Gov’t should have better plans to support troops

Military needs should be met from past lessons. Thank you so much for writing a very important and timely opinion piece [“Troops need our support: U.S.’ Vietnam lessons not learned,” Dec. 6] in The Temple News.

I very much agree with you that our nation has not fully joined with our military members in the war on terror.

These few armed forces men and women seem to be carrying most of the burden. The rest of the nation has not been called upon to make much of a sacrifice. It is hard to understand how we can be cutting taxes while spending more on the war on terror. It seems to me that the war on terror is just as important as the war on the axis countries during World War II.

In WWII the entire nation was called upon to make sacrifices by rationing goods and services. Many professional athletes and entertainers were drafted or joined the military. Hollywood was even pressed into service and called upon to make military training films and war movies to honor the sacrifices of the service members.

Many manufacturing plants were converted from producing goods for domestic consumption to producing only military equipment and material.

Military members were sent to theatres of action for the duration (until victory was achieved or until they were so badly wounded they could not be returned to battle). People from all sections of our society were drafted regardless of their socio-economic status. To carry out this war on terror in such a half-hearted manner is to dishonor all those who lost their lives to terror on Sept. 11, 2001.

To fail to fully meet the needs of our military members, both during and after combat and both during and after their service, is to dishonor their service to our great nation. It is almost as if we as a nation have forgotten our history and of the price of freedom – how our founding fathers risked and/or sacrificed everything so that labor for the birth of a free nation could begin.

That birth was finally completed at the end of our Civil War – after such tragedies as Gettysburg. We continued to mature as a free nation with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Iraq and other such countries will have to undergo similar processes to become fully functioning free nations.

Hopefully, they can learn some lessons from our own development and not have to make all the same mistakes or take the same number of generations to achieve a fully functioning free society.

I am a member of numerous veterans organizations. It is a small way in which I can lend my voice to the support of veterans needs and patriotic causes. I also contact my legislators frequently to remind them of my expectations of them on certain issues.

Having served in a military uniform for over two decades during the ’60s (including a tour in Vietnam) and the ’70s, I am very sensitive to the needs of our military members now and in the future. Therefore, I am deeply grateful for your very thoughtful and courageous words.

I consider you a true patriot. Please keep up the good work!

-LCDR Larry D. Holman, MSC, USN, Retired

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