With all respect for the Myra Thompsons of America, they're missing the point. Most veterans I know - myself included - didn't serve to get parades or free meals. We served to give all Americans the freedom to go about their business every day of the year, including Nov. 11.
My grandfather and his generation came back from the trenches of WWI to weather the Great Depression and rebuild America. My father and his generation came back from WWII to continue building the greatest nation the world has ever seen. My generation came back from Vietnam and Korea and West Germany to do our jobs and raise our children, and now our grandchildren.
If any American wants to truly honor a military veteran, all they have to do is live their lives, be happy and enjoy our nation's freedom. Remember, it's still being paid for every day somewhere in the world.
And by the way, my heartfelt thanks to Spaulding Elementary School's 4th' and 5th-graders for their absolutely incredible Veterans Day assembly.
ROBERT GRAHAM, Boise
Futility of war
We are trying to convince Iran to let us investigate its potential of developing a nuclear weapon. Of course, we are a part of the elite countries that have hundreds stored away right now. And we should also have the power to decide what other countries do. This has become our role as the empire builder in the world today. History would help us a bit right now. Iran once was Persia, and Alexander was the boss who decided the fate of other countries. Remember Nero and the Roman Empire?
Perhaps we should shed our togas for a moment and come to accept that empires do come, and they do go.
We have enough work to do right here and right now at home in America. This will be a tough shift from spending billions over there, and gradually begin to use that money here.
War may never make complete sense. But since WWII, beginning with Korea, then Vietnam, Iraq, now Afghanistan, it has become more and more useless and pointless. Oh, I may be biased as a WWII veteran, of course. But I want to share my thoughts.
THOMAS EDGAR, Boise
There are three of us Idahoan transplants from Bremerton, Wash., who were especially pleased to see the honor given to family friend, John Hawk, by the article in the Idaho Statesman, Nov. 10.
"Bud," as we all knew Mr. Hawk, was the college roommate of our father, Fred Larson, at the University of Washington after they had served in the European theater of WWII.
They remained close friends until our father's death in 1979. Bud gave the eulogy at our father's memorial service.
Bud received the Congressional Medal of Honor, four Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, the Distinguished Conduct Medal from the United Kingdom, and the French Legion of Honor. Yet he said that he was as proud of his accomplishments as an educator as he was of his role in WWII.
One T-shirt he wore gave an insight to his personality: big bold letters on a black shirt said, "S.O.B." and below that in smaller letters was, "Sweet Old Bud."
We invite people to learn more about the man by linking to the obituary page of the Kitsap Sun, the photo gallery and the guest book comments at www.miller-woodlawn.com.
CAROL SCHONEMAN, DEAN LARSON, JOYCE BROWN, Star
Regarding the letter from Bob Vickaryous: Your comment "since when has any federal worker ever done anything to keep our economy moving? Most of them are employed to help stifle what's left of a once vibrant and growing economy."
Quite a few of my family and friends are or were federal employees and quite of few are or were lifetime military.
We have made a contribution to this economy. We have bought land, homes, cars, etc. just like you have, along with making many sacrifices for this country. I have lost family in their service for this country, and I am very offended by your references.
The vast majority of federal employees are no different than you are, they have bills to pay and kids to raise.
But when the shutdown happened they were the first to not get paychecks. Did you have to deal with that Mr. Vickaryous or did the shutdown just make you mad?
Federal workers are going to have to deal with this whole scenario again in January when Congress does not do its job.
Please become more informed of what you speak of before you vote again so you are not part of the problem.
PAM PEREIRA, Boise