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Antiwar Protesters Are Trying to Save Lives

February 09, 2003

Re "Some Oppose War, Some Oppose Protest," Feb. 2:

The grandma from San Clemente is concerned that her Navy recruit grandson and his buddies are not getting support from home with all the antiwar demonstrations and protests. She should tell her grandson that the antiwar protesters are trying to save him and his buddies from being sacrificed in an unnecessary war promoted by President Bush and his war hawks in Washington.

G.S. Foley

Santa Ana

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Mary Monk tells us that her grandson is in the Navy and that antiwar activities hurt his morale. As a career Marine officer and Vietnam War veteran, my reply is that we who oppose this war do so partly so that the life of her grandson and thousands of other U.S. servicemen and blameless Iraqi civilians will not be wasted.

If the president wants to ensure his own reelection, he might better use his energies in serious attempts to improve our economy rather than in unjustified wars to divert our attention from it.

I realize that Monk's grandson is just doing his job, and I hold him blameless. I was just doing my job in Vietnam, and so were my friends who died there. But hindsight tells us that it would have been better if an enlightened citizenry had been able to prevent the war in the first place.

I doubt that many of the widows and children of the men who died there think they died in a worthy cause, and I don't want to see Monk in the same position.

I'm no pacifist, and I continue to believe that our country needs a military to defend its interests in a dangerous world. I suppose that is why I stayed on after Vietnam and completed a 20-year career. I was willing to risk my life if our nation's interests made it necessary, but I didn't want to risk it to build the egos of politicians who never went near combat or to line the pockets of their oil-industry friends.

We owe Monk's grandson the same consideration.

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente

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