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.


At 30 November, 2013 20:43, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sir or Ma'am:
You have republished my letter to the editor of the Washington Post on your blog. From what I have been able to determine by searching "Operation Yellow Elephant" on the web, your organization seeks to call out as cowards Republicans who argued for and/or support the war in Iraq but who do not themselves go and fight it.
It seems to me that by posting my letter with the comment, "Welcome to Operation Yellow Elephant," you are casting me as a so-called "yellow elephant."
You are mistaken on two counts: I am neither a Republican nor a coward.
I am a registered voter, but have no party affiliation. I deployed for two year-long tours in Iraq as a soldier in the U.S. Army. I also fought in the Persian Gulf War.
My letter was intended to evoke in readers a sense of the responsibilities inherent in citizenship and call them to at least consider military service. My letter clearly indicates that the decision to serve is deeply personal and that all productive citizens are valuable to the nation and are worthy of respect.
Cowardice is worthy of shame, but affiliation with a political party certainly is not. Indeed, a registered voter with any party affiliation is likely to be a citizen actively engaged in the electoral process, as every eligible citizen ought to be.
I do not wish for my letter to be used to advance your political agenda. I request that you remove my letter from your web site immediately.

Peter Haas

At 31 December, 2013 18:58, Blogger OYE said...

Dear Mr. Haas-

Thank you for your comment; we regret any delay.

Please be assured that we are in complete agreement with you and that you are NOT, in any way, a Yellow Elephant.

Members of Operation Yellow Elephant have consistently expressed the same views as you, as clarified in our updated OYE Comment.

Thank you for your service, and for contributing to positive, civil political dialogue in our country.


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