Letter to the Editor

Coast, National Guard should be closer to home

I’d like to point out something said by a parent of a marine who just returned from Iraq with two purple hearts, and who voted for George W. Bush in 2004:

We would have been better prepared for Katrina if our National Guard and Coast Guard had not been taken out of American borders to fight in Iraq.

Tim Russert of “Meet the Press” pointed out on Friday’s “Today Show” that the communication infrastructure that was supposed to be in place post-9/11 wasn’t there.

Why? Because our president and his administration have not been effective leaders. They ordered the exact personnel we would need for an event like a hurricane and flooding away from where we needed them. The National Guard promotes itself with the allure of serving for only a few weekends out of the year, earning money for college and keeping our country safe from forest fires, floods and man-made disasters, but instead, they’re doing our regular military’s job over in Iraq because of a stupid war.

And just as with many Republicans, the voiceless masses suffer: The blue collar folks and the single moms who can’t afford transportation. Our leadership has simply failed us. Imagine if another 9/11 happened — who would rescue us? The fire fighters and police have had such cuts in funding that many have been forced to retire. The National/Coast Guards are overseas (a place that, by definition, they are never to be sent)!

Are we supposed to save ourselves? Is that really how a government that we pay taxes to keep us safe is supposed to work? I doubt it.

After our nation is able to do what it can to save the suffering masses in “N’awlins,” there is only one of two things we can do to have our country safe again: impeach Bush and his administration, or get rid of them in the next election.

Karl Hopkins-Lutz

Senior German major