If you support the troops, then act on it

Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 10:38 p.m.
It's time for all self-proclaimed patriots to put up or shut up.
"We support the troops," they avow in letters to the editor and in bumper stickers on their sport utility vehicles.
But with the exception of a handful of non-hypocrites who actually volunteer, plus the families of those already serving, the huge majority of self-proclaimed patriots support them from a nice, safe distance.
They vote for, listen to and wrap themselves in the same flag as Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and the rest of their ilk - men who avoided fighting for their country when they had the chance, and certainly don't want their own kids to go, but will send others' sons and daughters.
Among those serving is my stepson, due to return to Iraq on Jan.
6. His stepson, my grandson, returns to Iraq this summer, which is why I'm angry and emotional.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld told a soldier who questioned him about unarmored vehicles that we go to war with the Army we have, not the Army we want.
But we've been in Iraq almost two years, and Bush and his cronies were planning that war for almost two years before that. So why don't we have the Army we want?
It's time for all the super-patriots and all the Bush-Cheney supporters to put up or shut up.
Volunteer for combat. Urge your children to volunteer.
Tell the Republicans who run Congress and the White House to increase taxes to pay for this war and not pass the cost on to future generations.
Tell them to enact real gas-mileage requirements for all vehicles and to stop giving tax breaks to buyers of SUVs and Hummers.
If you won't do these things, then stop talking - and shame on you.
Geoff Pietsch, Gainesville

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