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Archive for Monday, November 15, 2004

Vet Day attack

November 15, 2004

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To the editor:

On Veterans Day, I was at the library with my children, in uniform as always on this date. I found myself reviled by an angry young woman, exercising the free speech rights I am sworn to support and defend. She fled so quickly after her sudden assault that I didn't get a chance to answer her questions.

Yes, I am enjoying raising my children. My daughter is a joy, my infant son a blessing. But for your second question, I wouldn't know: I've never bombed or killed any Iraqi children. Saddam Hussein killed millions of Iraqis, including children, but somehow I doubt you cared much. In my career field, I'm more likely to have loaded relief supplies for the Iraqi people (blankets, food, medicine, clothing), as I have also done for the people of Belarus, Russia, Haiti, Somalia and even South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo.

You appear to misunderstand what the military does and why we do it. I would have enjoyed discussing the issue with you, but the courage of your convictions didn't last beyond your unprovoked opening tirade. You ran away so suddenly, I wondered if you were ashamed of your outburst. Your parting remark from the stairs disabused me of that notion.

Your intense hatred caught me quite off guard. Please, let go of it before it poisons your spirit. I forgive you for it. Jesus told his disciples to "bless those who curse you, pray for those who revile you." I don't know if I'm strong enough to do that, but I'm sure going to try.

2nd Lt. Michael J. Kanter,

U.S. Air Force Reserve

Lawrence

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