While my daughter and I sat in the Hotel Pub, waiting for our dinner, an elderly couple leaned over and advised against the “fried chicken special”. One thing led to another and soon, I had learned, that besides being well advised not to order the fried chicken, the gentleman had been in the Army, stationed in Berlin right before the Berlin Wall was erected. He talked about the America he had defended 60 years ago, and the America he knew now. He spoke about the evils of socialism, government restrictions upon individual freedoms, and the essential righteousness of democracy. He shook his head as he talked about gun control that would erode 2nd Amendment rights without affecting in the least the corrosive effects of evil. He spoke of the eroding of the family, of the sanctity of marriage, of the moral underpinnings that had formed the basis of government when America was a tender shoot, just pushing aside the soil of tyranny.
“What the hell are they doing?” he asked.
He finished his dinner and left, walking slowly with a limp. A second elderly couple leaned over and asked me if the man I’d been chatting with had been a war veteran.
“Yes,” I said.
“I was in the Air Force, in Viet Nam,” said the man, “I was responsible for flying recon, and drawing enemy fire. Then I would radio to the bombers the enemy position.”
He told me he didn’t think about the danger. He thought about the mission, and the desire to serve, and to help his country. He didn’t tell his wife about how dangerous his work was. She never learned till much later how unlikely his survival with such a job might be. It didn’t matter. He knew that what he was fighting against was communism, and while his fellow citizens might not even honor what he had done till much later, he understood that it was a fight worth taking on.
“Thank you for your service,” I told him.
“You’re welcome,” he said, his eyes glistening.
A third elderly couple a few tables away turned around, and said, “And now, the government is taking it all away. All we fought for. All our freedoms. Not one of those gun control laws will keep evil away. What the hell are they doing?”
This is not the America they fought for. Those men fought for freedom, for righteousness, for democracy. They had all raised families and taught them to love God, love their country, and honor freedom. They never envisioned their government would seize control from the people in the way it seems determined to do now. They never thought we would try to emulate the socialist regimes that stood on the other side of the Berlin Wall. They never envisioned a country that would ridicule people of faith, suggest that a marriage might not comprise a man and a woman, or that government should replace parents, church, and community as the social welfare authority. That is not what they risked their lives for.
A recent Army training manual claimed that America’s #1 Religious Extremist enemy were Christian Evangelists. Not Muslim extremists, not Al Qaeda, not the KKK, but Evangelical Christians.
What the hell are they doing?
By: Vicky Kaseorg
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