The thoughts of Veterans and ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY

  1. I am a Vietnam Veteran (65-66) and I live in New York City -- 2 miles north of the World Trade Center. I saw them go down. I lost friends. Our city has received next to nothing for 1st responders; meanwhile Turkey is going to get 20-30 billion dollars. We have lost 150,000 jobs since September 11(remember that) and our jobless rate is close to 10%. Bush promised New York over 20 billion dollars and as of this date we've received a little over 5 billion. And off we waft to war. I'm tired of the lying, the broken promises and manipulation. If any more people die in this or any city, their blood will be on the heads of Bush, Chenny, et al. This is insanity!
    --David H. Rigg, US Army, 1964-67

    Thirty years ago I raised my right hand and took the oath to defend my country. I was proud to do it. Today I feel nothing but shame in the direction this country is headed. I have three sons who will soon be of age to serve -- I would feel proud if they refused.
    --Thomas M Myers, US Army, 1974-1978

    Presently I am being forced into serving under the stop loss! I cannot and will not support this war. I have asked for a discharge, but have been informed my views are wrong. So much for the land of the free.
    --Robert W. Brown, US Army, 8 Years Active, Currently Prisoner of Air National Guard

    There are times when we must fight. This is not one of them.
    --Joe Cordileone, USMC, 1966-1969

    In western Oklahoma, sometimes radio stations are few. Last night, while traveling, I was listening to a religious station in which Chuck Colsen was justifying this war. It seems to be a religious thing to this President and his followers, which is quite scary. The fact that we are creating hatreds among Allies that could lead to wars of the future does not bother them. They are fighting evil. Oh where were they when we fought?
    --Joe Jackson, USN, 1964-1967

    Currently I'm serving in the 479th Engr Btn, and I feel mortified that I must put my life on the line to support this unnecessary and un-American war.
    --Eamon O'Boyle, US Army Reserve, 6 Years

    Bush has wagged the dog.
    --Wesley Lanham, USN, 1964-68

    As a Vietnam-era veteran, a Baptist minister, the son of a member of the 1st Infantry Div. in WWII and the father of a career soldier, I vehemently protest this preemptive war against Iraq.
    --Rev. Dr. Al Staggs, US Army, 1965-67

    I am proud of my country and my time in the service. I am ashamed of the people running our government at this time.
    --Ken Hofgesang, USAF & US Army, 13 Years

    The emperor is preparing to send our legions to war while domestic issues continue to burn at home and the people are lulled into distraction with games at the coliseum. Must we continue to repeat history?
    --Robert C. Brubaker, US Army, 1989-93

    I am a 23 year veteran of two branches of service, U.S. Army Reserves and U.S. Navy (Active Duty). Each day I served and wore my uniform with great pride. As a retiree I am obligated to stand up for what is morally and ethically right. I must now stand in support of the thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who must stand by and obey orders while disagreeing with our posture of war no matter the cost. Yet as I do so I must stand in opposition to an unjustified war on a nation that is of little threat to our great nation. Yes, Mr. Saddam Hussein is wrong, but that does not mean that we are right to wage a war on the thousands of innocent people. Nor is it right to subject our own troops and those of our allies to the dangers of war. To use an old adage, "Two wrongs do not make a right." To the Senators, Representatives, and to our President, while you must stand in support of our nation - America, remember to stand in support of peace and a peaceful resolution to this conflict. Do not subject our nation to an unjustified war.
    --James R. McCollum, USN & US Army Reserves, 23 Years

    I support our troops. I do NOT support the government that sent them. This needs to stop, NOW.
    --James David Reyome, USMC 4 years

    For the first time in my life, I attended two anti-War protests! I was in Vietnam during the Vietnam war protest. I felt compelled to protest this war because it is something that only George W. Bush and his friends want. When the world tells you you're wrong, you better listen!
    --Michael Arrington, US Army 20 years

    My son was just shipped to Kuwait as a member of a Marine weapons company. Please reconsider - it's not an embarrassment to back out of a war. I want him to return shortly and safely to school to help him prepare for a productive life rather than being a participant in a slaughter which will be a scar on his mind for life.
    --John G. Peterson, USN 1951-55

