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  1. #1
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    “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    A Veteran’s Letter to the President
    “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”


    [Joseph DuRocher was for 20 years the elected Public Defender of Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, covering Orange and Osceola counties. Since retirement, he’s been writing and teaching law at the University of Central Florida and the Barry University School of Law. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, serving as a Naval Aviator in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. On Monday, Mr. DuRocher returned his Lieutenant’s shoulder bars and Navy wings to President Bush, and enclosed the following letter.]

    http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/C...s/JD030806.htm



    President George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, D.C. 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    As a young man I was honored to serve our nation as a commissioned officer and helicopter pilot in the
    U. S. Navy. Before me in WWII, my father defended the country spending two years in the Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Hornet (CV-14). We were patriots sworn “to protect and defend”. Today I conclude that you have dishonored our service and the Constitution and principles of our oath. My dad was buried with full military honors so I cannot act for him. But for myself, I return enclosed the symbols of my years of service: the shoulder boards of my rank and my Naval Aviator’s wings.

    Until your administration, I believed it was inconceivable that the United States would ever initiate an aggressive and preemptive war against a country that posed no threat to us. Until your administration, I thought it was impossible for our nation to take hundreds of persons into custody without provable charges of any kind, and to “disappear” them into holes like Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram. Until your administration, in my wildest legal fantasy I could not imagine a U.S. Attorney General seeking to justify torture or a President first stating his intent to veto an anti-torture law, and then adding a “signing statement” that he intends to ignore such law as he sees fit. I do not want these things done in my name.

    As a citizen, a patriot, a parent and grandparent, a lawyer and law teacher I am left with such a feeling of loss and helplessness. I think of myself as a good American and I ask myself what can I do when I see the face of evil? Illegal and immoral war, torture and confinement for life without trial have never been part of our Constitutional tradition. But my vote has become meaningless because I live in a safe district drawn by your political party. My congressman is unresponsive to my concerns because his time is filled with lobbyists’ largess. Protests are limited to your “free speech zones”, out of sight of the parade. Even speaking openly is to risk being labeled un-American, pro-terrorist or anti-troops. And I am a disciplined pacifist, so any violent act is out of the question.

    Nevertheless, to remain silent is to let you think I approve or support your actions. I do not. So, I am saddened to give up my wings and bars. They were hard won and my parents and wife were as proud as I was when I earned them over forty years ago. But I hate the torture and death you have caused more than I value their symbolism. Giving them up makes me cry for my beloved country.

    Joseph W. DuRocher

  2. #2
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Those of us who love our country are crying for our country.

    Lady Mod

  3. #3
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    Those of us who love our country are crying for our country.

    Lady Mod
    Yeah..well let's stop the sniveling and let's start making them do the crying instead. Do you know a Republican? Do a little something each day, however small, to help make their life a living hell. It's fun!

  4. #4
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    It saddens me to read such a letter. Not many people are aware of what those bars and especially those wings mean to a Serviceman. You risk your life to get and keep these symbols of your service, and this gentleman must have strong feelings about this administration and what they have done, and continue to do, to our Nation. I applaude his grit, he is definately a true Patriotic American.

  5. #5
    umdkook Guest

    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Yes this truly is a saddening letter to read, but one that I very much respect the writer for creating. For a man to give up such valued items tht define a good portion of his lifes service is sad indeed.

  6. #6
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    Those of us who love our country are crying for our country.

    Lady Mod

    This is why principled people can never be elected to political office in this country. If this guy ever enters a political race, you can be damn sure he'll be "swift boated" for his sincere act of conscience, especially if he runs against some filthy, degenerate, criminal Republican animal...which comprises about 99% of them.
    Last edited by dante; 03-11-2006 at 04:13 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Honest question for all of you out there for my own curiosity. I know this forum is nearly fully democratic/liberal, but do you feel we should immediately pull out of Iraq? My personal opinion is we obviously should never have invaded in the first place, but what are your opinions how we should leave?

  8. #8
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiplash
    Honest question for all of you out there for my own curiosity. I know this forum is nearly fully democratic/liberal, but do you feel we should immediately pull out of Iraq? My personal opinion is we obviously should never have invaded in the first place, but what are your opinions how we should leave?

    We need to have a military coup in this country. That's the only way out. We know that GOP commie rats are going to either 1) Fix the next election (again), or 2) Stage a ( another) terror attack on US soil inorder to declare a pretext for marshall law. Look for them to trot out "Adolph" Giuliani as their next strawman.

    In the meantime,(back at the ranch) the military may finally get tired of being used as Bush's personal goon squad, especially as their flow of rubber bags, drooling vegetables and life-long basket cases from Iraq continues.
    Last edited by dante; 03-11-2006 at 05:44 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    We should make sure that Bush recieves thousands of copies of this letter everyday. At some point he will have to respond to it. I'm doing just that.
    add Rummy, Cheney, Rice, Rove..............

  10. #10
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName
    It saddens me to read such a letter. Not many people are aware of what those bars and especially those wings mean to a Serviceman. You risk your life to get and keep these symbols of your service, and this gentleman must have strong feelings about this administration and what they have done, and continue to do, to our Nation. I applaude his grit, he is definately a true Patriotic American.
    I know what it means. It is sad. To step up to the plate, to align yourself with a concept of "Defending your country" and "Fighting for what is right" only to realize that the civilian administration is using you as a tool for evil.

    It is a disgrace.

    Batarang Force
    ex Airborne Ranger

  11. #11
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiplash
    Honest question for all of you out there for my own curiosity. I know this forum is nearly fully democratic/liberal, but do you feel we should immediately pull out of Iraq? My personal opinion is we obviously should never have invaded in the first place, but what are your opinions how we should leave?
    Whiplash... you ol' right wing nut... you're starting to grow on me.

