Civilians Also Serve
I address Robert Smith's Sept. 7 letter regarding mine of Sept. 3. His position is that because he's a soldier and I'm not, his opinion is somehow more valid. He says my letter "reeks of no firsthand knowledge," making (my opinion) "unqualified." He writes about trust and leadership.
Qualities that make a great soldier don't always make great civilians. Socrates said citizens must ask questions, and the most important one is Why?
History teaches what happens when a country blindly trusts its leaders. An unquestioning population is led like sheep. To suggest a commander's decision is more trustworthy than another's implies that military leaders never make mistakes.
Smith said that because John McCain is a war hero, he'll trust the questionable vice presidential choice of Sarah Palin. Fine. Then did he support the war hero John Kerry over the draft-evading George Bush and Dick Cheney? Or did he trust Bush merely because he's commander-in-chief, and he always obeys his leader?
I'm not denigrating veterans. Conversely, Smith denigrates those of us who aren't. Patriotism is more than just military service. America benefits from the daily sacrifice of policemen, firemen, teachers, EMTs, nurses and yes, community organizers.
I salute one who has been a soldier for 24 years. I was a teacher in an inner-city school for 27 years. If teachers were awarded Purple Hearts, I'd have six. Is one of us more dedicated to America or has he served her more nobly? I think not.
Despite McCain's stellar, lifelong service to America, his vice-presidential choice is a gamble, based on politics, and not in our country's best interest.
Smith trusts Palin. I don't. We can disagree, but my opinion -- soldier or not -- is just as "qualified" as his.
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