To the Editor:

In 1966, when I was drafted, I went. That's what men did; they served their country when called. By the time I completed my two years, including a year in Vietnam as a clerk in a hospital, I realized that the war was a big mistake. My government had lied and it kept on lying. The results were tragic beyond description.

Those who answered the call were patriots, as were those who refused but answered the call of their conscience instead. But I feel that someone who evaded the draft for selfish reasons has no business telling me or anyone else how to act during the playing of a song. The football players who are protesting police misconduct toward African-Americans are trying to lead us to a better future. When President Trump questions their patriotism because they don't follow a ritual, he is being as self-serving and deceitful as when he dodged the draft.

While African-American draftees were dying in Vietnam, Trump Management Inc. was systematically violating the Fair Housing Act. A civil rights suit by the Justice Department resulted in a consent decree in 1975. In August 2017, President Trump suggested to an audience of law enforcement officers that police should treat suspects more roughly. His Justice Department has ended the policy of pursuing the consent decrees that were used to curb profiling and police brutality. NFL players are calling attention to matters of life and death, but instead of listening, President Trump wraps himself in the flag and says that these legitimate protests are an insult to veterans.

This veteran isn't buying any of it. I say that it's time for President Trump to grow up, get to work, and be the president of all the people.

John Watson


More reasons to be thankful

To the Editor:

Now that we are in November, when Thanksgiving brings our minds to, well — Thanks giving - the guest opinion by Carol Doud of Oct. 24 resonates. What a really nice essay.

I would add a few things that make me grateful to live in our beautiful area: The local groups - Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Soroptimist and other group members who tirelessly raise funds to provide scholarships, Fire Academy funding, Special Olympics events, parks (for people and dogs), firewood delivery for needy seniors, and so much more; the volunteers who give of their time and vehicles to deliver Meals on Wheels and help out at the Senior Center; the many donors who give money, blood, time and abilities to make the lives of others better.

Our little area of the world seems blessed with so many reasons for thankfulness. And I am thankful for that.

Paula Johansen