    Although this is a great question, it is not the most important question.

    Should we pull out of Iraq?
    There are pros & cons. It is not black and white.
    Pro: We're no longer in Iraq [Vietnam] which means our soldiers aren't dying, which means Arabs hate us less than they did before, which means we can hopefully apply our financial resources on domestic issues such as education. Am I missing anything? ... lets see, unfortunately a civil war ensues [see cons] but the civilians killed will be killed by Iraqi's not by GI Joe, which makes us look like not the enemy. [yes, I see the irony in dead people making us look good, but that's the way I see it].. anything else i miss...

    Cons: Arab [possibly the world] perception is that we are a "paper tiger" that runs when it gets tough [I'm not arguing on the logic of this, it's just a bulleted perception], so we look weak, civil war runs rampant and more civilians will die, the resulting leaders might hate the US enough to not give us the oil that we are addicted to... anything else I miss?

    Might actually be good to create a bulleted list here [Yir] of the Pros & Cons of exiting.

    Batarang Force

    PS: I would like to give Whiplash credit for maintaining a level head in light of Dante's, Phin's and my own verbal tirades. He is not only following the printed strategy of the right wingers [Lady Mod are you listening?] he is setting a good example and opportunity to engage in a civil manner. I give him kudos. His manner helps me real in my cannon's and my tongue, which are both set on hair trigger.

  12. #12
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    Re: �I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service�

    The right of self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law. It is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Common Article 1, paragraph 1 of these Covenants provides that:

    "All peoples have the rights of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

    Pull out and let them "sort it out" themselves. But we're not there because of politics.
    Operation
    Iraqi
    Liberation

  13. #13
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by BatarngForce
    Whiplash... you ol' right wing nut... you're starting to grow on me.

    Although this is a great question, it is not the most important question.

    Should we pull out of Iraq?
    There are pros & cons. It is not black and white.
    Pro: We're no longer in Iraq [Vietnam] which means our soldiers aren't dying, which means Arabs hate us less than they did before, which means we can hopefully apply our financial resources on domestic issues such as education. Am I missing anything? ... lets see, unfortunately a civil war ensues [see cons] but the civilians killed will be killed by Iraqi's not by GI Joe, which makes us look like not the enemy. [yes, I see the irony in dead people making us look good, but that's the way I see it].. anything else i miss...

    Cons: Arab [possibly the world] perception is that we are a "paper tiger" that runs when it gets tough [I'm not arguing on the logic of this, it's just a bulleted perception], so we look weak, civil war runs rampant and more civilians will die, the resulting leaders might hate the US enough to not give us the oil that we are addicted to... anything else I miss?

    Might actually be good to create a bulleted list here [Yir] of the Pros & Cons of exiting.

    Batarang Force

    PS: I would like to give Whiplash credit for maintaining a level head in light of Dante's, Phin's and my own verbal tirades. He is not only following the printed strategy of the right wingers [Lady Mod are you listening?] he is setting a good example and opportunity to engage in a civil manner. I give him kudos. His manner helps me real in my cannon's and my tongue, which are both set on hair trigger.
    Aw shucks thanks Batman..sniff sniff. I agree with both of your pros and cons listed there, my question really is loaded to a degree. I hear many people say we should immediately withdraw, but there are consequences to that decision. Though any impending civil war would seriously make the issue more complex. Thank you for the compliment. Just fyi, I will never engage any combative arguments as they never address the issue at hand, they only serve to raise the emotions to a level where personal attacks become the central theme.

  14. #14
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiplash
    .. my question really is loaded to a degree. I hear many people say we should immediately withdraw, but there are consequences to that decision.
    I knew it was loaded but bit anyway. I knew that if a bunch of liberals flew off half cocked, it would mean that they haven't thought it through all the way... contributing to the perception that liberals don't think it through.

    I would honostly like to see a list of the pros and cons of pulling out, contributed by right and left. I'm sure there are multiple reasons, I was only able to list a few.

    At the same time, I would like to see a list of reasons, instead of pros and cons possibly... "truths and myths" to two more important questions, 1) why where we attacked and 2) why did we go into Iraq.

    Batarang Force.

    PS Whip... I am still not totally convinced that you are completely, honestly open to dialogue. Why? Beacuse I have read the right's strategy and you are following it to the "T". Either you do think for yourself and present yourself so, or your strategy is such that it precipitates easier coorespondence. In the end, it still works by defusing, de-escalating and setting an example. Grim did not do this. So... safety switch is on, gun holstered, but not unloaded.

  15. #15
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by BatarngForce
    PS Whip... I am still not totally convinced that you are completely, honestly open to dialogue. Why? Beacuse I have read the right's strategy and you are following it to the "T". Either you do think for yourself and present yourself so, or your strategy is such that it precipitates easier coorespondence. In the end, it still works by defusing, de-escalating and setting an example. Grim did not do this. So... safety switch is on, gun holstered, but not unloaded.
    Fair enough my friend. All I ask is a bit of civility whether we agree or disagree.

  16. #16
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    Re: “I Return Enclosed the Symbols of My Years of Service”

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiplash
    Honest question for all of you out there for my own curiosity. I know this forum is nearly fully democratic/liberal, but do you feel we should immediately pull out of Iraq? My personal opinion is we obviously should never have invaded in the first place, but what are your opinions how we should leave?
    At the end of each quarter remove 1/4 of our forces in all branches. By the end of the year, we are out of there.

    Namaste'

    Lady Mod

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