NY Times OpEd: Veterans and White Supremacy

You may have recently read the OpEd in the NY Times, Veterans and White Supremacy. I encourage those of you who are current service members and veterans to write a letter to the editor as well and let them know about all of the good things that veterans do for our country. I wrote the following:

To Whom it May Concern:


The recent Oped published in the New York Times titled, "Veterans and White Supremacy" by Kathleen Belew, was an extreme, not to mention obscene over-generalization that stereotyped our veteran population. Military service does not in any way make veterans more predisposed to engage in racist or terrorist activities. 

I'm sure that most can agree that the seeds of racism and hate are normally planted way before any military service ever begins. I say normally because as with anything, there are always exceptions. But to say that military service in any way creates terrorists or extremists, is outright absurd. We as a society must understand that the individuals in this Oped that were used as an example (Miller and McVeigh), merely used their military experience as a tool to accomplish their end goal. 

We must quit stereotyping groups of individuals and the tools they use because of the actions of the few. There are plenty of those in this country who for whatever reason think down about or would even suggest hurting or killing those that worship other God's (or the same one by a different name, in a different way), have a different skin color or ethnicity, or maybe even root for a different sports team. Is this extreme? Yes. Is this a snapshot of our society as whole? No. These folks are the 1/1000th of a percent of society. The same thing goes for our military and veteran community. 

For every one person that makes a bad example of themselves and misrepresents our veterans, there are literally MILLIONS of other veterans who are law-abiding, contributing members of society. And there are thousands of others that go above and beyond to ensure the welfare of those that served their country are not overlooked and are well represented.  

Our veterans are all around us and some may not even know it. They are our teachers, our fire fighters, our police officers, our small business owners, our college students, and our doctors and nurses among many other thousands of professions. They may have taken off their service uniforms, but they continue to serve their communities quite well. 

Even though we are products of our experiences, we are by no means shackled to them. 

Sincerely, 

Joe Stone Sr. 
Sultan, WA


A Proud Army Veteran, Student,
and member of:

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

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