Survey response

Survey response

February 03, 1991

PERSIAN GULF WAR IS OUR FINEST HOUR

From: Sandie Boden

Bel Air

My letter is in response to your Jan. 13 survey pertaining to thePersian Gulf crisis. We are a country torn apart by our reasons for being there, our deep concern for our armed forces and the families back home, and most of all, the fear that lies the heaviest in our hearts -- the fear of possibly having to face the grim realities of war.

This unfortunate situation has certainly hit close to home with me and my family.

My brother (whom I love dearly) is in the Navy and has been stationed on a ship in the Persian Gulf since August 26. My husband (whom I dearly love) is in the Air National Guard. Althoughhis unit has not yet been called to duty (thank God), we know that could change at any given moment. We live each day hanging by a threadand do our best to never give up hope.

Anyone who is directly associated with someone in the military already knows that the agonies of war. The day I stood in the airport and said goodbye to my brother was the hardest goodbye I've ever had to say -- wondering if that would be the last time I'd see him smile or the last time that I could ever hug him. I cry for him every day. I pray for him every day, as well as for all of our troops. I miss

him terribly.

If the need should arise that my husband must go, then not only will I have to say goodbye to the father of our two small children but also to my very best friend and half of everything that I am. It, to say the least, would be devastating.

Now with war, I sit here filled with the risk ofhaving so much to lose, my anger is not for the American intervention in the Mideast. I respect the reason why we are there. The men and women in our armed forces are serving a very significant purpose.

Don't even try to convince me that this "worldwide" conflict all comes down to a material objective. I have much more confidence in our government's leadership than to think that they would place more value on a barrel of oil than a human life. Too many people are hiding behind that excuse because it is the easiest way to belittle our motives and therefore make our military presence unjustifiable. I think we all know that the issues and answers are not that simple.

Not one ofus wants to resort to war. Not one of us wants to be faced with the grief and sorrow that comes with it. And absolutely not one of us would ever want to be in the position to have to make that very final decision.

I highly commend the leaders of our government for the manner in which they have handled the situation. I sincerely believe that President Bush and members of the United Nations have done everything to try to reach a peaceful resolution. We have shown great restraint and diplomacy every step of the way. We bowed down to Saddam Hussein so that he could bow out gracefully, but instead he opted for the final curtain call. Now he has left us no alternative.

We are up against a very strong and powerful force. Terrorism may be the greatest enemy we have ever faced. The shame of it all is that in this worldthat is changing so rapidly -- for the better -- we are still falling victim to "Third World" tyrants who have such a strangling grip on all of us with their threats and acts of violence. I abhor their arrogance and the fact that they can stand before the world, and boldly and without blinking an eye, tell us who they will attack next.

I despise their disrespect for human beings and humanity -- they have proven to the world that they do not desire peace. Assault and aggression is a game to them and they have met their greatest challenge of all, the United States of America.

Although other nations stand withus, it is unfortunate that, as we've done so often in our past, the United States will have to make the biggest sacrifice. But at the same time, as our history portrays, we have always paid a very high price for our freedoms -- once again we are in a position to protect and defend them. It is that very passion and courage that burns inside each and every one ofus that has made this country the great nation that it is today.

Sure, it's scary and we are all afraid, but this isan issue we have been been battling for too long. We cannot close our eyes and make this "monster" go away. Something has to be done now.

This may very well be the beginning of a long, hard road ahead --but it may be the beginning of the end for these destructive dictators and their reigns of terror. Let us hope that a lesson was learned through all of this. I hope that now the United Nations passes some sort of law that if a situation such as this, involving acts of aggression, holding of hostages and threats of terrorism, ever surfaces again -- I believe that the single driving force behind the crime shouldbe removed by way of death, in any way, shape or form that is necessary.

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