Pictured above is Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson
War Must Be The Last Resort Of A Civil Nation
By Margarita Mercure Hibbs, Rural Progressive
Many years ago, shortly after Bill Richardson took office as Governor of New Mexico, he enacted the Selective Service Board which is the volunteer service board that administers the 'Military Draft' for the State of New Mexico. I was appointed to the board for my region.
This happened shortly after 9-11 and it was a heart breaking and fearful time. Since 9-11, 6 young men, boyhood friends of my two oldest sons went into the military. Two of those six are dead and one is lost to severe PTSD. Please understand that 50% of those 6 beautiful boys are gone.
Watching my son and his former Varsity Baseball teammates, tall, strapping and beautiful young men in college, sobbing over the loss of their dear friend, Manny, is something I will never forget. Later, learning of Mark's suicide after serving 3 tours in Afghanistan and then Iraq, was beyond heart breaking. Mark was a constant and extra son under my feet throughout their middle and high school years.
These are not frivolous and light issues. It matters when families of color within the Gold Star community are treated differently/ disrespectfully by a president who also recently demonstrated that the hurricane victims of Puerto Rico are treated with less regard than those in Texas and Florida. People are suffering and the silence of his supporters tell us that they are complicit and condone the ugly indifference and cruelty of Trump.
A Trump supporter told me yesterday, 'Margarita, I'm not a racist just because I'm a Republican. I want you to know that I see you and Marty as good Democrats and people by what you did for Estancia.' I responded, 'Why are you silent when your leaders say and do things that are racist, corrupt or cruel? Your silence leaves the rest of us thinking that you must agree with those ugly beliefs and actions. Why can't you see this?' She sat in silence, not able to speak for quite a while, but then she hugged me and said that she would begin to speak up against the ugly. Maybe she will. In the meantime, let's all say a collective prayer of thanks for Republican Senators Flake, Corker and McCain who are speaking out against Trump and his despicable actions. They are honorable enough to put country before party, and that's rare.
I share this story to illustrate the deep gulf that's being carved between people on various fronts. In this latest controversy, it has become clear that our families and children who might serve in the military, as well as those who already do, deserve a serious and careful examination of the dangerous and careless actions of a man and his administration intent on steam rolling into war.
What say our state and federal representatives? Veteran's Day is fast upon us and it is the hard fought voices of our Veterans that we must heed at the mention of war. Justifications for going to war merit resistance and a committed knowledge that war must always be a last resort of a civil nation.