Speakout 3/8

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I would like to make a comment about the article Honoring the oath. I agree that when you take an oath, you should stand by that oath. But, the comment about just sitting around after 20 years in the service and drawing a paycheck. This comment should not be directed to everyone who has served in the military. My husband spent 21 years in the Air Force. He joined to serve his country and to support himself at age 17. The military pay is nothing to get excited about. Believe me, they are way underpaid. My husband retired when he was 37 years old. He served 21 years in the United States Air Force. If he desires to sit around and draw a paycheck, so be it. My husband doesn't just sit around and draw a paycheck. He retired right out of the Air Force into another career. He has been with a large company for eight years now. I just want to set it straight, that if you serve your time, you are entitled to sit around and draw a paycheck! I just want to say to my husband, "Way to go!"

I knew him as a young toddler who wore cowboy boots and carried a six gun with pearl handles. I remember him in the Christmas play with my son, singing carols and saying his lines as one of the three kings. I coached him in little league basketball and remember how scrappy he was even though he was not the fastest player on the team. I admired his love of the outdoors even as a child and how he loved to camp and ride his 4-wheeler. He was always very intelligent and was a natural born leader. Other kids looked up to him and valued his thoughts and opinions. I looked up to him and knew he was a special young man. After his death in Iraq, I regretted not spending more time with him and asking him questions about West Point and his experiences. I also quit thinking of him by his name and replaced it with the Lieutenant. I will always remember the Lieutenant as a brave, confident young man who believed in his country and was dedicated to protecting America. When the attacks of 9/11 happened I wanted vengeance. I wanted the blood of some Muslims to pay for what happened. I wanted cruise missiles in Afghanistan, Baghdad, Lebanon, I did not care, I just wanted some pay-back. As the war in Iraq continued and the loss of American troops mounted, I was concerned for the Lieutenant but I believed we were still just in our resolve. Now, after seeing the personal cost of war with the Lieutenant's death, I wonder if we are still just in the way we go about conducting our wars. Not only do I blame our President for this conflict, but I put just as much blame on our representatives who wholly supported the war but now seem to have a memory lapse when asked about it. We have not learned the lessons of past conflicts. We have been lied to by our government before, however this in no way should lesson the sacrifices of our military personnel. I hope in the future when we have no other choice but to retaliate against our enemies, we weigh the cost of our ground troops and spare them any undo harm. I hate to wage war and have innocent people suffer, but the cowards we now fight use them for protection and propaganda. If we must annihilate countries due to their actions then we have the weapons to do it. We pray to God for peace, but we know we will not have peace. It is prophesied. I will always remember the Lieutenant and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. But from now on, if we must, let's use bombs instead of bullets.

I would like to ask if anyone knows who would put in a storm cellar or who I would notify. If they know anyone, if they would put their number or address in the paper, I would appreciate it.