Letter: A Salute to All Combat Veterans
To the Editor:
I applaud John O’Brien, not for mentioning the Doolittle Raiders in his Aug. 10 letter (“An Overdue Welcome Home”) and their final toast 71 years since their historic mission, but for his view that we should reach out and welcome home all the men and women who have fought our wars.
Everyone has the right to express views about actions taken by our government in declaring war on another nation, but that does not justify punishing those called upon to fight any particular war. We did not see any serious anti-war movement for entering World War II, but anti-government attacks did begin when we began to lose good men and women during the Korean War. Then came the Vietnam War, when a large number of Americans expressed a strongly anti-government attitude. This attitude is still present today in how veterans from that war are treated. These brave American veterans were put in a category of shame for doing a job ordered by their government. We see many in our towns and on city streets looking for handouts and sleeping in alleys. They are our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. They deserve the same treatment and respect that the Doolittle Raiders, the Band of Brothers and the Tuskegee airmen have been given over the decades.
I know I can speak for the surviving Doolittle Raiders and their families and friends, that no veteran who fought in any war to defend our country should be treated without total respect and honor, whether they fell in battle or are still recovering in a VA hospital. They gave their all in answering the call for service.
In a few months, the four remaining Doolittle Raiders will have their final toast to honor their departed friends who shared their historic mission, the first raid on the empire of Japan on April 18, 1942. They will also honor all of those who served in their war and the wars that followed. I hope you can all join us in saluting all our men and women who have and are serving our country.
Thomas G. Casey
Manager, Doolittle Tokyo Raiders