Saturday, November 30, 2013

Picking up their check

OYE 109 in action, from Letters to the Editor of The Washington Post:

Is gratitude to American military personnel misplaced? Published November 19

I was troubled by Chris Marvin’s Nov. 11 op-ed, “You’re welcome,” and letter writer Richard Lampl’s Nov. 15 response “Showing gratitude where it’s due.” My husband and I always make a point of thanking military personnel, and on many occasions we have anonymously picked up the tab of servicemen if we are dining at the same restaurant. Saying “thank you for your service,” while cliched, seems to me to be a very appropriate way to show our appreciation of what they do. But it seemed these two writers were saying they don’t want such expressions of gratitude from rank-and-file Americans.
Do many military personnel feel this way? If so, we’ll stop saying thank you. Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that “thank you” and “have a nice day” mean something when spoken from the heart.
Mindy Conway, Centreville, VA  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

from The Washington Post

A Letter to the Editor, published November 10, 2013.

Making the choice to serve in the military

There's a bumper sticker I occasionally see that reads, "If You Love Your Freedom, Thank a Vet."

I suggest that if you love your freedom, consider becoming a vet. Think about donning a uniform yourself, or talk to your children about joining the military after high school or college. Citizenship comes with responsibilities, such as voting, obeying the law, respecting the rights of others and defending the republic. Somebody has to do it. Why not you? Why not your kid?

The fact is that we need most people to be productive members of the private sector, engaging honorably in the commerce that drives our economy.  We should rightly respect those who choose to contribute in ways other than military Service.  Choosing the uniform is a very personal decision.  Indeed, it is a choice that we are blessed to have; some nations still have universal compulsory military service.

Unfortunately, however, I think many — if not most — people don’t make a choice not to serve; they never consider it among their options in the first place. 
Peter Haas, Manassas, VA
Updated OYE Comment:  Welcome to Operation Yellow Elephant.  By this, we mean that we applaud - and agree with - the views you express.  Members of Operation Yellow Elephant are NOT the Yellow Elephants themselves; quite the contrary.  We, along with you, merely ask that those eligible to serve, who support what our country is trying to do through military action overseas, consider joining our military themselves.  Thank you.