LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 1 – August 2009

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

mail-box-full-colorDear Sir:

Ken Crosby in “MILITARISM DAY” (July issue of the Ojo) tells us what we need to hear. He makes a good case, backed by historical references.

The military recruiters troubled me when I was a teacher at Austin High School in Houston, a school that was almost 100% Mexican-American. I knew those recruiters weren’t going to the west side of town where the wealthy kids drove to Lamar High School in sports cars.

The N.Y. Times publishes the names of the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan and a disproportionate number of them are Hispanic—very likely from my old school if their hometown was Houston.

And Ken Crosby is right to decry the shameless conflation of service with illegitimate policy. The proliferation of bumper stickers that proclaimed “I Support Our Troops” really meant “I Support George Bush.”

But America needs a strong military and those who serve take an oath to obey the orders of the President. A kid from the barrio around Austin High School cannot be responsible for the integrity of presidential orders. But a soldier is responsible to obey them—even while facing death.

All of us, and families in particular, need to find some meaning in the loss of warriors in the service of our country. The fallen were honoring a sacred oath, even if the commander-in-chief was contaminated with impure motive.

We should respect and celebrate Memorial Day for the sake of human values. Let’s vote the bums out of office, but honor the troops, living or dead.

Signed:

Fred Mittag

Villas de San Pablo

Ojo Del Lago
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