The fortunate son

Eric Hitchcock is a physical therapist and disability evaluator at Enloe Medical Center and Chico resident

I am grateful to have been born the son of John and Patricia Hitchcock, who served our country for 25 years, Dad in the U.S. Army, Mom keeping us fed and loved. Moving 18 times in 18 years on three continents, we always knew we were really home whenever we returned here, to Northern California.

Growing up in the military life, I learned that race, religion and politics were all secondary in importance to what really mattered: service, honor and sacrifice. Observing Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus all using the same Quonset hut on an Army post, I learned that in spite of our differences we truly can respect each other and live in peace.

My father represents the very best of America. He is strong and kind. He taught me to honor, to question, to serve and be responsible. He taught me that a real commander will give his meal to a low-ranking private before feeding himself and empower his people so that he will become stronger in return. He taught me that greed isn’t what makes America great, but rather the ability to admit mistakes and correct them. He taught me that pride for pride’s sake is shallow and not worthy of respect.

He taught me to hit fast and hit hard, never losing attention of what your adversary does or where he runs. Yet, he taught me that the humility of a strong commander will subdue enemies with a thousand times greater force than will the arrogance of a vengeful warmonger.

I am proud of my father and my mother and proud of our community and country because of good people like them.

Yet theirs are the values Bush and Cheney have forsaken. Bush’s arrogance has divided our country, alienated us from the world and discouraged us from questioning his policies. Unlike my father who saw Vietnam, Bush, Cheney and Limbaugh et al. ran away from serving in the military they profess to support. Their greed for wealth for the few at the expense of millions would make Jesus hang his head in shame. Bush dropped the crosshairs on the true enemy, “Osama bin Forgotten.”

While Bush has flipped and flopped over why he sent our sons to Iraq, some 114 Californians have died there. He has abandoned veterans’ health care and disability compensation. Meanwhile, Young America, Bush has left you with a titanic debt that you must pay.

While I’d like my father to run for president, he loves Northern California much more than Washington, D.C. So, to honor the values he taught me and to help bring those values back, I vote for Bush’s early retirement. I hope you do too.