Re: Public lands are for ALL to enjoy
Whenever reading opinions, there are particular sentences or references which attract our attention.
Such was the case with that submitted by Holly Davis of Delta (DCI, March 6). It was the following:
"I challenge Mr. Lien to say those same words to a disabled or aged veteran that fought for the same freedoms Mr. Lien is trying to deny him of."
Now, I am certainly not disabled but I am an aged veteran. Therefore, I am not only entitled, but will respond to her letter. Other veterans may disagree with me, which is their right and they have the right to express their own opinions.
Some of us recognized, and from a very early age, that military service was but one (only one) of the obligations we had as citizens of this country, that was its physical defense. All other obligations are common to us all, veterans and non-veterans alike. The latter never go away.
There are those who served in the military who either regret or begrudge their service, or who believe that because they did serve, that they should be worshiped, praised, or that they are thereby "super patriots" and should be bowed to. Some of us disagree with that, as while we did serve in uniform, we did it because it was an obligation, and meeting one's obligation(s), whatever they are and wherever they are found, and fulfilling them to the best of one's ability, should be reward enough.
When Ms. Davis refers to veterans and their "freedom" some of us have to ask what she thinks freedom is. In her mind, she apparently believes that such consists of doing whatever one wants whenever one wants, including having the "freedom to tear across public lands" on an ATV or other motorized vehicle. She undoubtedly considers it one of her basic "freedoms" and "fundamental rights." That is not "freedom." It is license.
There are many things some of us aged individuals (veteran or not) could do when we were young but can no longer do. We recognized that, so we gave them up. That is simply part of growing old or aging. We do not ask for help or special dispensation so that we can keep doing them.
This veteran finds Ms. Davis' reference to veterans in her argument for motorized vehicles on public lands not only inappropriate but highly insulting. We did not spend time in the military (even if that is the only thing we contributed) only to be used by her (or anyone else), in what are all-too-frequently self-serving causes. We consider that cheapening our service and they should leave us out of such arguments. Neither we, nor our service, should be used as shills in arguments having absolutely nothing to do with the military, but only with responsible citizenship.
Robert I. Laitres