A Silent Prayer

by James Glaser
April 26, 2002

Each month at our VFW meeting, we open our meeting with a "Silent Prayer For Our Departed Comrades" - those fallen in battle and those that are prisoners of war. This is a very reverent time at a otherwise pretty gregarious meeting. Also the long pause never seems long enough to remember everyone.

It was 1969 I was at Dong Ha, Vietnam and right toward the end of his tour this Lance Corporal was killed out on the perimeter. Every month I think of that young man. I never knew his name , but one time we both dove into the same bunker when we were getting "incoming." Laying in that kind of dark bunker, listening to shells drop around us, he showed me a picture of his very pretty wife and the son he was going home to meet. Every month I think of that young man, in my mind he is still nineteen and will never grow older. His son is now about thirty three and never got to even meet his dad. His dad was a hero, a patriot, and a young man that not only heard his nations call to arms, but believed it.

Now all of these years later I find out that President Lyndon Baines Johnson knew way before that Lance Corporal and I got to Vietnam that we were going to lose that war and that it was wrong for us to be there in the first place. All of these years later our trustworthy government is now releasing tapes and transcripts of what President Johnson was saying.

Now we have a new President, George Bush. This George Bush is putting out a new call to arms and telling us again that it is patriotic to fight in this war and that this is a just war. George doesn't know if this is true, as George has never been to war. George is my age, but he never heard the call to arms back when we were both young. In fact George is like a sales man that is pushing a product that he has never personally used.

And you know what is so sad about George's call to arms? Young men today will have to wait way more than thirty years to find out if George was being honest, as President George Bush has made a executive order that former Presidents don't have to release their papers and tapes and if they die their family can stop the release of their records. Would you really trust a man that would pass a law protecting himself like that?

If you are a young man or women thinking about entering military service, because you think that would help your country, I ask you to think about who this war is for, who is making money off this war, and ask yourself if there isn't some other service that would better represent how you feel about America. Killing other people really sticks with you. Killing old women and men is vivid in your mind for years, but helping to kill little kids can not ever be taken out of your immediate thoughts. Believe me, there is no just reason to kill and maim little children, but we do it in every war we are in.

So think about if you think George Bush is honest when he tells the nation that this is a just war. Think about killing little kids and their moms. Then think again about if George Bush is honest when he tells you that this is a just war.

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