    I am a combat veteran who is against this war. I also believe the administration is lying and the soldiers going there will suffer the "unknown" gulf war syndrome, i.e. depleted uranium exposure, as we did agent orange in Viet Nam. The government will refuse to take care of the troops and therefore I am staunchly against this war. Especially because I don't believe anything they or the media says. I have never joined any anti-war group before but this I believe in. Thank you.
    --Miguel Gutierrez, US Army 1970-81

    Listen to the vets not the Chickenhawks.
    --Philip Wooldridge, USAF & US Army Reserve, 1986-1992

    Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize recipient: "War is only a cowardly escape (by politicians) from the problems of peace." Bush certainly fits the role of coward, and liar. "I went to war," he said during the 2000 election campaign. The truth: He was a military deserter from the very National Guard unit that kept him out of harm's way. He dishonors the millions throughout history who actually did serve when our country called.
    --Dale W. Shimko, US Army 1969-71

    Notice that those who say "we gotta go to war in Iraq" are not going anywhere -- nor are their children! It is our children who are now in harm's way; our loved ones and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. We believe the most supportive thing we can do for our son, who is 25 years old, in the Marines and in the Persian Gulf, is to do everything we can to stop this war from happening -- to keep yet another generation from being put in harm's way for the wrong reasons.
    --Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, children of WWII veterans and parents of current Marine sergeant

    I flew 65 missions in B25s against Rommel in the North African desert as a navigator, returned home and entered pilot training, returned to combat in B29s in the Pacific (Tinian Island) and flew the last 10 missions over Japan. As a navigator and a pilot, I went through the entire war without seeing a dead body -- as many of my comrades did. Those of you on the ground were not so isolated. However, in reviewing the photography of what our bombing of Japan did, and looking at the tragedy of Dresden, Berlin, London, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it has become clear to me that war has become completely immoral--witness the Shock and Awe plans to attack Iraq. Perhaps we veterans have remained too silent for too long. War is no longer an option for anyone in the world. Disarmament -- serious disarmament -- has got to take place, and we all need to push for it.
    --Jack L. Cross, US Army Air Force 1942-46

    One cannot "offensively" conduct an act of self-defense. The idea that Iraq (or its operatives) "may someday" attack the US cannot be called self defense any more than if one murders the guy next door and claims self defense because he "might someday" kill. Murder is simply murder. An attack on Iraq at this point indeed turns our President into a war criminal, and those that support him are accomplices to the crime. Remember that Germans who were against Hitler also suffered as a consequence of his actions. I gave 4 years of my life swearing to uphold the Constitution. In that Constitution only Congress can declare war. The President's function is to carry out that order without further consideration. He may also act in self-defense. The attack on Iraq is
    clearly illegal.
    --Al Sledge, USAF 1965-69

    I am so angry. It is all true about chicken hawks, lack of intelligence of the Commander in Chief, war for oil, war for vengeance, etc. What is beyond comprehension is that there are people who believe the trumped up justifications for Bush's war. And what is more disturbing is the acquiescence and even participation of news analysts, reporters, supposedly objective observers and reporters of events, in legitimizing this scam on the American people by the Bush administration. I, for one, will protest until they slap me in jail against the insanity of a foreign policy that describes as holy the right of a superpower to invade and conquer any nation it decides it has a right to invade and conquer.
    --Sheila Jackson, USAF 1956-59

    As the wife of a disable Viet Nam veteran, I plead with the President to please do everything possible to NOT go to war. We don't need innocent people, women, children, elderly to die for a reason I'm still not sure of. I personally think it's about oil. It's not worth the heartache or the destruction. We are a noble country, I want it to stay that way.
    --Marcy O'Brien, USN 3 years

    Isn't it interesting that no one in the current Bush administration but Colin Powell has ever been in combat? Most of these Chickenhawks have never been in the military. Once you unleash the dogs of war you never know who the dogs may bite.
    --Stephen Heck, US Army 1971-73

    United Nations inspections need more time and more inspectors. This is a grand opportunity for the US to show that we are capable of peaceful diplomacy and that we can be world leaders in moral and ethical global cooperation.
    --David Rosen, USAF 1951-52

