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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

To One Vet, the New Gripes Seem Lightweight

August 30, 2004

Re "Pricey War for Grunts' Families," Commentary, Aug. 25:

Gee, I'm all choked up. As a veteran I follow all things military with great interest, but I had no idea it was so bad for our troops in Iraq. I almost cried when I read about the guy who ran up a $7,600 phone bill.

Give me his name and address; I would like to help him with his bill.

And a father spending $200 per month to send goodies to his son because he doesn't like Army chow; what an unbelievable sacrifice.

In my 11 months of combat with the Marine Corps in Vietnam, I now thank God that all I had to worry about each day was getting both my legs blown off or getting a bullet between my eyes. Because I never got closer than 10 miles from a phone, I avoided the burden of long-distance phone bills. As for Army chow, I didn't have to worry about that either because most of the time I ate good old Marine Corps C-rations.

Jack Swallows

San Juan Capistrano

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