My Turn: It's time to save our children

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2003

I'm writing in response to Mr. Gardinier's letter, "Smart kids, not smart bombs." How fitting that he should open with a quote from a famous World War II general and ex-president. The quote says to me that even career military men recognize the suffering war brings to innocent people. He obviously did fight a war and did his job well. No one likes war, it's the choice of last resort.

I, too, have a young son, in fact two. One is 9 months and the other is 41/2 years. Since the birth of my first child, feelings of empathy for children or the parents of children who have come into harm's way have become very strong. Everyday I sit in "shock and awe" at the inhumanities inflicted upon children by their parents and others in our country. Then you can go global, such as Ethiopia were millions are starving to death, a slow, wasting-away death. How about Rwanda, where rival tribes hack off limbs of children if they're lucky enough not to be murdered?

I could dwell on these things when playing with my boys in their warm house that has plenty of food, not only to fill their stomachs but balanced and nutritious food. My children don't realize how blessed they are, but I do. They think this is normal and I intend to use everything in my power to keep it that way. Fortunately, we live in the best country in the world to accomplish this, but there are dangers all around and I have to keep vigilant to protect my children from harm. Heaven help anyone that through design or irresponsible acts brings death or injury to my family. I will spend my time with my children, raising them to the best of my ability, teaching them to have a sense of values and compassion for their fellow man, and to fight for what is right and theirs.

You say when the bombs start dropping you hope to be able to hold your child in your arms and that you die quickly. CNN shows clips of when Saddam gassed the Kurds. There you see bodies of civilians with adults clutching children, quite possibly parents clutching their children as they died. If this happened in your town, would you respond, or sit back and be thankful that it missed your family? If someone retaliated against this attack, how much shame would you feel? I personally would feel a tremendous amount of shame if my government did nothing.

I will raise my boys to come to the aid of others whether it be the lady being mugged on the street corner or an ethnic group experiencing genocide. I thank God that we finally have a leader with the guts and moral fortitude to put a stop to this evil before it spreads and gives strength to other deviates in the world that don't like our lifestyle and want to do it harm. Set an example with Saddam? You bet. I don't want any wannabees to get emboldened to be his replacement.

You're concerned about the cost of the war. How can you put a price on your child's life? What has emboldened Saddam and Bin Laden is that they believe even though we have superior numbers and fire power that we don't have the heart to use them. Strength means nothing if you don't or can't use it. If we don't use our resources to stop this evil, you won't have a child to educate.

Randy Huls has lived in Juneau since 1990 and has spent most of his life working in the mining industry and construction.

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