The paper in Hometown is great for so many reasons. You can read the sheriff’s blotter and see which high school kid threw a party the previous weekend. You can find out what that week’s menu will be at the nursing home. You can see what local is having trouble with the county commissioner. And you can read letters to the editor written by your neighbors on topics ranging from how fast the kids drive these days to how unfair it is that retirees who are new to the community have to pay for school levies.
Lately, a man I don’t know very well has been writing letters to the editor about how Democrats are getting in the way of Bush’s quest to win the war in Iraq. Apparently, it’s Maria Cantwell and Barbara Boxer’s fault that Iraq is such a mess. Stupid Democrats. If they’d just shut up and support the president, we could win this thing and get the hell out.
After last week’s bad news, my mom and I both decided it was time to start speaking up about the war. So she wrote a letter of her own to the editor. Here’s what she said:
President Bush spoke to the nation the other night to confirm he is sending more troops to Iraq. He spoke of the “quiet sacrifice” made by families and of the “empty place at the table.” My quiet sacrifice is over. My son is a Marine Corps officer serving in Iraq since last August. I respect his decision to serve his county and we agree to disagree on politics. I don’t agree that protesting the war gives encouragement to the enemy or challenges my patriotism.
On Wednesday night we also learned that my son’s deployment has been extended ninety days. He probably won’t be at his sister’s wedding this summer. I know this small sacrifice is nothing in the large scheme of things but it feels like a big deal to a family who has already lost one son. It means my daughter-in-law will spend another three months without a partner, her children without their dad.
So, Mr. [other person who is writing letters to the editor], when you flippantly blame those in opposition of the war for the president’s inability to win it, I see red. Our all volunteer military is made up of well trained, dedicated and intelligent men and women. When they joined the service there was an unspoken pact between them and their Commander in Chief. They would serve honorably and he would only ask them to risk their lives for honorable causes. In my opinion, the President has dishonored that pact.
The President was right about the service and sacrifice of military families. If you know someone who has a husband, son, grandson or friend in the military, give them your encouragement. The war is more than a sophisticated chess game.
Well said, Mi Madre!