Vote to boost, not degrade, our troops’ morale

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 1, 2004

When my sons were very young, about knee high, I began teachingthem to fish. Whenever there was an opportunity, we went fishing.By the time they started school, they could each out-fish any grownman. Now, as we’ve all gotten older and life’s obligations andbusyness, along with many miles, have come between us, we don’t getthe chance to fish as

much anymore. One of our favorite fishing places has always beenmy father’s creek.

My father served 23 years in the United States Air Force. Myyounger brother served 20 years, and I also served 20 years. Wehelped to win the Cold War, along with some other things that wejust can’t talk about. We each served our full time, faithfully,diligently, and steadfastly, staying and serving as long as we wereallowed. We believed in doing our job to protect and defendAmerica. We didn’t look for and find a convenient way out afteronly a few months. Along with many millions of fellow servicemen,we truly defended our country.

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However, although Sen. John Kerry likes to keep saying the wordsthat he defended our country, because they sound so good when hehears himself say them, they are empty, hollow words, and they arenot true. He has never defended this country. If there isone thing he might be consistent about, it is that he has neverdefended our country – he has always offended our country. Yes, hespent a few months in Vietnam. If you were in Vietnam, it hadnothing to do with defending America; you were just busy defendingeach other. Then, when he returned from Vietnam, after serving onlya few months of his one year tour, he began to offend and attackour country and its service men, many of whom were still inVietnam, and some of those were being held captive and beingtortured in prison camps.

Since then, he has continued to offend and attack our countryand its military. As a senator, his record is clear that he hasvoted against new weapons systems, new aircraft, and our troops atevery opportunity. Apparently, he would prefer to disarmAmerica.

Our enemies in Vietnam revere and praise Kerry as one of theirheroes. Similarly, today, our enemies the terrorists prefer Kerryover President Bush. Even a major terrorist leader, Yasser Arafat,has publicly said so. Why? It’s because they want to continue beingthe terrorists that they are, killing innocent people. They don’twant President Bush to hunt them down and kill them.

Kerry seems to express concern for life, saying that too many ofour troops have died in Iraq. Those troops are there by choice,doing the job they chose. Yet he has no problem with, in the nameof research, taking the life of a child before it has a chance tobe born and, therefore, not giving that child any choice. For thispolitical position, the Catholic Church has consideredexcommunicating Kerry from the church.

The economy. Jobs. Health care. Other domestic issues. They arereally doing pretty well. But no matter what it is, nothing matterswithout security. Without security nothing else matters. If we arenot safe to go about our lives safely, nothing else matters. Safetyand security for our country and its people come before anythingelse. Nothing else is as important. The terrorists wouldlike nothing more than to carry out another nine eleven typeattack, or in some way kill as many Americans as possible. Theirone goal is to kill all Americans. Some would whine and call thatscare tactics. No, it’s reality. It’s the truth. It’s aboutprotecting our children and grandchildren.

Our president, George W. Bush, has sworn to go after theterrorists wherever they are, and eliminate them before they cometo our country and do harm here. It is the right thing to do. Wemust stand behind him, pray for him, and vote for him.

John Kerry likes to compare Iraq to Vietnam, using some of thesame negative adjectives now that he used some 30 years ago – wordslike quagmire, shambles, losing, wrong, and mess. Again, nothingcould be further from the truth. Iraq is another part of the war onterrorism.

Great progress has been made there, and positive results arebeing won every day. Kerry’s negative attacks about the war, justas he did about the Vietnam war, degrade our troops, hurt them andprovide great comfort and assistance to the enemy.

But, it is the troops, the men and women fighting this war, thatmake it so much different. None of them were drafted and forced togo –¬†and none will ever be – and none of them signed up to avoidbeing drafted. They are all volunteers. They want to be doing whatthey are doing. The other big difference is that they have amission, a mission that they firmly, devoutly believe in and carryin their hearts. They know their mission is to defend America, andto do that by going after terrorists wherever they hide, andeliminate them, before they come into our country to do harm. Theyare true warriors. American Warriors. Freedom Warriors.

Not long ago, before he departed for Iraq, I had an opportunityto speak with one of these warriors. Confidently, He told me theyhad trained and trained and had everything they needed, no thanksto Kerry, and were ready to go, but only feared one thing: that notenough people would vote to re-elect President Bush, so they couldkeep their boss, their commander in chief, and keep fighting thefight. He said that when he was playing football, they never won agame by changing coaches and coaching staff at half time. He hadput his name down to volunteer to go. When I asked him why, he saidhe wanted to go help get those bad guys before they come over here.He once received a letter while on a previous deployment to aMiddle Eastern desert. It was from a young school girl. The lettersaid something like this: “You are very, very brave. You are ahero. Thank you so very much for fighting the terrorists. Thank youso very much for protecting me and my little brother when we go toschool, and sleep at night.”

The warrior never forgot that letter. He received many moresimilar to it. So, I told him that I understand why he’s going, andI agree with him. Then, I told him that I’m very proud of him, andI gave him a hug, and told him that I love him.

He said, “Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll be back, and then we’ll gofishing.”

Jesse Cummings, who lives in Bossier City, La., is a Sontagnative and graduate of Monticello High School.