Readers Write 11/20

Service gives back to those who serve

On Veterans Day, I reflected with pride on my military service to my country. It occurred to me, however, that I had also received much from the military. Many opportunities resulted from a decision I made in 1961. As a junior in college, I decided to remain in ROTC and entered the military after graduation. Pilot training was followed by a year of combat flying in Vietnam.

My flight training qualified me for my 33-year career as an airline pilot. During that time, I was fortunate to testify before three congressional hearings, while representing the Air Line Pilots Association. That 1961 decision also led to my GI Bill benefit, which I used to obtain a law degree. I am extremely grateful that the military provided me opportunities to learn to fly; to support my country in war, to obtain a Boeing 747 captain’s rating, to testify in Congress, and to defend a noncapital murder case in court. Ray Woolfolk, Villa Rica

MILITARY

Even with freedom, daily battles persist

After being deluged seemingly nonstop recently about Afghanistan, the killings at Fort Hood, and even Veterans Day, I want to take a breath and think about things nonmilitary.

This is not a shot at the young men and women who serve in our military, and definitely not at those who died helping create the United States. We are always battling, it seems. We are fighting “bad guys” over there. We are battling each other over here. We don’t trust our neighbors. We don’t smile much.

Is this freedom? Maybe it’s a sad version of it. Too bad for us.

Tom Ashley, Chamblee

MEDIA

Reason for Fort Hood attack no mystery

Leonard Pitts’ column is so representative of the hand-wringing of most of the media over the motivations behind the massacre at Fort Hood: “We know next to nothing of why he did it,” Pitts opines (“Majority likes to generalize blame onto minorities,” Opinion, Nov. 12).

Ninety-nine percent of clear-thinking Americans have a pretty good idea of why he did it; why it escapes Pitts and his media co-horts, I have no clue. Every day, new evidence presents itself, indicating the picture of a faithful Muslim turned radical over time — finally morphing into a jihadist, who felt compelled to murder. One could call him a terrorist, but a more apt term would be “traitor.” Killing fellow soldiers is beneath contempt, regardless of the motivation. This unwillingness to face reality must stop.

Give the American people some credit. We know the difference between a crazed jihadist and peaceful Muslim Americans who serve their country well every day. Don’t patronize us with platitudes on discrimination.

Bill Knight, Atlanta

POLITICS

Government needs to reform from within

It is amazing that we accuse some foreign governments of money corruption, and even send over our delegates to watch over elections. Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Washington), thousands and thousands of dollars are being spent by insurance and pharmaceutical companies to defeat health care reform.

Point being: How can we be hypocritical of other governments until we clean up our own act back home?

Bob Huckeba, Marietta

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