From: Ward Reilly,
S.E. National Contact, Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Veterans For Peace
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dear President Cartwright and Kent State University,
Greetings from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am writing to you, and your staff, regarding the recent physical assault and harassment of an Iraq War veteran on your campus.
David Airhart was well within his rights to be protesting against military recruiters on your campus, and in case you had not noticed, only 37% of the citizens of this nation support our continued presence/occupation in Iraq, a war that has now killed thousands of the youth of this nation, and put hundreds of thousands more in a position to have their lives ruined forever due to the unjust nature of this “war” with Iraq, a war brought upon our nation by lies from the White House.
That is to say that a democratic majority of our citizens feel the “war” is wrong at the very least, and criminal. In that Mr. Airhart was actually in Iraq, and now says the youth recruited AND OUR NATION are being lied to, I would think that you at Kent State, of all places, should stand with your student-veteran in support, rather than pursuing his persecution for protesting the neocon methods of trapping our troops into the military, without mentioning words such as “stop loss”, or the duties of the “Individual Ready Reserve”.
President Cartwright, are YOU familiar with “stop loss” or the call up of The IRR? I suggest that you study up on those two phrases/occurrences before you allow counter-recruiters, especially veterans that have “been there” in war, from being harassed or persecuted by right-wing fanatics. This war is wrong, and Mr. Airhart should be treated as a hero rather than a criminal.
What SOME recruiters is doing to get fresh blood for our CIC is wrong, as recently documented in the national media, and a majority of our citizens want OUT NOW! The actions of the Bush administration have threatened the very existence of our nation, and you should pay attention to what is happening around you.
U.S. citizens have a right to protest what they consider to be wrong. It is YOUR job, as an employee of the citizens of Ohio, to protect our children as they go to your school.
As a war-time Infantry volunteer, I condemn your actions in regard to my fellow vet, Mr. Airhart. How is it that City Police can be used to arrest a student on campus, by the way?
Hanging a protest banner is about as “American” an act as can be done. “Freedom Of Speech”, I believe it is called. Please do your job and teach the values of our Constitution, and NOT the police-state tactics prevalent today in our nation.
Thank you for your time, Ward Reilly