I am an 80-year-old veteran of the the Korean War and the Vietnam War. I learned up close the horror of war by serving on the hospital ship USS Haven in Korea. Wounded warriors were brought to us by helicopter. As a Morse Code radio operator, I sent messages to Washington on the status of the wounded. Some names were placed on critical lists while, too often, others were reported dead.
My great wife and I have been married almost 58 years, raising seven children on Navy pay. I worked very hard as I was raised to do on the 50-acre family farm. I could have gotten deferred as I was my dad’s only helper. My dad, however, wanted me to “do the honorable thing” and “do my part” for Uncle Sam. I joined the Navy Sept. 17, 1951. After four years, I rejoined and made a career.
Whenever I think about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I think of the president responsible for starting them. George W. Bush, who received free training to fly planes, etc., never served a day in active duty military. He could have used his father’s powerful influence to avoid serving.
Mitt Romney also had a powerful father and received five deferments in order to avoid serving in Vietnam. Romney “plans to build 15 new ships” and seems to be looking for more war. I could never vote for a man of such caliber. And, like George W., he is preparing to do more nation-building, just not American nation-building as Dwight Eisenhower did in his eight years as president.
JOHN A. TAYLOR,
RMC USN Ret.