Despite Iraq Americans Have Pride In Troops




 
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Boots
 
March 9th, 2008  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Despite Iraq Americans Have Pride In Troops


London Sunday Telegraph
March 9, 2008 By William Lowther, in Washington
For nearly 60 years grizzled veterans and raw recruits have polished their boots and pressed their uniforms to march through the streets of America on the third Saturday of May.
It's called Armed Forces Day and in big cities, small towns and villages, the crowds turn out to cheer and wave. Started in 1949 by Harry Truman to "thank our military for their patriotic service", it has been a sparkling success.
For despite the widespread public condemnation of military ventures such as the war in Iraq, the US continues to have enormous pride and respect for its soldiers and their uniforms.
A senior Pentagon officer - anxious not to criticise "our great friends the Brits" - said that the situation in which RAF personnel were ordered not to wear uniforms because of threats and abuse would be "unthinkable" here.
The war in Iraq has not thrown up anything like the same bitterness as the Vietnam War, and civilians are careful to keep separate any abhorrence for political policies from their regard for the serving soldier.
Col Jonathan Withington, of the Pentagon, said: "Of course there are some rude people out there, but the great majority of Americans give us terrific support."
There is extensive interaction between civilian communities and military bases. At a small Catholic school in Washington recently, the headmistress wanted to move some heavy desks.
A US Marines officer with children in the school heard about the problem and turned up with 10 young marines, who did the heavy lifting with such good spirits that the teachers were overwhelmed.
Local commanders make their own rules about when troops can and cannot wear their uniforms, but generally off-duty soldiers can wear them whenever they want.
Not that everything is sweetness and light. Only last week, someone planted a bomb at a military recruiting office in Times Square, Manhattan. But it was done in the early hours of the morning when the office was closed and no one was there to be injured.
 


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