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There are three perspectives. They are: How I see things, how you see things and how things really are. As an example, folks that live in the Portland metro area see Mt. Hood as they look from the west towards the east. People in Hood River see Mt. Hood looking west from their easterly perspective. in both instances, people are looking at Mt. hood although it is remarkably different from each perspective. I've seen artwork from both perspectives and they reflect that view. However both sides would agree that they are looking at Mt. Hood. That is a beginning for dialogue. The closer we all are to seeing things as they really are, not just from our perspective, the better we can resolve issues.
I am now 74 years old. My war was the Vietnam war. To those of you that have worn the uniform during the hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be like talking to a Spanish America War vet if you'd fought in WWII. My war was over 50 years ago. My perspective on just about everything is different than yours. I still believe that wars are started by old men so that young men can die in them.
When I came home, no one spit on me or called me "baby killer". There were no parades or drinks bought for me. I'm glad of that. It allowed me to make the shift from a war fighter to a civilian and get on with my life. I finished an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1971 while I was a sheriff's deputy. I wasn't cut out to be a cop. I got married, had two sons, worked for a Fortune 100 company, completed an MBA in '81 and started several of my own businesses. I was and still am a plain old American citizen. That changed in 2001 when radical Islam reared it's ugly head and America was under attack. Everything changed for me and my country.
Changes in culture and society are a constant. I have not changed. I am rooted in a past tradition of patriotism, love of God, country and my fellow man. I stand when a woman enters a room. I take off my hat and stand when the flag goes by. I vote and participate in the political process. I am a proud American. I can talk to those that disagree with the American way. I tolerate inconsiderate people. However, my perspective is still that of a boy that grew up in the scouts without being sexually assaulted. I learned a lot from my scout leaders. I got a great public education from teachers that wanted to teach. I never had sex with any of them. I pity children today. I had so many opportunities to better myself through education and volunteering. I've had so many great friends and life experiences. All this was made possible by those that came before me. They laid the foundation starting in the late 1700's. I completed a Ph.d in 1998 simply because I could and wanted to finish my education. It didn't add a great deal to what life had already taught me, but now I have access to the thoughts and writings of some really fine scholars that have a different perspective too.
MY days grow short, I am nearer the end of this life rather than the beginning. I'm OK with that. It's my country and those poor kids that I'm concerned about. I believe that my perspective is on the same plane as how things really are and that is frightening. I see the truth of the matter and I can't fix it. but I helped to lay a solid foundation for you that are following and my expectation is that you will take my place on the ramparts and turn this country back into that shining city on a hill. The United States of America is the last, best place on earth and it's the last bastion of freedom in the world. It's worth fighting for and dying if need be. Vote in November. It does make a difference. Death to tyranny and those that lie to us!
 

Mikej

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I feel ya'. And I'm 10 years younger. I missed serving by 2 weeks, thanks to Richard Nixon. I have a special reverence for people who've served. Military and police force.
 

Hop Sing

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There are three perspectives. They are: How I see things, how you see things and how things really are. As an example, folks that live in the Portland metro area see Mt. Hood as they look from the west towards the east. People in Hood River see Mt. Hood looking west from their easterly perspective. in both instances, people are looking at Mt. hood although it is remarkably different from each perspective. I've seen artwork from both perspectives and they reflect that view. However both sides would agree that they are looking at Mt. Hood. That is a beginning for dialogue. The closer we all are to seeing things as they really are, not just from our perspective, the better we can resolve issues.
I am now 74 years old. My war was the Vietnam war. To those of you that have worn the uniform during the hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be like talking to a Spanish America War vet if you'd fought in WWII. My war was over 50 years ago. My perspective on just about everything is different than yours. I still believe that wars are started by old men so that young men can die in them.
When I came home, no one spit on me or called me "baby killer". There were no parades or drinks bought for me. I'm glad of that. It allowed me to make the shift from a war fighter to a civilian and get on with my life. I finished an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1971 while I was a sheriff's deputy. I wasn't cut out to be a cop. I got married, had two sons, worked for a Fortune 100 company, completed an MBA in '81 and started several of my own businesses. I was and still am a plain old American citizen. That changed in 2001 when radical Islam reared it's ugly head and America was under attack. Everything changed for me and my country.
Changes in culture and society are a constant. I have not changed. I am rooted in a past tradition of patriotism, love of God, country and my fellow man. I stand when a woman enters a room. I take off my hat and stand when the flag goes by. I vote and participate in the political process. I am a proud American. I can talk to those that disagree with the American way. I tolerate inconsiderate people. However, my perspective is still that of a boy that grew up in the scouts without being sexually assaulted. I learned a lot from my scout leaders. I got a great public education from teachers that wanted to teach. I never had sex with any of them. I pity children today. I had so many opportunities to better myself through education and volunteering. I've had so many great friends and life experiences. All this was made possible by those that came before me. They laid the foundation starting in the late 1700's. I completed a Ph.d in 1998 simply because I could and wanted to finish my education. It didn't add a great deal to what life had already taught me, but now I have access to the thoughts and writings of some really fine scholars that have a different perspective too.
MY days grow short, I am nearer the end of this life rather than the beginning. I'm OK with that. It's my country and those poor kids that I'm concerned about. I believe that my perspective is on the same plane as how things really are and that is frightening. I see the truth of the matter and I can't fix it. but I helped to lay a solid foundation for you that are following and my expectation is that you will take my place on the ramparts and turn this country back into that shining city on a hill. The United States of America is the last, best place on earth and it's the last bastion of freedom in the world. It's worth fighting for and dying if need be. Vote in November. It does make a difference. Death to tyranny and those that lie to us!

Thank you both for your serve and for being a good citizen. IMO, what you wrote should be required reading by all. I am 67, so a little behind you in years but I share the same fears for young people today.
 
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