I caught wind of the Minnesota department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars going soft a few weeks ago when they withdrew support for Ret. Col Joe Repya's 'Victory over Terrorism' sign campaign. Now comes the confirmation of their wavering support for a military at war in their statement 'Our stand on the Republican Convention'.
In the utilitarian interest of all our members it is not the place of the officers of the Department of Minnesota VFW to decide whether the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is right or wrong. The Veterans of Foreign Wars continues to totally support its troops whether they are involved in war or hostile action.
It is not our place as officers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to get involved in the political arena.
Our efforts to support our troops are evident in such programs as Operation Uplink, National Military Support Program, Unmet Needs Program and the Adopt-a-Unit Program. In the state of Minnesota hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent by the VFW Posts and Auxiliaries in an effort to support our troops whether they be engaged in combat or in support of the freedoms of this great nation.
While I appreciate their continued support for our troops in harm's way, it is absolutely the place of officers of the VFW to get involved in the political arena!
The Veterans of Foreign Wars should know all too well what happens when we start down the slippery slope of trying to support the troops but not the mission. In point of fact this is the Minnesota VFW that is trying to walk the line, and not the national office. The National VFW in fact supports the troops and the war. But once we start down the road of separating the troops from the mission we start to see the troops as pursuing the mission because they want to, because they need to. Why do so many liberals today see the US military as capable of repeated abuses of detainees? Because they believe the mission is evil, and thus the troops who carry it out must be in some way evil. Why do so many liberals see the US military as an army of occupation, with all the negative connotations that come with that term? Because they have convinced themselves that we went to war recklessly and without world assent. If Hitler's evil could cause so many German soldiers to commit atrocities, liberals reason, then surely the evil war of occupation/oil/empire/W's legacy going on in Iraq must drive US soldiers to commit similar war crimes.
The difference, of course, is in our national identity as Americans. The US military is trained relentlessly on the Laws of War, which include stopping on a hair trigger for enemy that surrender, humane treatment of POW's, and avoiding civilian casualties whenever possible. Whereas the German army relied on the individual honor and senses of right and wrong among their soldiers, the US Army actively sets the standard for honorable conduct and enforces it.
By issuing this statement, the MN VFW has abandoned thousands of Minnesota veterans of the Iraq war. Even though an overwhelming majority will tell you the Iraq war is right, the MN VFW is unwilling to stand up with us and support the troops.