I am a Reagan Conservative who was very glad to see the turnaround in power during the last election. I am, like President Reagan "strong" on national defense.
I am also the son of a highly decorated WWII veteran and a member of the National Order of Battlefield Commissioned Officers "Ponies" organization.
I was, to use the words of a colleague, "stunned and amazed" at the news, today, that you are actively opposing the proposal to have the body of America's last WWI veteran, Frank Buckles, lay in state in the Capitol.
I do not understand at all your objections to this honour.
If anyone outside of a former President deserves this honour, it is Mr. Buckles. Take away the fact that he was our last living link with the conflict that marked not only the shift from colonialism to the birth of superpowers, the conflict that set the stage for the Century of America. Take away the fact that he not only enlisted under-age but went on to serve with distinction. Take away the fact that he was captured and survived a notorious Japanese prison camp in World War II. Take all that away and you still are left with the fact that this man absolutely typified, in his life, his outlook, his patriotism the very soul of what made the United States the world's only surviving superpower.
This honour has indeed been bestowed upon non-legislative and non-executive citizens in the past. Most notably, the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II and Vietnam. Those men were laid in state not only to honour their sacrifice and service, but to service as a reminder of those to the entirety of the United States and to honour as well those who continue to put place themselves in harm's way for their countrymen.
It is, therefore, completely fitting that Mr. Buckles be so honoured and is inconceivable and indefensible to deny, either actively or passively, such a proposal.
I urge you, sir, to reconsider your position which is, I may say, more expected out of the anti-military elements of some of your brethren across the aisle. It is not in keeping with the tenets and philosophies of the Republican Party nor, indeed, any patriotic American to so wholly disrespect those to whom our freedom is daily owed.
If nothing else, I would hope that you would explain yourself in some logical, rational way. But moreover, I would hope and expect that you would comport yourself as an American legislator and see fit to instead wholeheartedly support this proposal.
In the words of Charles Michael Province, "It is the Soldier, not the politician / Who has given us the right to vote."
Respect those who have given us the power to put you in power.
Jeffery L. Vogt
Son of Lt. Col Roland H. Vogt, US Army
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