Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Camaraderie for veterans who know ‘war is hell’

To the editor:

I have been fortunate, privileged, to be able to count myself as a member of the Veterans Education Project. This provided me with the opportunity to meet such remarkable people as Rob Wilson, Susan Leary, many veterans of various conflicts, high school history students, high school history teachers and history students at Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Although I hope that I have always made the point that violence is not the way to solve differences, it has turned out that over the years the experience of addressing the various groups and responding to their questions has had a profound effect upon my feelings about my wartime experiences and about such issues as the bomb, the Treaty of Versailles, the nature of the enemy. ...

I still, however, find myself returning to the comments made by three great American generals. “You have to face the practical realties, boys, war is hell.” William Tecumseh Sherman. “It is well that war is so terrible, else we might grow fond of it.” Robert E. Lee. “Men who have experienced the battlefield will not be among those who speak glibly about the next war.” Dwight D. Eisenhower. Nor would they strut down the deck of a major warship masquerading as a warrior.

And make no mistake about it: after all these years of service both Rob Wilson and Susan Leary are truly veterans that treat us all as family.

Paul Slater


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