I would like to respond to Tony Tengs' My Turn in Monday's paper and say that I would be fine with calling the Department of Defense the War Department because it would not sway my support for our military at all. And when I say "our military" I mean every part of the government that has to do with the military, including our president who is the commander and chief of it. It seems many people these days would like to separate their support for the military from their lack of support for President Bush, who constitutionally has the most important role in our military.
Mr. Tengs casually mentioned he has never been in the service, and then blasted President Bush by saying that he spent his last year of military service AWOL. Well, at least he did serve his country, and has an idea of what it is like to be in the military, unlike Mr. Tengs who presumes to know what our military thinks they are or are not fighting for. I would not presume to know what they feel about the orders they have been charged to carry out, but I do know that it is their job and they will fulfill that job whether their headquarters are called the Department of Defense or the War Department.
Unlike Mr. Tengs, I do think that it is heroic for those men and women in the military to launch missiles and defend themselves against those who would try to kill them, because the reason they are doing it is for you and me and every other American that they are protecting with their own life. For anyone to put their life on the line for a fellow citizen is a heroic deed in my book.
I will end with some more words from President Eisenhower and a reminder that just because you can protest doesn't mean you should: "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."