To the Editor:
I read Sheriff [Gary] Stolzer’s article in the paper [February 12 edition of the Herald] with interest.
I am sure he respects the military and believes in law and order. My father spent 28 years in the Army, including foreign service throughout World War II. My young childhood was spent living on and attending school on Army posts. I enlisted and spent four years in the Navy during Korea. My youngest son spent eight years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne seeing time in Desert Storm and Somalia and jumping into Panama during Noriega’s capture. My family respects military service as an honorable profession, and I feel we understand military do’s and don’t’s, what is expected in service to the country and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
At 87 years old, I’ve never been in prison. Like Sheriff Stolzer I believe in law and order.
The president, Donald Trump, who has complete ownership of the Republican Party, is the commander-in-chief. Higher military rank increases expectation. What Sherriff Stolzer and I feel is of little importance compared to that of the commander-in-chief, who is expected to set the best example of what our country has to offer.
Donald Trump received deferments to avoid military service, which he may have deserved. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know. He has had three generals working in the White House. They are now gone. He did not have to listen to them or do what they said, but the stars on their shoulders and hard years of service deserved some measure of respect. Instead, after leaving, they were insulted and vilified.
The sheriff seems to think you must blindly follow any order you are given. But, you must obey lawful orders.
If you are given what you think is an unlawful order, you should protest and report it to a senior.
Can you imagine how hard a choice that must be?
Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, answered a subpoena and testified under oath as to what was said. He did everything regulations called for. He told his dad not to worry, this is the United States. In return for following the rules, he was escorted from the White House grounds. Had he lied under oath, I am sure he would have been charged with perjury. In a country of laws, he was punished, at the direction of the commander-in-chief, for telling the truth.
The lieutenant colonel did two things Donald Trump has carefully not done. He served in the military and took an oath to tell the truth. Trump wanted a military investigation of Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. The Army, to its credit, said no.
I wonder if Sheriff Stolzer has seen the tape of the commander-in-chief, leader of the Republican Party’s disrespectful behavior during the national anthem at the Super Bowl. He should. This behavior was an insult to all who serve in uniform. What of his abuse of John McCain, a true patriot, American hero and decorated prisoner of war who chose not to use influence to dodge the draft but instead gave life-long service to our country, enduring great physical hardship throughout? How does Sheriff Stolzer feel about Republican leader Donald Trump’s attacks on this great man, who actually did believe in the laws of our country? In further disregard of law and order, President Trump speaks out in support of his pals, including Paul Manafort, convicted of fraud which was figured to cost the U.S. Treasury $6 million; and General Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning work for a foreign government. Trump has shown his willingness to try to use our Department of Justice against his enemies and for his cronies.
So Sheriff Stolzer, be aware that you are going not to the party of Honest Abe. It’s no longer there. Republicans are now the party of dishonest Donald Trump, to whom laws are to be ignored or used for retribution and personal enrichment.