Originally created 10/30/04

Online Only: Combat vet backs Bush

When I saw on television what happened on 9-11, my thoughts went back to Pearl Harbor and what happened to this country. I had been in the U.S. Army about two years in the 2nd Armored Division.

In November 1942, my unit went to North Africa, and for the next 30 months we were involved in combat in seven major battles. I returned to Florida in July 1945. I was scared most of the time during my combat experiences, and cried when I saw some of my closest buddies killed or wounded. I can't remember a member of my unit coming home before our mission was completed, except when ordered to do so.

What do I remember from my military experience? President Franklin Roosevelt's "four freedoms speech" - especially when he talked of freedom from fear. I don't think there were many days during my service in combat when soldiers didn't have some fear in the back of their minds ... .

My unit during those 30 months fought on the beach, in the mountains and cities and villages. I mention this because I think if our troops in Iraq did not have to worry about civilians in the area, they would have swept through like we did across France. It is hard to pull the trigger when children and old people are in the area... .

I will vote for President Bush because I feel my family and friends will not have to live in fear. The country demanded that President Bush take action after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and he did. And it was the correct action to take. Let's get behind President Bush and the Republican Party in this election.

John P. Clements, Augusta


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