Letters to the Editor

I am a 77-year-old World War II machine gunner . . . fighting to protect Americas libertiesnot to put money into the presidents and his cronies pockets.

NOT FOR NOTHING

I'm from Lakewood, Wash., stationed in Texas. I am in the Army also and deployed in Iraq. It's moving to read a story like this ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20] about the soldiers that give their life for freedom of another country and the hopes that more don't lose their lives in the process. I am writing to let you know that you should celebrate life and death.

Spc. Justin Hebert did not lose his life for nothing, but for a cause. The cause is hard to see unless you are here in Iraq. We're old news to the people that have nobody in Iraq, but instead of complaining, help us in the ways that we can no longer help ourselves. The support of people that we don't know is a huge morale builder, because you do lose your focus here on a daily basis.

I recently had a friend of mine show me a Web site from his hometown of El Paso, Texas, for the deployed soldiers where people can leave messages and send in pictures of the soldier (www.caller.com). I would like to see something like this for those of us from Washington. This is not just for us, but for families to show their love and support for their loved one. I am sorry to hear about the losses our state has had and wish the families my condolences. My wife and children are also waiting for my return. I will leave this place knowing that I did my duties as a soldier and as an American. I wish the safe return of all personnel in Iraq to the families they left behind.

Spc. Jorge Vance Gonzalez

Iraq

JUSTIN'S SISTER WRITES

Well written ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20]. It made me cry a bit, but I liked reading it. It had a different perspective from all the other articles. It made me visualize that somber day all over again. It wasn't a bad thing, it just made me feel so proud and honored to be a part of his life.

I just wish Justin could be here, alive, to see it all. What a celebration that would have been. I wish it would have gone that route.

Jessica Hebert

Granite Falls

CONNECT THE DOTS

I was moved by Rick Anderson's piece about the death of Justin Hebert ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20]. He asks the question asked by so many of us, for far too many years nowwhy, exactly, did this kid die?

I think it's time the mainstream media started connecting the dots for the American public. They need to go back to the aftermath of the first Gulf War and trace the wayward wanderings of folks like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Rumsfeld, from government positions to think tanks and well-connected lobbying groups to the private sector and back again to this administration. They need to examine all the calls for "regime change" in Iraq that were not couched in terms of terrorism or WMD but in terms of protecting interests vital to "our" national strategic goals.

No one wants to politicize the deaths of American men and women in the armed forces, but it isn't too hard to see who the pawns are in this deadly game.

David Neale

Salt Lake City, Utah

BRING THE KIDS HOME

Every American mother who has a son in Iraq should read the article ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20] and demand that Bush bring the kids home, before they are killed so that Bush can have his oil, money, and power at the expense of American kids.

So no one gets the wrong impression that I am against protecting America, please know I am a 77-year-old former World War II United States Marine Corps combat machine gunner who spent two and a half years in the Pacific jungles, took Japanese shrapnel and contracted malaria, fighting to protect America's constitutional libertiesnot to put money into the president's and his cronies' pockets.

Albert C. Mezzetti

Manteca, CA

FEELING A MOTHER'S PAIN

Thank you for Rick Anderson's wonderful article regarding the fallen soldier ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20]. As a mother, I felt the pain and sadness of that mother. I was totally against this war from the beginning. I, too, ask the same question: Why did this wonderful son have to die? Sad, sadthat is all I can really say about it all. I feel for all the families who have lost their loved ones.

Mary Louise Peterman

Friedens, PA

REMEMBER ARMY'S PURPOSE

I actually cried while reading Rick Anderson's article, but it bothered me the rest of the day because I think he left something very important out of his article ["The War Hits Home," Aug. 20]. And he slanted it away from what we really stand for. It sounded to me like Justin Hebert joined the Army because he wanted to defend our country, but by the time Anderson's through, we're ready to blame someone else for Hebert's death. Let's not forget that it was his decision.

I think that Anderson and millions of other Americans have lost sight of what our military stands for.

They are there to go to war if called upon, and I for one hate seeing some of the whiners who show up on TV to bellyache about how long and hard it is on their families. They don't belong there if they think it is just for a bonus and a free education.

I am so very proud of [Justin Hebert], and along with everyone else, I grieve for everyone who dies on foreign land. But please, let's not forget why people join the military.

Patty Schille

Seattle

SUNFLOUR GETS A BAD RAP

My husband and I eat out way too often, running the gamut from Burgermaster to Canlis. We found your review of the Sunflour Cafe to be quite unfair and sarcastic.

Sunflour is a neighborhood restaurant with food several notches above most and reasonable prices. Items I especially like there are the salad with beets, the fried oysters, the risotto, and, yes, the mushroom ravioli with cream sauce.

You didn't even mention the best part of Sunflour and that is their very good, very fairly priced wine list. Sunflour should not have to suffer from your lukewarm review.

Sally M. Cavender

Seattle

MUSIC MAESTROS

I wanted to thank you for your excellent, in-depth look at the Seattle music scene [Seattle Weekly Music Awards Winners, Aug. 20]. As a KEXP DJ, I see a lot of talented bands that are tragically ignored by the media. Great job!

I want to request that next year Seattle Weekly separate the avant-garde and electronic music categories. Both distinct scenes deserve a chance to shine in this rock-dominated city.

Michele Myers

Seattle

NO SMOKING UTENSILS?

While the traditional 4:20 Joint Toss is still alive at Hempfest [Buzz, Aug. 20], many staff ran around making sure vendors did not sell any smoking paraphernalia. What? A Hempfest without the traditional smoking utensils? Despite the fact that selling a smoking utensil is legal under city and state laws, Hempfest organizers were worried that Asscroft and his band of federal goons would swoop down and enforce the new "Rave Act," which can send the organizers of an event to long jail terms (20 years or a fine of not more than $500,000, or both).

Just 30 miles south on this same Sunday, at the corporate Clear Channel White River Amphitheatre during the Sprite Remix Touran event specifically aimed at teenage youthvendors openly sold the glass pipes that are so popular for smoking herb . . . to skateboard-toting kids.

I hope that next year Hempfest organizers choose to test the powers of our government, because it is only through a judicial decision that an unjust law can be overturned, and our government kept in check.

Ben Schroeter

Seattle

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