DESERVING OF VETERANS’ STATUS
(These letters are in reference to a story that appeared in both the Nevada Appeal and Lahontan Valley News.)
Combat veterans are indeed worthy of special recognition and our nation’s gratitude. I have the highest regard for them, especially for those who were wounded and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
It’s humbling when considering their service to our nation. Enlisting in the armed forces during wartime comes with an expectation of combat duty, or at least an expectation of being put into harm’s way; but that decision isn’t theirs to make at the time of enlistment, nor anytime thereafter. Some are ordered into combat. Others are not. The type of service performed during peacetime also comes without guarantees.
In either case, all military personnel are fully trained and prepared for combat. That level of commitment and readiness is what keeps our nation strong and free.
Therefore, contrary to Mr. Wood’s opinion of Jan. 4, those who served without engaging in combat also deserve our gratitude and are no less entitled to be called “veterans.” Whatever inherent “benefits” accompany that title are merited and appreciated, even when we’re told, “Thank you for your service.”
After years of wrangling in Congress, the House and Senate finally voted to give veterans’ status to those men and women who never deployed for more than 179 straight days.
I take exception to John Woods’ insinuation that if a military member did not serve in a combat role or didn’t go on active duty, they shouldn’t receive the recognition.
Serving in the military is dedication and love to protect this country. Men and women did not join to earn a participation ribbon and then go home. I know a gentleman in the Nevada Guard who spent over 30 years of military duty as a technician. A technician serves his or her county but a technician is state service, not federal. In between wars, Mr. Woods, technicians were called to active duty, but the government made sure these individuals were only gone for fewer than 179 days so they would not receive the veterans’ designation and benefits.
Both members of the Guard and Reserve attend the same active-component schools, receive the same training, deploy to hot zones and serve their country. Over the years the Guard and Reserve have trained side by side with their active-duty counterparts.
To discount a solider or sailor or airman who spent more than 20 years in the Guard or Reserves is ludicrous, especially when many other military personnel during peacetime punched their ticket with a two-year commitment.
Argument in favor of electoral college
There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won 57. There are 62 counties in New York State. Trump won 46 of them. Clinton won 16. Clinton won the popular vote by approximately 2.3 million (1.8 percent) of total votes.
In the five counties that encompass New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond and Queens), Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won four of these counties; Trump won Richmond). Therefore these five counties alone more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.
These five counties comprise 319 square miles. The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles. When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election. Large, densely populated Democrat cities (New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.) don’t and shouldn’t speak for the rest of the country.
If you want California and New York to decide the fate of our country forever, ban the electoral college.