Troops must be more than pawns

July 16, 2013 

I was pleased to see the amount of respect given by the media to our country's veterans over the Fourth of July. They are truly heroes, especially those who failed to return home alive.

My father returned from landings in the South Pacific during World War II with PTSD, affecting our family until he passed away in 1984.

My war was Vietnam. I spent my time in the Navy. About 50,000 soldiers died in this conflict. Then came other conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan, where thousands more returned home in body bags.

I get angry when I think about those who died and left behind widows and children, including my nephew Brian.

I get angry because in all the conflicts since WWII, our leaders have sent these young men into battle with no intention of winning the conflicts. Very little has changed because of our country's involvement.

Yes, those who went and fought were indeed heroes. I hope those who sent them have a hard time sleeping at night. Our troops need to know that they are more than pawns in the political arena.

JOHN E. SCHONWALD

Modesto

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