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WAR ‘AN UGLY THING,’ SOMETIMES UNAVOIDABLE

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Posted: Friday, June 10, 2016 1:17 pm

After reading Sam Moore’s beautifully written column titled “Attempting again to honor the hallowed dead” in Wednesday’s Bandera Bulletin, I feel compelled to offer a reply. My father, a veteran of World War II with Purple Heart and Silver Star medals, brought our young family to live in conquered Japan in the 1950’s. It took two nuclear bombs to create peace in that country. Japan remains our ally today. 

My husband, an RF-4 Phantom pilot early in his Air Force career, stoically endured the war in Southeast Asia. After decades of service, he finished by commanding the last nuclear missile base built in England. It reminded the world that America was still serious about protecting itself and its allies. Shortly thereafter, Russia did sign the INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.

Yes, some will focus on the “weeping of our young who are sent to fight wars they do not understand,” in Sam Moore’s eloquent words. But there are others with the wisdom to know that there truly is evil in the world, people who hate us and really do want to kill us in the most brutal ways possible. ISIS is but one example. 

The United States military forces are now composed entirely of volunteers. One of them, Pete Hegseth, explained that, “We don’t fight because we hate what is in front of us, but because we love what is behind us.” I’d like to believe that Sam Moore, as well, has something or someone he’d actually risk his life for. 

On the wall in our home is a plaque that declares:

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

I am proud that both of our sons embrace this idea. In choosing to serve and protect, they have become better men.

Kathy Harbaugh

Pipe Creek

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