    If we have to go to war with Iraq because of the possible threat of weapons of mass destruction, then why don't we go to North Korea where we know these weapons exist. I think there are hidden agendas concerning Iraq.
    --Audra Paiva, daughter of veteran

    If the administration wants this war so badly, let the senators and all the other members of our government send themselves and their children to be in the first wave to attack. They must believe in this war very much, so let them support it in this way.
    --Venkadathu Alexander, USN 4 years

    I am proud of my dad and what he has accomplished in the Army. I appreciate the sacrifices that the many people made to secure our freedom. I disagree with the government's policy, not only on the war, but also on its treatment of Veterans. I believe that our government is making a mockery of our Veterans by pursuing its current policy. I won't vote for Bush again, no matter what Tax Cuts he tries to bribe me with. A government of the people, for the people, by the Rich really should listen to what its people have to say.
    --Shane Radford, son of veteran

    This isn't about weapons of mass destruction, it's about oil. That drug-soaked, fascist frat-boy in the Oval Office wants us to pay the price of stealing Iraqi oil for his supporters . . . a price we will pay with higher taxes and American lives. They will get rich, we will all become accessories to murder for profit and some of us will become dead. Remember, any complacency on your part is the equivalent of complicity in this despicable business. Do something!
    --William B. Cushman, USN 1961-64

    Containment brought down the USSR, a vast empire of a super-power. It took time, and real leadership in both political parties, and wisdom, and patience, but it is a fact: containment brought down the USSR. Containment can bring down a tin-horn dictator in Iraq.
    --Tim Lally, US Army 101st Abn Div 1962-65

    My father served 13 years in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force. My son is a Marine EOD and I am quite proud of him. I support the US Armed Forces and believe that they are necessary to PROTECT America. I do not think they are at arms to further the interests of meglomaniacs, corporations and chickenhawks. This War is being waged for the ego of George Bush and his cronies and their plans to subjugate the world for their own profit. It is not about protecting America and it is against everything my Dad and my Son served for. I am sick with fear for the future of America when war is viewed as entertainment and when our fellow citizens do not see that war is going to destroy innocent people and maim even more. How can America be seen as any different than WW II Germany when it declares war based on the propaganda spewed by its self serving leaders? My son is on a ship headed to the Middle East and I'm sick about it. When he returned from the Gulf War he said then that that "campaign was a joke" and he was disillusioned by what he had witnessed. He serves in the Marines because he believes in defending his country from aggressors not as Smedley Butler put it "as a hired gun for corporate interests."
    --Nick Roberts, son of WWII vet and father of Gulf War vet

    I am a 77 year old former W.W. II U.S.M.C. machine gunner who spent 2 1/2 years in the Pacific jungles fighting Japanese SOLDIERS (not children, women and noncombatants like AWOL Bush does)to preserve America's Constitutional liberties. It is refreshing to learn there are NOW more of you Americans, combat vets, who have known the tragedy of combat coming forward and telling dumbo Bush and his chicken hawk friends, who think war is a child's game or like it is viewed on T.V., that war is not the answer.

    I have been writing and complaining to Bush and our elected representatives, both Democrat and Republican, ever since Bush went on his rampage for oil, money and power, at the expense of us grunts. Think about it, you war mongers--children, women, noncombatants killed, cities, homes, infrastructure destroyed. Are Iraqi children less precious than American kids? Please, if you are an American mom, try to place yourself in the place of an Iraqi mother. How would you feel knowing in minutes your home, husband and children would be incinerated by a bomb carrying depleted uranium.

    I do understand how Bush can be so callous, because he is dumb and unfeeling, but it is mystifying to me how a woman, especially with children, cannot be painfully hurt for the Iraqi mothers. Finally, no country is a threat to America, so we should be a peaceful nation, and concentrate using our tax dollars on providing those social services needed by millions of American citizens instead of on war.
    --Albert C. Mezzetti, USMC 9 years

    I was witness to the lies and misinformation concerning the U.S. bombing in Laos. I watched Nixon lie night after night, on the evening news. I've read excerpts of the Pentagon Papers. Do the American people think that the U.S. government has really changed the policy on foreign affairs? We are a nation of well intended individuals being led into a direct conflict, with the entire free thinking world. Our weapons can't win that one.
    --Larry D. (Dan) Pruitt, USAF, 1967-1974

