War's importance lost on candidate

Jim Whitehead's comment that "Iraq has not been a big thing in our district" because it's not in our back yard is disturbing.

As a retired soldier and parent of a soldier serving in Iraq, I am very concerned about the war. The Iraq war and 3,422 American dead (as of May 21) may not be a front-burner issue for Mr. Whitehead - he apparently thinks voter fraud is more important - but most of us are very concerned. He says he supports our troops. However, his words suggest he is more concerned about protecting tax dollars. He avoids discussing Iraq and portrays the war as only "another issue."

Does he realize that virtually all of the Army's equipment is worn out and needs replaced to maintain readiness in a dangerous world? Does he know what this will cost? With each additional tour in Iraq, soldiers face increased risks of post-traumatic stress and other emotional disorders, and many are on their fourth tour. Post-concussion syndrome from constant exposure to improvised explosive devices often results in permanent brain damage. We are saving more wounded soldiers than ever before, but many are coming home with severe disabilities. We must care for these self-sacrificing veterans for years to come.

Does Mr. Whitehead realize how much this will cost? Where will this money come from? Our soldiers are enduring unspeakable hardships for our freedom, and need our real support! We must put our money where our mouths are. Mr. Whitehead waves the flag and supports our troops as long as it doesn't cause a tax increase. He talks about ending special projects, but he wants to fight to return the money to us instead of rebuilding our army and caring for soldiers.

Supporting our military and maintaining a safe and free America requires sacrifice and money. Jim Whitehead doesn't get it, and we need someone who does.

Robert W. Thomas, Evans

(Editor's note: The writer is a retired U.S. Army colonel.)

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