Opinion – 3/28/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 28, 2003

The Panolian Editorial

For additional opinions and articles,
pick up the 3/28/03  issue of The Panolian

Protesting War Doesn’t Mean One is Anti-U.S. Troops

I’m probably going to make some folks a bit angry with me, but it won’t be the first time.

But before you get mad, at least think about what I’m saying.

I’m not against those who are protesting in our nation’s streets against the war in Iraq.

But to be ok with the right to protest isn’t the same as saying one doesn’t support the troops – the individuals – who are over there.

I very much support the troops and pray daily for their safety. They are serving their country … and every one of us. For that I am thankful.

Likewise, I am thankful that others like them have fought past wars and died for all of the freedoms we enjoy … including the right to protest whatever we want.

And, I think that’s the case, too, for most of those who are anti-war … whether it be the war in Iraq or war period.

That’s a lesson we surely learned from Vietnam.

Sadly, many of those who served in that long war that took 50,000 American lives weren’t given their just dues.

They were looked down upon because of the nature of the Vietnam war … whether we should have had a dog in that fight to begin with … and the fact we couldn’t – and didn’t – win it.

I was staunchly against our country’s involvement in Vietnam but I was never against the soldier.

Most didn’t have a choice whether to be there or not. The draft was in effect and they did the right thing – by serving – not running off to Canada or getting Daddy to use his connections to get him into a stateside guard unit.

Even though the draft is history, the young men and women in today’s armed forces are there because they want to be. Either because they truly want to serve or because they need a job or college money or have no clue what else to do.

Maybe some are like a friend’s son. While flunking out of college, he was given a choice by his parents. Pick the branch of service you like … and join.

So far, it’s been good for him. His mother can’t believe how much more mature he has become.

Now he’s in Iraq and I pray he comes back in one piece.

Frankly, I don’t care what their motives were for joining. I’m glad they did … to protect the likes of you and me.

As far as the war itself is concerned, I’m not sure where I stand on whether we should be there or not. That’s only something time will tell.

No doubt Saddam is an evil nut case and the world will be a better place when he’s gone – dead or in exile. Preferably dead.

And then there’s the evil nut case in North Korea where that country could soon have a nuclear weapon.

What about him? What about the others? What about the lack of support from the rest of the world?

Time will tell that, too.


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(Kate Dickson can be reached by email at: editor@panolian.com)