It pained me to read the letter from Lynda Keegan-Kuglitsch (“Who do you think is serving,” Bugle, 6/4/10). If my humble scribblings were so misinterpreted by others as they were by her, I certainly apologize, for those who know me understand my deep admiration, respect and appreciation for all of our armed forces and their families.
If Ms. Kuglitsch feels I slighted Vietnam vets when I lamented the lack of knowledge of our youth, it was not intended. I simply felt that those men and women are the fathers, mothers and grandparents of today’s young people so they have somewhat more knowledge of that and subsequent wars. I also understand her sadness of the Agent Orange induced death of her husband. My own mentally handicapped niece may be a result of my brother’s exposure to the chemical. Not knowing the circumstances of the incident in which one of her uncles called Vietnam veterans “sissies,” I would caution her to not be too hard on him as it is the nature of men to gently jibe one another in efforts of one-upmanship. I have yet to meet a vet who truly disparaged the service, combat or peace-keeping of another.
As to my statements regarding today’s young people, I stand squarely behind them. If she failed to note that I said “..a large percentage of our young people” and not the “all” that her letter implies, I again apologize for not being clear. I read the casualty list daily to make sure that I do not forget the sacrifice of those magnificent young men and women who understand the obligation they have to their country - and to those who do not. It is their willingness to accept the decision of their duly elected government that the fight is necessary, even as they themselves may question that decision, that makes them, and others before them, worthy of our respect and admiration. It is the right of every serviceman to gripe and question the intelligence of their superiors - even as they venture forth to follow their orders. It is even more humbling that each and every one of them is a volunteer.
And, I place no blame on those young people who stand aside while others protect their sheltered existence. I bow to the opinion of Walt Kelly, creator of “Pogo Possum”, who, through the mouth of his creation stated, “We have met the enemy - and he is us.” Yes, we are responsible. Over the decades we have allowed a minority of elites, who abhor, and intend to erase, nationalism - pride in one’s own country -, to control the debate over the worth of what our founders and forefathers brought forth and protected. While 70 percent of Americans believe in our work ethic, free enterprise, opportunity-oriented system, we have allowed the 30 percent dominated by the Left - the news media, academia, and the entertainment industry - to take over the moral instruction of our children. It has reached the sad state that those who did not live through the Cold War “shockingly view socialism almost as favorably as they view capitalism.” We have allowed those elites to picture young men or women who answer their country’s call as dupes or fools while placing those who would destroy our system, the Bill Ayers’ and Bernardine Dohrns, on the same level of patriotism as those who have bled and died to preserve it.”
Ms. Kuglitsch is also correct that “Fighting for America does not only take place on the battlefield. The far Left well understands this and they are currently winning the culture war, both at the ballot box and in the hearts and minds of America’s young people, “because they are professionals at using words.” The majority, on the other hand, being busy trying to make a living, have abdicated our responsibility to stay aware and demand that our children are instructed in the moral integrity of a system of free enterprise and personal responsibility. We shouldn’t worry, as Ms. Kuglitsch states, that “other countries accept our form of democracy.” It is our job to see that our children embrace it. When they do, the results, as in the past, will persuade those “others” that we are “..the last best hope for man.”