Honor Afghan War’s veterans

Published 9:42 pm Thursday, October 9, 2014

By Ed Fancher

Very few of our politicians have tasted the sting of combat. Instead they mostly just talk. While our military personnel fight wars, the politicians do photo ops with their sleeves rolled up and make war faces for the TV cameras.

In Vietnam, America’s youth fought in the rice paddies and jungles for a war started by politicians. After almost a decade, the war was at a standstill. In fact, North Vietnam was almost ready to capitulate when they were offered an opportunity to attend a peace conference. After the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong Harbor they quickly accepted.

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Included in the peace agreement was the stipulation that they would allow the South Vietnamese to manage themselves, and the U.S. would supply the South Vietnamese with arms and other material support.

Instead, our Democrat-controlled Congress, fearing for their jobs, simply turned its back on both our military and the Vietnamese by going back on its word to support South Vietnam.

All those American lives lost and so many more wounded fighting a political war, and to what end?

As for South Vietnam, the communists from the North murdered untold thousands of innocent people. To this day, many Vietnam veterans carry bitter feelings over what our government did to them.

Fast forward to 2011. President Obama tells America the war in Iraq is over, and al Qaeda is on the run, all just in time for the 2012 election. Now we find out that the war was not really over, and are the people of Iraq and America paying a price for that mistake.

Consider all those American lives lost, all those wounded men and women who fought in Iraq. Just like Vietnam, our allies were deserted, and Washington turned its back on our troops after they fought their hearts out.

Americans now know al Qaeda did not disappear, and today under new names they are back stronger than ever. So here we are facing yet another crisis in the Middle East.

My humble advice to this White House is to get off the golf course, turn off the Sports Channel, and forget about the fundraising trips for the November elections.

Americans are at war and I want and expect to see some leadership. They must listen to what our military commanders are telling them. No petty politics, no negotiating with Islamic terrorists, no more games.

Is it not time to worry more about our country than keeping their high paying jobs and government perks?

This time, how about really supporting our troops and allow our military leaders to finish the job the way they know best. And when our troops do come home, make sure they are taken better care of this time.

Nobody wants boots on the ground, but if that is what it takes, don’t lose valuable time waiting until after the election. Isn’t it about time somebody accepts responsibility for this mess they put us in? This White House must start showing leadership.

May God bless and protect the brave men and women of our American military.

Ed Fancher is a Vietnam veteran, having served from 1969 to 1972.