May 23, 2019

Distressing column

Sarah Smiley’s column, “Elections distressing to military families” (BDN, Nov. 10), proclaims that Obama’s victory on Nov. 4 is distressing to military families. She says that the important role of a president as commander in chief requires a president who has lived the military life.

McCain suffered terribly as a prisoner of war and should be honored for that endurance. However, few of the many people who have suffered terribly are capable of leading this country as president. On the other hand, many military leaders and families of this country endorsed Barak Obama for president. Perhaps the most famous is Gen. Colin Powell, who has intimate experience in combat and in the highest levels of government. Gen. Powell strongly endorsed Obama for president.

How can she cite the Swift Boat lies about John Kerry as grounds for denying Kerry’s suitability as president and fail to mention George W. Bush’s clear avoidance of combat service? It was Kerry who actually served honorably in combat while Bush used his family connections to stay home. The president who led us to victory in World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, did not serve in the military. There are many examples from history that refute the core of Smiley’s argument.

Today, I am filled with hope that Obama will bring our wars of aggression to an end and take care of our veterans, especially those who have been wounded physically and psychically. We can build a more peaceful world as we defend ourselves against the aggression of others.

Martha Dickinson


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