In 1989, Oliver Stone released his controversial movie “Born on the Fourth of July.” Tom Cruise portrayed Ron Kovic, a good kid from Long Island whose patriotism took him to Vietnam and brought him home paralyzed. With love for his country and pride in its freedoms, he blindly went to war for America amidst strong opposition from the home front. Upon his return, Kovic, along with many other veterans, was greeted with extreme hostility. Instead of thanking him for his service, or even just respecting him and his sacrifice, anti-war protesters spat on him. His disability was trivialized because of how he received it. Even in his hometown of Massapequa he was disrespected and ridiculed.
Ron Kovic was a just like our troops in Iraq right now. He loved the United States and showed it the only way he knew.
Whatever your feelings are about the war in Iraq, whether you believe the soldiers are protectors of the free world or merely pawns in the re-election campaign of President Bush, you must support our troops.
The troops are fighting for an ideal. They are fighting to protect the United States and all of its citizens. The troops are fighting for you.
In clear conscience, could you condemn men and women who are acting to protect their families and their neighbors? These soldiers believe they are defending freedom and therefore they go to war. This is not overly romanticized gibberish; it is the truth.
Even though the countries of Libya, Algeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia reportedly harbor more known terrorists than Iraq, we still should support our troops.
Even though the totalitarian regime of North Korea possesses more weapons than Iraq, and other countries such as India and Pakistan continue to have their own arms races, we should still support our troops.
Even though our country has set a standard for pre-emptive war without United Nations approval, we should still support our own troops.
Even though President Bush said Monday that Saddam Hussein could become a legitimate threat to world security in three to five years, we should still support our troops’ efforts to end his regime now.
With all these points undermining the rationale of the United States going to war, it is still absolutely pointless to blame Private John Doe for carrying out his duty. The fact is that the men and women of our Armed Services would much rather be at home watching the Academy Awards or enjoying the madness of the NCAA Tournament, but chose an alternative road instead.
When I hear of anti-war rallies I applaud the people for their use of freedom. When I hear people spitefully chide our soldiers, I mourn the loss of brotherhood and sisterhood upon which our country has thrived. These men and women love our country, and for that they deserve our respect.
So when you hear someone refer to our soldiers as anything less than loyal, brave and selfless, just know that at that moment, a soldier may be giving his life to protect the very people who criticize him.