To the editor:
On Memorial Day, I sat surrounded by friends and family. As a Vietnam veteran I have a particular appreciation for the day we set aside to honor those who served and sacrificed, sometimes with their lives. I mourn for them. I cry for them.
Government officials made speeches honoring the men and women who served and are now serving, calling them patriots and heroes. I do have a question. If our government is so appreciative, why don't we care for them.
Why does our government allow our troops' families to suffer, not only from their absence, but the absence of the livelihood they provided? Why does our government allow their employers to give their jobs away? Why does our government allow families to go on welfare, to go homeless? Why does our government under-fund the Veterans Affairs department, which must care for those who return with disabilities and traumas?
War has never been rational. The people who order them never directly suffer its effects. If the government has the money to wage war, it should have enough money to cover its effects. The government owes them that. We owe them that.
Maybe someday we will learn that war, killing and violence never solve problems, they create them. Peace will never be achieved as long as we disrespect the rights of others. That's not only true of countries but individuals.