Sunday, May 17, 2009

Remember Our Veterans This Memorial Day

For those who served, apology unacceptable

Published: Monday, May 11, 2009 4:12 AM EDT
To the Editor:

As Memorial Day draws near, it is time once again to reflect upon the sacrifices many Americans have made for our country and fellow servicemen.

As a Vietnam veteran who has lived through years of the disgraceful stigma that was put upon us, it is hard to understand why Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are undergoing unnecessary accusations about their stability and mental health in reference to our national security.

It is unfortunate that our current administration rarely talks about the successes of our troops, their victories or the integrity of their service. Although the administration states that it supports them and will take care of them and supposedly give them the treatment they rightly deserve.

In reality, no one disagrees with this. But the constant denigration of veterans has a lasting effect on how the public views America’s military. Homeland Security recently singled out Afghanistan and Iraq veterans as being susceptible for so-called right-wing recruitment and having trouble reintegrating into their communities. Because of an outcry from veterans organizations, the Homeland Security secretary issued an apology for the accusation stating, “It’s not an accusation but an assessment.” Well, that is not an acceptable apology for these veterans who served honorably for their country.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward. More than that, no man is entitled, and less than that, no man shall have.”

Thank you, veterans!

Stu Richards


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