Some things just don’t matter
U.S. men and women are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. has humanitarian missions, what seems every week, to support those who have lost everything.
Returning veterans are suffering from all manner of trials — broken homes, post-traumatic stress disorder, [thoughts of] suicide and loss of limb. Additionally, back in "the world," the economy is still suffering and millions are out of jobs and homes.
Yet, the writer of "Just Colts and Pats? Oh my!" (letter, Oct. 6), in beautiful Germany no less, is complaining about the football game selection on American Forces Network.
I am a lifelong New Orleans Saints fan, and I, too, have been put off by their televised under-representation. But, man, it’s just a game. Too often, I hear the traditional right of the soldier — the complaint — aimed at things that just don’t matter, e.g., showers are too far away, no AFN in their rooms, not enough variety in the chow hall, etc.
I related the letter writer’s complaint to my father, a Cold War warrior who was stationed in Alaska and Okinawa. He reminded me of his many deprivations and then continued on about how much worse his father and his father’s father had it in their respective conflicts.
Your football team isn’t on AFN this week? Try living in the South Pacific for more than two years with no air conditioning, eating all your food out of cans, no leave, mail once every two weeks (if you’re lucky), no physical contact with the wife and constant threat of aerial bombardment.
Before putting pen to paper over a trivial matter, [we should] put ourselves in the shoes of those we’ve followed, or think of the many around us who live with so little.
Being American doesn’t entitle us to television on demand.
Sgt. Christopher T. OttingerCamp Speicher, Iraq