Protests are hurtful to those who fight
“In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence under no circumstances can it be neglected.”
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
What follows is something I received from reader Kathleen Mull of Reno. It’s rare that I find myself upstaged, but she sure did it. While I was considering writing the column on a related matter, I realized I couldn’t do the topic justice, and it’s a topic that I believe needs to be discussed. So with her permission, here is her letter.<center>
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As the mother of a young soldier who has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and Iraq with the 101st Airborne Air Assault, I feel that I can speak to your feelings about war, or at least I can speak about my own. No matter how much you think you don’t want war, you cannot possibly understand how much the mother of an infantry man does not want war.
However, because my son is a volunteer soldier and not drafted, I feel a tremendous sense of pride that my son is so willing to serve his country in this time of war. He could certainly have chosen another path for himself, but instead, he felt the call to protect his and YOUR freedom. The same freedom gives you the right to protest our soldiers in public places, but what you may not know is that it is extremely hurtful for those of us who have children serving overseas to see our fellow Americans staging demonstrations aimed at—well, what I really don’t know.
It would, of course, be a wonderful world if we could all live in peace, but that is not going to happen, and you should be supporting those who CHOOSE to leave the safety and bountifulness of our own beloved country to help secure peace in other places. Protesting war only empowers those who wish us ill and really is not helpful to anyone but our enemies, who see in this a certain cowardice in some Americans. Which may or may not be true, but that may be how it appears to some.
While I can understand your wish for peace (as I certainly feel that peace is preferable), please use your energies in a more helpful way by adopting a soldier or marine, sending a care package or a letter of encouragement or perhaps a phone card to an injured soldier at Walter Reed Hospital, or go visit a vet in the VA, or send a condolence letter to a grieving family member who’s brave son or daughter fell in battle, or at the very least, give a Blue Star Mom a much-needed hug.
We will be at peace again one day, and that is the time to work toward global unity. But right now, it is much more appreciated by our soldiers and their families if you would, while standing at the courthouse, wave a flag or give a wave to someone with a yellow ribbon on their car—after all, we are all striving for peace in our own way.
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And let the Right Hook’s Church of Conservatism say, “AMEN!”
As the saying goes, “If you can read this, thank a teacher. Because it’s in English, thank a veteran!”