The Wounded Warriors
To the Editor:
A reflection on The Sag Harbor Express’ interview with Chris Carney relating to the rehabilitative event and fundraiser to benefit The Wounded Warrior project. I commend Chris’ compassion to help soldiers’ rehabilitation returning from Iraq and now Afghanistan. He gave birth to the tremendous need for the resources to care for these guys which grew so widespread around the country. We call them heroes in Iraq; but when they return, untold numbers go untreated due to lack of medical facilities.
Just one example…
A few years after the Iraq war began Army doctors at the Pentagon said, “The story of this war will be about PTSD, and we don’t have the facilities to care for them.” Recently a woman professor at the Kennedy School of Government in Washington provided research on this enormous problem. She learned that 28,000 of our soldiers returning from combat were classified with “personality disorders” and fired from the Army, totally abandoned. A week later, the Pentagon confirmed the story as being true. War becomes brutal and inhuman, especially when self-inflicted.
Once again I thank Chris for his involvement and service to the American people and the wounded warriors still returning home.
Fighting for Freedom
Regarding “Glorifying War” (Letters to the Editor, Sag Harbor Express, July 16), the Fourth of July is not the celebration of freedom and a document. It is a celebration of an ideal and a great experiment; an experiment that a nation can be ruled by its citizens; that freedom and liberty can trump despotism and bondage. An enlightened document announced that a people were ready to die for that experiment — a nation, this nation, was ready to be free.
A firework is, by its own nature, a rocket, a shell, a mortar, a bomb; but one of joy, victory and triumph. So next year while we watch the fireworks over the harbor we should, each in our own time, stop oohing for a moment and remember all those over the ages who have stood, continue to stand, and too often died, under much less benign bombs.
Freedom, liberty, and independence are most often preceded by blood, and in a nation that fields a fully volunteer military we need to remember this. They don’t fight for “Death,” they fight for that same ideal … Freedom.
“And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” exist in the opening verse of the “Star Spangled Banner,” the final verse reminds us “O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand, Between their loved ones’ homes and the war’s desolation!”
The “bombs bursting in air” do not glorify war … they glorify the resilience of the few, to withstand the onslaught of the many; literally a small garrison withstood a massive naval attack, but in a larger sense Freedom stands its ground against the precedent of Tyranny.
The sad truth his, we can, and should, stand for Peace … but we must fight for Freedom.
Don’t Leave Health Care to the Politicians
I was fortunate to grow up as an American in New York at a time when being a New Yorker meant being in the center of world culture, ideas, opportunity and belief that with passion and commitment anything was possible.
We believed that if something was wrong, if social systems broke down, if our country was hurting, we could change minds, change hearts and make change happen.
Nothing less than total Health Care Reform is needed – right now. We believe the only choice is a “single payer” system. The Medicare system could be expanded to include lower age groups. Polls are showing that about two-thirds of the public would favor a Medicare-for-all single payer system. About 60 percent of physicians favor Medicare-for-all as well. We are the only advanced country in the world that has chosen for profit health care and we are at the mercy of for-profit businesses, whose purpose is to maximize income and not to provide health. Here we have for-profit insurance companies that maximize their income by denying care to the people who need it most.
My husband is a Canadian who has been living in the United States for many years and had fifteen years or so experience with the Canadian Single Payer system including its inception. Our son was born in Toronto. We have nothing but praise for the Canadian system.
On Bill Moyers Journal July 24th discussion on healthcare reform with leading healthcare journalists, Trudy Lieberman and Marcia Angell, M.D., both journalists advocated a “single payer” system in which a single federal agency would replace and eliminate the private health insurance industry.
We can’t leave this debate to politicians in Washington to decide our future. We must be at the center of this process; we must use every opportunity to create a better future for all Americans.
Susan and Eoin Sprott