"
He was fighter like most Latinos are. That's evident in our neighborhoods and like the colors on our flag, most Latinos don't run.
That's the Raza I know. Fight your fight whatever it is and don't try and make excuses for people who can't decide who they are or what they want to do. That's just bogus!