Reader's view: Relatively few serve in military on our behalf
This past July we celebrated our national independence. Many accounts failed to give credence to the difficulty of this achievement. Britain, the world's greatest power, poured the full fury of her forces to quench our dreams. Its then-largest ov...
This past July we celebrated our national independence. Many accounts failed to give credence to the difficulty of this achievement. Britain, the world's greatest power, poured the full fury of her forces to quench our dreams. Its then-largest overseas invasion landed at New York, and Washington's force evaporated as he fought a desperate retreat to save his small remaining force.
The nadir of our fortune saw a skeletal force remaining at winter quarters in Valley Forge and Morristown in the first bitter winters of despair. It was the calculating genius of Washington and the undying spirit of the few, the faithful, starving and freezing citizen soldiers who endured the unendurable and brought our nation to the promise of its glorious future.
Today we are engaged in very difficult wars in the Middle East that have proven perplexing to end to the benefit of our national interests as well as the humane and democratic persuasions that we feel will benefit the populations involved.
By a strange twist of fate the same number of troops involved now figures out to the same proportion (1:1,000) to the number then at the low point of the Revolution, based on populations.
So we have come full circle. Today, the few volunteers struggle on our behalf while much of the nation seems unaware of their sacrifice. Time and time again the same few are sent into combat. Our treatment of veterans varies from the unbridled passion of World War II to the disgraceful cold-shouldering of Vietnam.
Catering to extremists on both sides, our government seems incapable of resolving these divisive wars, now nearing our longest ever. Furthermore, ignoring our troops' stress and deprivation, they are treated to simplistic slogans: "Support our troops," etc. They deserve far better.
Paul J. Lampi Sr.