Here is my letter I am sending to Rep Charles Rangel from NY. It seems he has upset a lot of military people with his idiotic comment. Check out this from Matt @ Blackfive, this from Froggy @ Blackfive, and lastly this from Uncle Jimbo also at Blackfive
Here's my letter;
Hon Charles Rangel
163 West 125th Street, Suite #737
New York, NY 10027
While I am not one of your constituents I am a citizen of this great country and feel it is only right that I contact you about your recent statement concerning my brothers and sisters in the U.S Military. It appears that your opinion is a bit flawed and your statement is very disheartening to me and to many others in today’s military. Sir, to refresh your memory I will quote part of your statement, you said;
“ No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has the option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq”.
How can you be so sure of this? Have you spoken to many of today’s soldiers? Have you checked the internet and read some of the blogs that these brave and talented men and women have created? Have you even taken the time to learn the names of those in your district who are serving and asked their families about them, not about what they are doing in Iraq, but about who they are and what their motivation was for joining the military. Today’s military is an all volunteer force of talented, motivated and intelligent individuals who serve in dangerous times despite being well educated on the dangers. In past war’s those who volunteered or were drafted only had the bits and pieces of information from the newspaper or the TV or Radio news, their only first hand knowledge may have come from an uncle or cousin who was serving in the military at the time. Today’s communications mediums make it so we can see nearly live video of fire fights in Iraq or Afghanistan, we can read first hand accounts from the soldiers who lived through these firefights and read their tributes to their friends and brother who didn’t make it through. Yet, today large numbers of young men and women are enlisting in the Army and many are also re-enlisting each day. Why? Well everyone’s reasons are different, yes maybe some are, as you say, taking the only way out of a nowhere town in hopes of a better life, yet you cannot paint them all with the same brush. Many have enlisted because they felt a calling to do it much like a priest or minister, many have done it because their fathers did it or their mother did it, some felt it was something they needed to do, and many more did it out of a sense of patriotic duty.
I ask you Sir, how can you paint everyone with such a wide brush? How can an African American paint any group in our society with a wide brush? Would you take offense if a Congressman or Senator from Texas made a statement that all of the African American’s from Harlem are just out to get on the welfare rolls because they have no ambition in life? I am sure you would be right there beside many others who would protest that comment and most likely demand that man or woman’s immediate resignation. To me your comment is no less insensitive or wrong and today’s Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen deserve the same respect as any other citizen of this great country of ours.
In closing sir, I would like to say that while I may not agree with what you have said, I will fight to the death to protect your ability to say it and my ability to respond to it.