Our military and first responders

This old veteran, who served his country proudly, has these personal opinions to share with you: Today I constantly ask myself a simple question — What fools would be so crazy to join our military units, police forces or fire departments? All are overworked, most accept minimal or no pay and one is mostly under appreciated. 

Patriotism and respect for these individuals is on a serious decline in this country or as it was when I served during Vietnam. Until recently, the military was ignored and lacked backing from our mostly defunct, self serving politicians. Sadly, police officers are now being degraded, demoralized and attacked by an out of control public — supported and encouraged by inept governors, mayors and police commissioners who conveniently look the other way. 

Laws? What laws? Firefighters risk their lives to save those in peril. Too often encumbered by blazing roadblocks and even sniper fire, public disrespect and disgraceful behavior was rampant during the Vietnam era. There were selfish, immature individuals only interested in personal attention, shameful behavior and self gratification. 

Unfortunately for us, many of these individuals are now deans and professors in our learning institutions who have still not matured — and are still fostering hatred and intolerance.


I would today encourage any high school grad to seriously consider vocational or trade schools. Many are forced into higher learning institutes today to appease their parents’ egos. I admire those parents who can and are able to home school their children. Perhaps it’s a better experience than enduring a mostly increasingly liberal school system. In some schools the inmates may be running the asylum. I would bet my last dollar the home-schoolers are taught respect of those teaching, respect of country, respect of the office of commander in chief, respect of our military and respect of our first responders. Tolerance and self control are required.

I yearn for the past when respect and tolerance and common sense were embraced by most politicians, and a then-objective news media. Hopefully it will return, but the constant baiting of discourse about hatred, racism and all the created philosophizing continue to be relished by many. There are those who are incapable of thinking for themselves or too lazy to learn the facts. Hopefully our military, police officers and firefighters will prevail. Their effectiveness faces many stumbling blocks — they deserve better. 

America will always remain great with the support of you patriotic readers. This country IS great and must always remain so. We together created it. We together defended it. And many, too, too, many have died for it. We must never forget!

Remain strong, stay faithful and take a stand for right.

God bless all! 


Millerton resident Larry Conklin, a Vietnam veteran, is a member of the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the North Canaan, Conn., VFW Post 6851.