Forever at war

Shall we forever be at war? How many wars or military engagements do you remember? Did your family and friends serve in these wars? Were they injured or killed? The United States has lost 7,000 soldiers since 2001 in these forever wars. Some 53,000 were injured and the cost has been more than $5.9 trillion these last 17 years. This does not include the continuing effects on family members of those killed or injured, or innocent civilian deaths. Suicide by servicemen and veterans is another tragic result of these forever wars. (Source: Watson Institute/Brown University.)

Who decides that we must fight? In 2001 and 2002, Authorization for the Use of Military Force laws were passed and specific groups were targeted for military efforts following 9/11. Congress has not declared war on these groups; they have not made evaluations of these actions, the cost in taxes or the long-range purpose and effects. Yet the Constitution vests that power in Congress.

War is not the answer to our disagreements with other nations and groups. I believe we can find better ways to work with other nations and groups.

I’m a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and Waco Friends for Responsible Government. I’m a retired public school teacher. I encourage you to discuss this issue with Rep. Bill Flores and Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz when you see or talk with them. Let’s encourage them to co-sponsor or vote for HR 1274 and SJR 13 to repeat the AUMF and require the executive branch to get approval from the House and Senate for these unending military skirmishes.

Abigail Sebastian, Robinson

EDITOR’S NOTE: HR 1274 was introduced Feb. 14; SJR 13 was introduced March 6. Neither has come up for a vote.

Memorial Day

As we enjoy the blessings of family and friends this Memorial Day weekend, let us all take a moment to recollect the reason for this day. Today, we honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear.

I ask you to unite with family and friends in a national moment of remembrance at 3 p.m. Monday to reflect on sacrifices made in defense of our values and to remember servicemembers lost in service to our nation.

For more than 150 years, Memorial Day has been a national holiday honoring those who died in service to our nation. Let us remember our history and see our present so that the thousands of Americans who have served and lost their lives to war, from days past to present, will not be forgotten.

On this day, we remember those who gallantly fought for each one of us. Their courage and sacrifice will always be remembered and honored across this great state, this great nation and most importantly, in our hearts.

Eliseo “Al” Cantu Jr., Chairman, Texas Veterans Commission

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