We should pay respect for the many men and women who have made it possible for us to enjoy the many freedoms

To the Times-Gazette:

We are entering the favorite part of the year for many people, the holiday season. The term “holiday season” is used because Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years falls within a time span of a few weeks of each other.

A special day precedes the holidays where we should pay respect for the many men and women who have made it possible for us to enjoy the many freedoms we have which include celebrating the holidays associated with the holiday season. That special day is Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.

Our veterans have fought and protected our freedoms since our great country became a country. The World War II veterans saved the world from tyranny. The veterans since World War II have protected our freedoms. Way too many of our veterans have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. El Dorado has lost more than its share of young men to war. There were 55 young men who attended El Dorado High School that were killed in World War II. The Korean War claimed four young men who attended El Dorado High School. The Vietnam War took the lives of eight young men who attended El Dorado High School.

One of the best books on war is “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young”. The book was made into an excellent movie over ten years ago titled “We Were Soldiers Once”. The co-author of the book is LTG Harold Moore (Ret). Moore was the battalion commander of the unit the book and movie documents.

Moore’s wife, Julia, was an ideal Army wife who took the lead in offering support for other spouses of her husband’s battalion. I have read other books about the Moore’s. A passage I read from Mrs. Moore illustrated the deep love of a child and mother. One of the Moore’s sons was in the military and he called his mother to inform her that he was deploying during the first Gulf War. Mrs. Moore broke down in tears at the news. The son trying to comfort his mother reminded his mother that her dad had fought in World War I and World War II and that her husband had fought in Korea and Vietnam. Mrs. Moore interrupted her son and said, “You do not understand one #@!* thing about this. You can replace a husband but you can never replace a son.”

If a child loses a parent the word for the child is orphan. If a spouse loses a spouse the word for the surviving spouse is widow or widower. There is not a word for a parent who loses a child. Veteran’s Day is also a time we should honor parents who have lost a child or children in war.

The words of Clausewitz written over 150 years ago ring in truth even today, “No one starts a war – or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so – without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it.”

The War on Terrorism we are currently fighting in my opinion is very justifiable. If we were not fighting the terrorists on their territory we would be fighting them in our country. I worked in Afghanistan from June 2011 to 2012 for a contractor. I lived, worked, ate, and socialized with our service members during that time. Our service members are doing a great job under extreme adverse conditions.

The military should be fighting the war without interference from the political side. The military knows warfare so let them fight the wars.

Veterans, thank you for our freedoms.

Larry McNown

El Dorado