The Nature of Things: A veteran's perspective

The Nature of Things: There's more than one kind of SPAM

When I looked at the calendar today, my mind took me back exactly 60 years when my First Marine division launched america's first offensive action of World War II in August of 1942. My battalion and Carlson's Marine Raiders were assigned the task of capturing the sell defended small island of Tulagi in the British Solomon Islands. Because of the terrain, the jungle, and several caves, it took us about a week to eliminate the 600 Imperial Japanese Marines who fought to the last man. We also took two even smaller islands nearby named Gavutu and Tanambogo.

I was 20 years old then and at that time i never expected to see my 21st birthday, let alone make it all the way to 80. But somehow I survived even after four more months of brutal jungle warfare on the big island of Guadalcanal. After surviving sever wounds and malaria fever i made it back to Oregon where i married the girl I left behind and raised a family of four daughters.

I'm not writing this for self-aggrandizement or to tell horror stories about the war, but as a lead-in for some points I want to make pertaining to my generation and the rapidly diminishing WW2 veterans. I want to try to explain to today's generation why we veterans tend to be so hawkish on using our military in this present threat to America's freedoms.

Perhaps we veterans were overdosed on patriotism by having witnessed the brutality of nations that were led by fascist tyrants. Or maybe we are unable to get over the price we had to pay in blood and misery to save America's legacy of freedom. I think it's safe to say that we have a lot more invested in this country's future than, say, some left-leaning pacifist Ivy League professor who is telling his students that somehow it is America's fault that these Islamic fanatics hate us.

That's pretty strong language and I intended it to be because how can anyone look around at the rest of the world today and not realize that America is a special place?

After WW2, the American taxpayers rebuilt Europe, including Hitler's Germany. We protected these war torn countries from the Communist menace under Stalin, and changed Japan from domination by brutal warlords to the peace loving country that it is today. in spite of this i have read several letters to the editor where pacifists have written: "Wars never solve anything." Good God, how do they think we won our independence from King George? And what about the Civil War that freed the slaves and preserved the union? Have these people been living in a vacuum?

As for our former "allies" in Western Europe, one would think they would be wanting to help America in this war against the civilized standards of western culture. But no, they are suffering from short memories and anti-American jealousy, plus a loss of drive and fighting spirit brought about by their social welfare governments which stifles personal ambition.

Except for Tony Blaire's Britain, no other european country wants to help the U.S. in our effort to rid the world of Saddam Hussein of Iraq. One would expect that of France, which has almost made a religion out of anti-Americanism. they probably wouldn't be much help anyway given their record of capitulation in recent wars. Napoleon and LaFayette must have turned over in their graves when the french army allowed Hitler to overrun their country with so little resistance.

One needs only to look at the once prosperous and orderly little nation of The Netherlands to see what is happening in Europe. They went from being the most religious, socially conservative society in Western Europe to a veritable cesspool of crime, civil unrest and immorality due to their abandonment of religion and coddling of thousands of Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate into the dutch system of tranquility and tolerance. It was left-wing socialism that allowed this to happen.

And Germany is going down the same path. They have lost what once was a world class work ethic and are becoming a nation whose citizens are only interested in how to spend their all too frequent vacations due to their cradle-to-grave welfare state. They have already informed the U.S. that they won't help us in the effort to bring about a regime change in Iraq.

So it looks like america is going to have to go it alone in this war. That's probably because we are the last bastion of individual freedom and Christian ethics left in a world of decadent democracies in Europe and a plethora of Third World countries who have failed to rise above a culture of tribalism.

I truly believe America is up to the challenges that lie ahead. we have the military power, the leadership, the courage and a legacy of freedom worth defending. the sad part for us old WW2 veterans will be when we see the pacifists in our own country demonstrating in the streets against our efforts to once again defend freedom.

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