Originally created 01/18/00

Hits criticism of Bush's military service



I must respond to the hateful Jan. 14 letter from Herbert A. Edney IV blasting Texas Gov. George W. Bush's candidacy for president. As someone who wore our country's uniform in active service for more than 20 years and who has been shot at by our country's enemies and spat upon by some of its citizens, I feel fully qualified to challenge Mr. Edney's disparaging rhetoric about Mr. Bush's National Guard service.

Serving in the armed forces, whether active like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., or in the reserves like Gov. Bush, is an honorable act. Protesting a war because of strongly held moral or religious convictions, and suffering the consequences like Mohammed Ali, is an honorable act. Building a company that employs many Americans and strengthens our economy, like Bill Gates, is an honorable act. Working hard to become good enough to play professional basketball like Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., is an honorable act.

Whining to the draft board that you loathe the military and then protesting your government's policies on foreign soil are not honorable acts. Being serviced by a 21-year-old intern in the White House is not an honorable act. Lying under oath is not an honorable act.

If Mr. Edney finds fault with returning dignity to the White House I am sorry for him. This great country will survive and prosper under various political philosophies, but God help us all if we lose our personal honor.

Finally, the next time Mr. Edney or his loved ones face a natural disaster, he should look into the eyes of the National Guardsman who has left the safety and comfort of his own home and family to stack sandbags to protect a stranger's home and tell him his service is insignificant. Then put a call in to the nearest self-serving protester to help save your home.

Dale W. Hemman, Evans