I was disheartened when Mitt Romney failed to even mention our troops in harm’s way when he gave his acceptance speech [at the Republican National Convention]. I was also not totally surprised. He sees service as something provided by peons, not offered by the elite. When asked why he had not mentioned the troops, his response was, “When you give a speech, you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important.” Say what?

Like our last Republican president, he is the son of a politician who sees the presidency as nothing more than the ultimate trophy for rich kids. Also like George W. Bush, he has no plan beyond attaining power. And like Bush and the entire party, he has made a pledge to Grover Norquist that trumps his oath of office.

By the way, he says that his sons are serving their country by stumping for him. He, of course, spent the Vietnam years flitting around France on a bicycle. I’d really hate to see another guy like that commandeering an aircraft carrier and a fighter jet to glorify himself after invading the wrong country and declaring “mission accomplished” before the real battle begins.

My problem is not with rich folks, but with a party that advocates for no one else. The national debt has ballooned parallel to an upward shift of wealth — one-half of 1 percent of Americans now possess 50 percent of the country’s wealth, some $14 trillion — but the Republican Party says that those who benefited most from ignoring the bills should get even deeper tax cuts. They promise to trickle more this time. Ignore that they created no jobs, but rather hoarded under the Bush cuts. Just trust them.

I’m not a big fan of either party. My take is that Democrats are disingenuous but that Republicans are despicable. I pull the “D” handle to confound those who advocate for none but the top 1 percent. Considering Romney’s statement, I suggest that he doesn’t see the military as part of that 1 percent. Like Bush, he just sees you as servants at his disposal. He’s already banging the war drums to invade Iran. Don’t worry. It’s just an election strategy.

I served in the Army in Vietnam. My first loyalty is to the guys wearing the uniform right now. Romney and Paul Ryan do not relate to that. Obama didn’t serve either, but there were no conflicts going on during his service-eligible years. He’s been a responsible commander in chief who, like me, has the ultimate goal of bringing everyone home. I get no such signals from the party of chicken hawks.

I am advocating for the military to vote for their own interests. Nothing more.

Richard Hayden

Hiram, Ga.

AAFES wrong to choose a side

Regarding the Sept. 9 article “AAFES will not sell book about bin Laden raid”: So much for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service keeping an open mind and not taking a stance against this book and its author. AAFES officials are not supposed to select sides; they are supposed to sell merchandise and, being here in Afghanistan at the present time, they do a very poor and unsatisfactory job at doing their job.

You can walk into the main post exchange on Bagram Air Field and the shelves are either empty or they carry items that are expired. AAFES also ups its prices from its stateside stores, which is not fair at all and the main reason that we are forced to either pay the higher prices or order online (this happens a lot).

I have ordered this book, “No Easy Day,“ through, a real retailer that just sells things at affordable prices and doesn’t get involved in the politics behind something like AAFES does.

Sad story!

Master Sgt. Charlie Jones

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

Amazon is easier to navigate

Regarding AAFES refusing to sell “No Easy Day” (“AAFES will not sell book about bin Laden raid,” article, Sept. 9): Thanks, Uncle AAFES. Soldiers need their censorship. Thankfully, Amazon sells us the freedom to choose what we read.

Master Sgt. John Hendrick


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now