LETTER: Opinion pieces

Rich Kiper

To the editor:

On Aug. 13, the Leavenworth Times published a letter to the editor by a military wife.

I must express my deepest respect and appreciation for what the letter writer and thousands of military wives endure to support their husbands.

During 26 years of active duty in a variety of infantry and Special Forces assignments, including Vietnam, my wife of almost 53 years was by my side. For six years, I was an Army contractor which included time in Afghanistan. During those times, as well as uncounted days and weeks away from home for training, she was left with keeping our household running. She was magnificent. She, and I expect the writer, epitomize the slogan “Military Wife: The Toughest Job in the Army.”

I take issue, though, with the writer’s disparaging remarks about President Trump. I acknowledge he has flaws which annoy me to no end. My focus is on what he does, not necessarily what he says.

Counting my four years as a West Point cadet and time as a contractor, I served under nine presidents. I may have had personal likes for some and dislike for others, but I was a professional and my job was to obey the lawful orders of those over me. Anything else was irrelevant.

In her letter she says she “can’t imagine the uncertainty” that current soldiers and families “must be experiencing.” Since she can’t imagine it, how can she project their feelings about the president?

She writes that leaders “would rather protect their personal reputations and political party than protect the nation’s volunteer force.” She cites no examples.

Trump increased military spending across the board. Would she prefer that her husband go into combat with outdated equipment? Were Trump’s orders to destroy ISIS, kill Qasam Soleimani and withdraw troops protecting his party’s reputation?

She charged the president with using West Point graduates “as props.” Does she believe that the 13 previous presidents who spoke at West Point graduations were also using cadets “as props?”

Inexplicably, she declares that the president holding a water glass with two hands and walking slowly down a ramp are indicators of “apparent failings.”

Why she found his speech to be “a rambling political stump speech” is beyond me. I found it to be well-constructed, patriotic and uplifting. What exactly does she consider rambling or political in the speech?

Does she consider Trump’s praise for the military battling “the invisible enemy” (COVID-19) and his saying “We will vanquish the virus. We will extinguish the plague” to be political?

As an Airborne Ranger, I was thrilled that the president mentioned exploits at Pointe-de-Hoc and behind German lines on D-Day. Was that political?

Was extolling the achievements of graduating cadets rambling?

Was mentioning soldiers such as Gens. Eisenhower, Patton, McArthur and Bradley rambling?

President Trump acknowledged the current turbulent time. Does she object to his saying that the country’s future depends on “men and women just like you” (referring to the cadets)? How does she translate that to be a “sham?”

Letters to the editor are opinion pieces. I disagree with her opinion about our president.