Respect opinions of troops

I am writing in response to David Morain’s column. In it, he makes statements about an e-mail passed along by me containing a letter written by Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.). As a Master Gunnery Sergeant, Evans attained the highest rank an enlisted man can achieve. He fought honorably for his country for 30 years. Evans expressed thought provoking words. Mr. Morain thought about the letter a lot, as he criticized Sgt. Evans saying that “anyone who believed the tripe contained within that particular e-mail doesn’t know shit about reality.”

He isn’t the first one to question this letter, or why I sent it. I know that not everyone is anti-war, and I was tired of reading e-mails of this sentiment. I felt it was important that people could read views of someone who actually experienced conflict – not just sat on their asses and watched it on TV. I was told that I was “so egocentric” it made someone “sick”. I was called by a student and told there would be blood on my hands because of the innocents killed in Iraq. Now I am being criticized by someone who says that everything Sgt. Evans said was nothing more than “utter nonsense some illogical malcontent felt the need to expound upon”.

Now let me tell you something: unless you are facing the barrel of a gun, you don’t have a clue what it is like to be in the military. I don’t have a clue either. But let me tell you who does have a clue: Evans, MGySgt., or anyone in the military. He is not an illogical malcontent. Out of respect for his service to our country, for that matter only, he should never be called that. I ask that Dave Morain call MGySgt. Evans and tell him that he believes he is a “illogical malcontent” I ask Dave Morain to tell anyone else in the Marines or in the service that.

I ask all of you who spout just war theories and anti-war signs how much do you know about war? Have you ever seen your friend/family die in front of you because you were protecting your country? Innocent people always die. Because people are different, there will never be complete peace. No more can we pretend that everyone will get along.

On September 11th we were caught off guard. Now, we are standing up and fighting. When G.W. Bush was elected, I didn’t get how I received better grades than he did. But ole’ George is right about something: Hussein needs to be taken out of power. One professor contemplated how Saddam was a threat to the USA. Hussein has no qualms about killing his own people for fun – you think he cares about self-righteous Americans? He killed 300,000 people, six times the amount killed in Vietnam. Do you believe he will say, “Well, some people in the US are anti-war, I won’t use my weapons against them”?

Our troops are the ones who were given the orders to get rid of Saddam, come home and be saluted. These people are honorable. These people give their life for us. These people, like MGySgt. Evans, are the reason you have the right to criticize the government and president. These people are protecting our lives right now. They deserve respect, not mindless drivel from a student who pretends to know all about war.

Live your life how you please, but pray for your troops and respect them. You might not agree with what is going on, but each and every single one of the people fighting the war that is “not just” is fighting for your life. Take that into consideration the next time you think that you want to criticize. And wonder if next time, because no one fought that war- you won’t be alive to do so.

Katie Byrd

Guest Contributor