Palo Alto, Iraq and questions about our responsibilities
Original post made by Andrew L. Freedman, College Terrace, on Jan 23, 2007
I love it here in Palo Alto where I've lived my entire life. I did, however, live elsewhere when I served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the mid-'70s in ground infantry. While it's a different kind of warfare (and warfare training) than in the 70s, I can relate to what our troops are going through.
While attending Wilbur Junior High in 1969, I attended war protests at Frost Ampletheater, Be-Ins at El Camino Park and, like many others around me, spoke out and demonstrated in the people's protest of our government in sending troops to Viet Nam. I knew of 2 older brothers of acquaintances who had died in Viet Nam at that time.
I'm working my "second tour of duty" at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center. After a 20 hiatus working as an administrative assistant for some good Palo Alto companies, I came back to the VA 5 years ago. Just to brag a little, this is the best medical center in this area!
Like other federal employees, I've taken that certain oath to uphold the constitution and recently, I had qualms about whether I am fulfilling that oath.
In 4th grade at the original Herbert Hoover, I recall our teacher saying that it had only been less than 20 years since the atrocities in Germany. We discussed why the civilian population appeared to have done little while their government was invading other courtiers, killing innocent folks, etc.
What's happening now with our government obviously is not the same as what had occurred in Germany.
I don't know all the details. I just know that what is taking place in Iraq in connection to the U.S. involvement is somehow not right. And simply framing it as right or wrong, big or small, doesn't say enough. And I wonder now whether, in light of that oath, I have any other duties or responsibilities other than what I do now.
We live in such a beautiful community and I just don't want to lose sight of what our government (our representatives) is doing elsewhere.