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Letters to the Editor, June 6

Thanks for your service

It is the season of thanking our veterans for their service in the military. There are parades, writings, and throughout the media a common refrain: “Thank you for your service.”

We call this patriotic. However, as one veteran quipped, “People would not say that if they knew what a monster I have become!”

This speaks to the fact of what war does to the human psyche. We take 19-year olds, train them to kill, give them automatic weapons and kill they do. If they survive, their lives are forever changed. As one wife of a returning veteran said to her soldier-husband: “I loved the old you more” in response he said, “the old me was killed in Vietnam.”

Fast forward to Gaza in the Middle East where 19-year old Israelis climbed mounds created by bulldozers to shoot protestors. As they shot down those who dared come near the border they high-fived each other in celebration. Following this behavior they will be thanked for their “service.”

Later, they return home. But who are they then? How and why did they become murderers? What is the impact these killers bring upon the society? Soldiers are taught to think of their enemy as animals — guess what they have become?

When we support this behavior (and the USA has been totally complicit in Israeli actions), we ,too, are complicit. The USA not only funds this, but blocks all U.N. attempts at sanctioning itU.S. politicians even labeling the Israelis as “restrained” in their violence. We may prevent rectification of this criminal behavior but in the long run it will destroy the nation from within — a slow rot!

In this way both Israel and the USA will face demise as a result of such actions. We can allow this to fester and grow or we can attempt to educate. Both states are headed for destruction — but still, it is good for business!

Jim Bowne

Ashland

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