I rarely salute, but I salute Bill Sawatzki for his Nov. 10 column, “What to say to a veteran.” Thanked for my service, I wonder whom someone thinks I served or what I did in Vietnam. Writer Tim O’Brien, hearing thanks for his service after reading or speaking, thinks, “Didn’t you hear anything I said?” Our service was to corporations profiting from a misbegotten war.
Sawatzki gets it. Never again! How could we who have seen, heard, smelled and tasted war, ever let our children suffer or perpetuate such misery, especially in unjust, unwinnable, illegal wars?
If you thank veterans for their service, you may thank addicts, heroes, cowards, sociopaths, mercenaries, fine people who failed to think for themselves, or all of the above. Say, “Never again!”
Never again will I condone war while proven methods of peacemaking, reconciliation and non-military defense are ignored or dismissed out of hand. Never again will I tolerate officials who claim to support needy veterans while allocating all the resources to perpetuating war. Never again will I devalue the life of someone designated my enemy.
Thank you, Bill, for helping enlighten folks made safer every day by those who work for peace.