    I have served with the Army, National Guard and Army Reserve since I enlisted while still a senior in high school 27 years ago. I have trained all of my adult life to defend my country, and will gladly do so if called upon today. However, the actions of our leadership compel me to tender my retirement from uniformed service eight years prior to my mandatory removal date. I choose not to participate in a unilateral war of first strike aggression against an "enemy" which poses no threat to the people of the United States of America. Some may call me naive, or worse, yet I equate the President's actions with "blitzkrieg."
    --Mitchell E. Green, U.S. Army, ARNG, USAR, 1976-2003

    Do not allow our military to police the world. Do not allow our military to become pawns of corrupt and arrogant politicians and corporations. Peace is patriotic.
    --Ronald Mauer, US Marine Corps, 4 Years

    Since the Revolutionary War, and even before it, my ancestors gladly
    took up arms to fight against oppression. I sign this petition in my name, but I believe they would stand proudly beside me in opposing a war that is unnecessary at best, immoral and illegal at worst.
    --Quimby Masters, Daughter, Grandaughter, Niece, Great-Niece

    I'm very proud of my military heritage. Both my mother and father are veterans. This family has always served in the military proudly and with the knowledge freedom is worth defending. I feel we can support our men and women in uniform and still question our governments choice to send them to war. I think we can ask what we expect to achieve by these actions and more importantly what other steps are available. 100 billion dollars gives our military a lot of options -- besides war!
    --Sara Goodwin, Daughter, Sister, Granddaughter, Great-Granddaughter, Wife

    I'm a combat vet(1/9 1st Cav). To my brothers and sisters in the military, I would like to say my protest against this war is not against you. This war of the BUSH and the DICK is going to get you and
    the world screwed! IT'S ABOUT THE OIL!
    --James (Jim) H. Golden, US Army, 1970-1972

    America needs to return to our founding fathers vision of a nation
    at peace with the world. Look to George Washington's farewell address. Ours is a limited-government democracy. Reject President Bush's imperialist ambitions and foreign adventurism. Instead, concentrate on the domestic economy and the well-being of the heartland.
    --A E Molina, U S Army, 1969-1971

    I am an "arch-conservative" and opposed to what the UN has become. Nonetheless the UN was created for no other reason than to avoid war, not to start one. The French-German plan is the most sensible of all so far. Under no circumstances should the US become an aggressor nation. The military-industrial complex about which Eisenhower warned so long ago is alive and well and out of control.
    --Jack Van Dien, US Army, 2 Years

    My father, Oliver Wilton Orson, was a POW in the Philippines in WWII.
    He was very lucky to survive that experience. His closest friends all died. We were so close that I could tell you his opinion on any subject. He was a conservative, flag-waving Republican. If he were alive today, he would be marching in the streets to oppose this war. He would want to tell our leaders that the lives of young Americans and Iraqis should take top priority, and diplomacy, inspections and enforcement should be the means to solve this problem.
    --Marion Alsup, Daughter

    Only OK to intervene within umbrella of UN and approval of the Security Council.
    --John C. Groos, US Army, 1951-1953

    One year at Tan Son Nhut Airfield in Saigon and several nights and days during the Tet Offensive told me all I needed to know about wars that have no good, right or just purpose. I would not wish that experience on anyone, including Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Ashcroft and the rest of the Chickenhawk cabal whose war whoops ring very hollow against the backdrop of their cowardice. Of course, when they had the opportunity to actually serve their country, they somehow could not find the courage to serve. Now that those times are long past, they have mustered an excess of bold courage, strength, and firm and patriotic resolve to send others off to kill and be killed. Pathetic.
    --John H. O'Leary, USAF, 1964-1968

    We have madness at the helm.
    --Willard D. Gray (Ret), US Army, 1944-1964

    Our military is to protect our country and our people, not to police the world. Use it to fight terrorists that threaten us, not to be the cops of the world.
    --Deanna Ashmore, Ex-wife Sister of veterans, & future Mother of Officer

