To the editor:
Many cars around Lawrence display "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers. As a Vietnam veteran, I certainly endorse that sentiment. We need to distinguish between the war and the warrior. It's not the fault of our troops that President Bush betrayed their honor and trust by leading them into this mess. Bush sent our troops into an unnecessary war for bogus reasons and failed to plan for what happened afterward.
There are human costs for these kinds of mistakes. Some troops were endangered by being sent without adequate equipment or support and some are not being appropriately cared for when they come back wounded. Because of Bush's budget cuts, the VA doesn't even have sufficient staff to properly process the claims of newly wounded Iraqi war veterans while veterans from past wars fall further behind.
Go a step beyond displaying bumper stickers and make your support more concrete and meaningful to the troops in the field as well as the veterans that have returned home. How can you make "Support Our Troops" more than a slogan? I would suggest a good place to start would be visiting the Web site "Operation Truth" formed by Iraqi war veterans (www.optruth.org). You will find personal stories of some of the problems our soldiers have encountered and a list of "issues facing our troops" you could consider working to help resolve.