There are still about 67,000 U.S. soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines… (Daniel Zender / For The Times )
Re "Waiting for the last plane out," Opinion, Dec. 23
I had tears in my eyes reading David Freed's Op-Ed article about not seeing his son, who is probably stationed in Afghanistan, this Christmas. I share his feelings of longing to be with a son at familiar family outings.
My son flies air cover on six-hour missions over Afghanistan from the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower. From 20,000 feet he looks down on a land that seems so desolate and bleak. He is grateful not to be stationed on the ground, but he's perfectly willing to fly close to the ground to protect his comrades in arms. He was not home for Christmas.
I too have to wonder we why we are still there spending so much money to prop up a nation of loosely linked tribes and villages. If our mission was to get those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, mission accomplished. Now, let's leave.
R. Pierce Onderdonk
No parent wants his child to die or be wounded while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Also, let us remember that we have had a volunteer armed forces for a long time. The American people don't choose which wars we should wage.
Freed wants his son, and all our sons and daughters, back home because he believes the war we are engaged in in Afghanistan against the Taliban cannot be won.
There is only one problem: Our government still believes that the mission can still be accomplished, even if it takes forever. It also doesn't act as if there is a limit on how many lives are lost or how much treasure is spent to accomplish our goals.
This is why it has been, and continues to be, my feeling that no American should volunteer into our armed forces.
Freed's piece about his soldier son in harm's way resonates with every parent who has ever had a son or daughter in the military.
When I served my two combat tours in Vietnam, my mother said a prayer every day I was there. Now I have nephews and grandchildren serving in a war that very much resembles my experiences in Vietnam. Afghanistan is occupied by people whose loyalties extend only to their villages and their tribe.
As the death toll continues to mount, I fear there will be no victory for us in Afghanistan; nor will there be, as Richard Nixon once said, peace with honor.
Ronald A. Moya
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