    Where in the Constitution, or the mandate given to Bush by Congress
    to conduct a war on terrorism, does it state that he has the right to declare war on another country without the approval of Congress?
    --Thomas Bankston, USN, 1971-1982

    I am not a pacifist and served two tours of duty in Korea and one in Vietnam. Vietnam was a calculated adventure into lunacy which ruined many lives and destroyed families. Don't make the same mistake again!
    -- Joseph Moore, US Army, 1958-1966

    Our military is here to ensure the peace and safety of America, not to
    bolster the Chickenhawks manhood!
    --Ben Larson USAF, 1968-1992

    I believe that war is too serious a commitment to be left to an
    elite few to decide on. I believe that we should have full and open debate before acting. This debate should include full disclosure of the facts and history of the conflict, before the people make the decision. We Americans need to realize that Truth is the first victim in any war and then the soldiers and civilians and the earth. We need the facts about the goals and costs before such a commitment is approved.
    --Stanley (Stosh) Comisiak, US Army, 1965-1968

    I fought in one senseless war that wasted 58,000 American lives. Those lost lives were poor and middle-class kids. The privileged were excluded. Now they, the privileged, are sending another generation of poor and middle-class kids to die in vain again. If these CHICKENHAWKS had to send their kids there would be no war.
    -- Robert Myers, USN, 1966-1970

    I believe we need to stop Saddam. But there are other ways. I believe the last attack on Iraq in 91 is the reason for so much terrorist activity since.
    --Kevin Hutchcraft, USN, 1970-1974

    I am a Vietnam vet. I did not go to Canada; I did not join the Reserves or the Guard because all those slots were filled with people like Bush. Bush did not want to fight for his country then, but he wants others to fight for him now. North Korea presents a bigger threat than Iraq, but Iraq is the weaker country. I have no respect for Bush or any of his followers and will oppose this war till the cows come home.
    --Jim Keen, US Army, 1966-1968

    If the president and his buddies had to go, they would think twice before charging in. Instead, they will be sitting in their comfortable chairs while our young men and women lose their lives, even some who make it back home: my husband died from Agent Orange on 9/29/00.
    --Pat Walley, Widow of Tom Walley

    I consider "preemptive attack" to be unprovoked aggression. If the administration goes forward with such an attack, for the first time in my 67 years, I will be truly ashamed of my country!
    --Christine E. Campbell, US Army, 1955-1960 & 1973-1975

    Drop Bush not bombs.
    --Joel Wendland, US Army, 1991-1993

    I was in Vietnam -- I was a combat medic -- so I know what the color of war is. It's red. I have seen and smelled too much of this red.
    --Wm. Bryan Turner, US Army -- 173rd Airborne Brigade, 1969-1972

    President Bush, for the sake of our son, please reconsider. It would be evil to waste the lives of our service men and women in a war that could be prevented.
    --Don & Helen Klopfenstein, Parents

    No war unless supported by the United Nations. No war with Iraq until proof of possession of weapons of mass destruction is shown.
    --Marnix A. van Ammers, US Army, 1966-1970

    America doesn't start wars, America ends them.
    --Bob Sakowski, USAF, 1959-1966

    No war unless supported by the United Nations. No war with Iraq until proof of possession of weapons of mass destruction is shown.
    --Marnix A. van Ammers, US Army, 1966-1970

    I feel frustrated. What I had to endure when I was a young man my son will possibly have to experience too. He is a Marine and has been sent to Kuwait. You would think that by now our elected leaders would have gotten smarter. But then again we are talking about Bush. What did we do to deserve him?
    --Don Robertson, US Army, 1968-1971

    Some of my friends think that we are not supporting the men and women in uniform if we protest the war. I tell them we are supporting them in the only way that shows we value their lives more than we want to stroke the ego of one spoiled rich kid.
    --N. Dale Thompson, US Navy, 1957-1979

    That's right!!!! We have had enough of these politicians caring only about their power and money and never a thought about WE THE PEOPLE! Who, by the way, is suppose to be running this country? It is far past the time for us to command this bunch of idiots to sit down and shut up!!!!!!!!!!
    --Lois Richey, Wife and Mother of Veterans

