Monday, March 24, 2008


Terence L. Kindlon, an Albany lawyer and a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, writes in today’s Times Union, after American casualties in Itaq hit the 4,000 mark:
"If I were slightly younger ... I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines. ... It must be exciting ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger."
-- President Bush, March 13

On the day after Christmas in 1967, I found a young Marine quietly lying on his back near the perimeter wire at our temporary base south of DaNang. He was just a boy, maybe 18, and he looked relaxed, as if he had drifted off to sleep under a warm sun while fishing. But he wasn't asleep. He was dead and gone, taken down by a sniper's bullet shot through the center of his chest. When I checked for a pulse he was still warm.

The same day I found that dead Marine, another young man, George W. Bush, then a senior at Yale, was probably home for Christmas vacation. Mr. Bush, 21 and just a few months from graduation, was at an ideal age to enlist in the military, where he could have had -- to use his words -- the fantastic, exciting experience, in some ways romantic, of confronting danger as a second lieutenant on the front lines of Vietnam. If he wanted, he could have actually had the exact same kind of combat experience he rhapsodized about just a few days ago.

Unfortunately, after graduation in 1968, he decided to cut and run instead.

The rest of his op-ed piece is here. We at Albany Catholic recommend it.