Letter to the Editor

War heroes keep their memories to themselves

Friday, September 12, 2008

To the editor:

Who are heroes? The dictionary says a hero is a figure in mythology and legend renown for exceptional courage and fortitude. My heroes are those who go fearless to war to save freedom for all.

There is the soldier who returns home to speak only once of seeing his brother blown up beside him on a ship at sea. There is an uncle who lay wounded in a foxhole with his buddy's blown-up body parts lying across his shoulders and face. He will receive medals before leaving the battlefield. Safe at home, he wakes up in the night screaming, but he keeps silent in the morning's daylight. He holds his head when a car backfires or fireworks go off on the Fourth of July.

There is a son, a brother who wanted to grow up to be a soldier to follow in the footsteps of his uncles of past wars. This solder comes home a victim of Agent Orange. He never complained.

Then we have another hero with medals covering his chest who came home. His body was sadly broken and tortured. He is hoping to reach the crown of the highest office in the U.S. Each time he appears for an interview or speech, he recalls his story of war to all who will listen. The story has been written and told many times. A movie was made. He has become a rerun of his misfortune.

It's time yesterday's hero put his story to bed and let others and history record his life's achievement.

JUDITH RUEBEL, Cape Girardeau