    Bush needs to understand that we will not sacrifice our children's blood to line his pockets.
    --Sewell E Peckham, US Army, 1963-1967

    I am extremely concerned about our representatives' disregard for the will of the MAJORITY of the American people and our leadership's apparent disregard for the opinions of many friendly nations.
    --Terrance Hill, US Navy, 1986-1992 USS FIFE (Gulf War)

    My first husband was killed in Vietnam, in 1968. I was not enlightened enough to oppose that war and trusted the decisions of people in power. I am a different woman now. I have talked to many people from all walks of life and have found that no one believes a war with Iraq is justified. The people in Washington must be in some sort of cocoon that they do not realize just how sparse the support for war is.
    --Linda Edwards, Wife of KIA Veteran

    I think that this war is mostly about oil. I served my country, and would again in a legitimate W.W. II type of war, but not in a Vietnam or 2003 Iraq type of war.
    --Stanley Ray Turpin, US Army, 1987-1992

    The proposed Iraq war is even more senseless than the Viet Nam War. This one is being led by a group of thugs in the White House none of whom have any personal experience in war!
    --Robert L. Mason, USN, 1966-1970

    I, unlike our cowardly so called leaders, was one who actually enlisted and served in Vietnam. To defend our country I regard as honorable. To defend an oil company's opportunity to make even bigger profits is not honorable. Not with our blood!
    --Bruce A. Pierson, US Army, 3 Years

    My ex-husband of 32 years was in the Army, he retired after 26 years of service, my daughter is now an Air Force Pilot. I love my country, and I am against the war with Iraq.
    --Sema Richards, Mother of Veteran

    Who was recently awarded huge construction and oil contracts in Saudia Arabia, the true subsidizers of al Qaeda? None other than Halibruton! If we look back to Vietnam, who received most of the large contracts to build runways, airports, harbors and highway projects? None other than what is now called Brown and Root. Not only is Brown and Root the world's largest nonunion construction company, it is a subsidiary of none other than Halliburton.
    --Mark James Hankins, USMC, 1977-81, 1984-91

    I say make the leaders get down and dirty and fight it out amongst themselves -- then see how quick they call for peace!
    --Sheryl S Groves, Widow of Veteran

    I served as a Capt. in the USMC during Desert Storm with the 1st Mar. Div. I can't believe that our foreign policy has returned us to the point where we are massing our armed forces to invade Iraq. I'm a voting man -- and will vote. I'm also a praying man -- and will pray. Semper Fi.
    --David W. Brown, USMC, 4 Years

    Although our family has always believed in military service, we oppose a war in Iraq. I sign this in memory of my grandfather Fred Griffiths who was in the US Army during WW I, my dad A. Stanley Griffiths who was in the US Navy during WW II, in support of my daughter Jennifer who is currently on active duty in the US Army and her brother John who is also currently on active duty in the US Army.
    --Wayne A. Griffiths, USAF, 1965-1969

    Many of the hawks (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Adelmann, Limbaugh, O'Reilly to name but a few) avoided military service during Vietnam, and almost none of them have a son or daughter in uniform. So much for the concept of shared sacrifice!
    --Thomas J. Whelan, USMC, 1968-1971

    I am thoroughly pleased to see so many veterans taking part in this movement, but what I would like to see is more people like myself on active duty to stand up and speak out. It is us who will be directly affected by this atrocity of arrogance and belligerence. When I signed a contract to defend my country, that is what I signed. I did not sign a contract waiving my consitutional right to free speech and I certainly didn't sign a contract agreeing to aid one simple-minded man's bid to spread his corruption across the globe.
    --Robert Ferriol, USMC, 7 1/2 years, Still Active

    My husband John R. served his country well as a Marine Lieutenant on Iwo Jima, was wounded and received a Silver Star for his actions. Three of our sons volunteered to serve their country with pride and honor in Viet Nam. Whelan's were no "Chicken Hawks", as are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld (who was in the service, but saw no combat). I cannot believe their boldness and audacity to want to send our youth today where they were not willing to go yesterday.
    --Helen Whelan, Wife and Mother of 3 veterans

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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you!
    I hear similar opinions as well as support for this war from VA patients.
    PS: I don't work mental health!
  4. by   Brownms46
    I have a friend who is Vietnam Vet, and is a bil amptuee d/t injuries received during his service to his country. He doesn't agree with the war, but strongly supports the men, and women fighting in it!

