Join Date: 04/06/2010
Copied below is a letter to the editor submitted to the Delaware State News. You can post your opinions by clicking on "Reply."
Re: “Military Families to Get Free National Parks Pass.” [Associated Press News Brief, May 16] I approach this subject with some trepidation as to how these words will be received, especially within the local military community. Hopefully, the reader will understand that in no way should my comments be taken as a slight on the active-duty military and their dependents now honorably serving America in all areas of the world.
However, I must make it clear that the article concerning the free national parks pass being issued by the Interior Department to provide a means of thanking current service members and their families for the sacrifices they make comes up totally inadequate for those who have already made those same sacrifices.
If the Interior Department is really sincere about implementing an effort to thank the military community for sacrifices, both being made and those made, they must take this process further by including those from all prior conflicts such as World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Anything less is a visible slap in the face to those of the past, and especially the forgotten Korean and Vietnam veteran. Too many Vietnam vets had more than their share of being slapped in the face and spat upon when all they did was do their duty while over 56,000 of that same generation made the supreme sacrifice.
Do I still harbor some resentment about how Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home to cries of “baby killers”? I make no apologies for how I felt then and still feel today. And the one thing that stirs my soul is when actions, such as taken by the Interior Department (no matter how well-intended), specifically exclude (whether intentionally, by oversight or just plain ignorance) any group that has done and sacrificed as much as any generation for the security and protection of this great country.
I have no reservations about providing as much support and appreciation as possible for our troops today. But I will always be first in line to insist and plead for that same recognition and appreciation for those who have gone before.
Some might say that I should just accept things as they are; forget about the past and move on. Some say it is more important to concentrate only on the present or the future. I might agree with that if everyone felt that way, but there are many in this country who still look back over the past 200+ years and insist that what happened, even beginning with this country’s foundation, must never be forgotten, and use the past to justify their demands of today. It would be totally unjust to limit to a few select groups the use of the past to their advantage at the exclusion of all others. I believe it is called “equality.”