Saturday, June 15, 2024

Honoring the true patriots

| May 23, 2024 12:00 AM

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” (Maya Angelou)

Memorial Day is coming up. My father flew an Air Force C-47 delivering supplies to troops across the Aleutian Chain in Alaska. I lost one brother too soon due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving on a Navy sub in Vietnam (hatch lookout). Another brother, a Navy pilot, flew a C-130 in Vietnam and later in Antarctica.

One uncle fought the Fascists in Italy; another was a full colonel in the Air Force. My husband, a lieutenant in the Army, served as an instructor of leadership skills. Women and men friends have served as well. I honor them all.

I wish politicians wouldn't brag about their service in an unseemly manner to gain political points. I wish a certain presidential candidate hadn't egregiously evaded service in Vietnam (“bone spurs”), later disparaging veterans as “suckers” and “losers.”

I wish greed, power and wealth were not the driving forces in politics. I wish more women were in charge. I wish for peace. 

We must do better. This Memorial Day, I am honoring all those decent, courageous and moral men and women who have served our country well. They are the true patriots.

– Nancy Teggeman