    He lost his wife d/t the many years, of being in and out of the VA hospital. He is in the VA hospital now, more than he is home. He cries for the young ones, he feels they may have to endure the pain, and sorrow he has.

    He fears for the lack of treatment and benefits for them, as he has watched his own beneifts dwindle, and continues to watch them be eroded.

    So it makes him long does this country "supports it's troops?? Until they're now longer needed or useful anymore???
  5. by   pickledpepperRN

    White House Answers 'No' to
    Jan. 30 Letter from 50 U.S. Church Leaders Asking Visit
    46 U.S. Religious Leaders, Uneasy About the Proposed War on Iraq, "With Utmost Urgency" Ask President Bush for Face-to-Face Meeting

    Leaders of 11 Denominations and 4 Organizations;
    Signers Include 20 United Methodist Bishops

    January 30, 2003, NEW YORK CITY - Citing the "utmost urgency" of their request, 46 U.S. religious leaders who
    have been working "to slow the rush to war" with Iraq today petitioned President Bush for a face-to-face meeting.

    War is not only a military matter, write the leaders - from 11 denominations and four organizations, including 20 United Methodist bishops. "It is a moral and ethical matter of the highest order, one that we have made a priority for many months as the possibility of war has loomed on our national horizon."
    In a statement issued today, Church World Service Executive Director John L. McCullough announced that, "At this time we grieve for those who are having to endure additional sufferings. We are keenly aware of the fact that, for many of the people of Iraq, this war comes at the end of what has already been twelve years of severe human
    conditions," causing "the loss of loved ones, particularly children. . . . It is our hope that any warfare within this region will come to a quick conclusion, and that loss of life and limb will be minimized."
    We are profoundly saddened by the recourse to war. This is not a moment for triumphalism, but for
    humility and repentance. Our prayers are with the Iraqi people, members of the armed forces, the
    leaders of our own nation, and the international community. The people of Iraq must be given hope that there are alternatives to both dictatorship and war.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Mar 29, '03
  6. by   Q.
    Since this thread is entitled: "The Thoughts of Some Vets and Active Duty Military" I thought this article was appropriate pasted here:

    Oceans away, US troops crave approval at home

    By Ann Scott Tyson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
    OUTSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD - Pvt. Mario Rodriguez has advanced to within a few miles of Baghdad in recent days. But even as the 3rd Infantry soldier pushes ahead with his mission in Iraq, he worries about what he will face back home.

    "In Colorado, in my town, people are protesting the war, so I'm stuck," says the young private. "Are people going to thank [me] ... or are they going to look down on me?"

    Across the battlefield in Iraq, US troops are asking the same question: What do Americans think of the war?

    Soldiers for generations have sought public approval for executing a war, with sensitivities reaching new heights during the Vietnam conflict and its anguished aftermath. Today, the intense public scrutiny of the war in Iraq, combined with vocal domestic and international criticism, has some troops wondering if all the risks and toil may earn them only scorn.

    "I've seen these kids busting their humps. I don't want us to get involved in another Vietnam. I want us to be involved in a good cause not a stupid one," says Staff Sgt. Timothy Roberts of the 3rd Infantry Division's 1-3 Air Defense Artillery Battalion.

    "Everyone remembers or sees news clips of soldiers returning from Vietnam, and some of those images still linger," agrees Capt. Will Griffin, of the 3rd Infantry Division support command. "We look for validation of what we do," he says. "We want to know what the public thinks."

    But finding out what Americans think isn't easy in the remote encampments of Iraq.

    Largely isolated from the world beyond the Army, the soldiers snatch at tidbits of news, read between the lines of the rare letter or call home, and pick up rumors and hearsay.

    The fact is that recent polls, including a new Christian Science Monitor/TIPP poll conducted this past weekend, show Americans supporting the war by a 7-to-3 margin. But, looking for signs of assurance, troops here in Iraq are often getting mixed signals instead.

    Hints from Hollywood?
    Some take their cues from pop stars. "I heard Madonna was protesting the war, making a CD, and all these people are buying it," says Rodriguez. His tent comrades nod. Also circulating among the troops is a letter from country singer Charlie Daniels lambasting what he calls the "Hollywood bunch," including actress Barbra Streisand, for leading antiwar protests.

    An infantryman guarding a US Patriot missile battery south of Baghdad said that he believes even if the public is against the war, it will back US troops. "My wife went to a prowar rally in Centennial Park in Atlanta, and 25,000 showed up," says Capt. Stephen Norgard of the 3rd battalion 1-24 infantry, a Florida National Guard unit. "And I truly believe that if people don't agree with the war, they support the soldiers who are fighting it," says Captain Norgard after stopping two suspicious Iraqi vehicles at gunpoint.

    "My mom has reassured me in letters," says 1st Lieut. Jeff Brizek of the 3rd Infantry Division's 123rd Signal Battalion. "She says, 'Yes, there are a lot of protests, but I'm all behind you.' That makes me think, wow, there must be big protests."

    Private doubts
    As he cleans his face with baby wipes one morning, Lieutenant Brizek of Reading, Pa., says he worries about "going into a war that doesn't have a lot of meaning."

    Indeed, the reasons for this war remain nebulous to many troops, interviews with more than a dozen soldiers of varying rank and age suggest. And even as they work long hours under harsh, dangerous, conditions, several soldiers volunteered that they privately hold doubts about the necessity of the war.

    Many believe it boils down to a personal vendetta that President George Bush holds against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Others, albeit a minority, think the war is about oil and American influence in the Middle East.

    Regardless of the political rationale for the war, however, by far the most powerful motivation for many soldiers here is the belief that they will improve life for the Iraqi people. "It makes me feel better that they call it 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,' because it sounds like we're liberating the Iraqis," says Pvt. Maggie Carter of Clio, Mich.

    Many troops deployed in Iraq have never before visited a developing country, or even left the United States. Again and again, they describe their shock at the mud-brick homes and ragged clothes of Iraqis, and the reward they feel when they see children waving and smiling at them on the side of the road.

    "When I see the poor, hungry kids on the road, I think, we're here to help these guys," says Sgt. Richard Gooding, of Castle Rock, Wash. "They've been so mistreated by their president."

    Serving their commander
    Many soldiers and marines here draw confidence from the simple duty to follow orders.

    "If the president leads, the Marines will follow. We don't work for public opinion," says Lance Cpl. Joseph Snyder of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who is with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion of the 1st Marine Division near Baghdad.

    "I read that people in the states thought this was a good idea," he adds. "It feels better that we are doing something they want us to do." To him, the need for regime change in Iraq is obvious. "Saddam had the power to mess us up. I think the president did what he needed to do."

    Staff Sgt. William Sutton of San Diego, with the same marine battalion, doesn't hear much about public opinion but says he has heard polls are about 50-50. That, he claims, doesn't affect him. "In the long run, I have to do what I have to do."

    "Some people are definitely set in their ways. But maybe if they see what's going on they will change their minds," he says. Talking with one of the locals, they were happy to see us. I told them having smiles on their faces means we are doing a good job."

    Marine Cpl. Spartak Martirosyan of Riverside, Calif., says he hears Americans think the war is taking longer than expected and are divided. "People over there are talking about stuff but they're not the ones over here sitting in the hole. If they say bad things it affects me a little bit. It has to. Good things motivate me."

    In the end, soldiers say they must simply obey their commanders, regardless of any private reservations.

    "We don't want to kill these people. But your job is to defend the country and beyond that you have no control over what happens," says Private Carter.

    Sergeant Roberts agrees. "The president made a decision, right, wrong, or indifferent," he says, standing next to his Avenger anti-aircraft truck. "I'm just a soldier - if I have to shoot someone, it's nothing personal, it's just a job."

    * Andy Nelson contributed to this article from near Baghdad
  7. by   eddy
    Nice article Suzy K. Thanks for adding that to the thread.
  8. by   Disablednurse
    My husband is a veteran of the army and he feels pretty much like those other veterans. He opposes the war, but supports the troops.