Mr. Trump's demand for an elaborate military parade is flatly ridiculous. His demand conjures images of massed regiments strutting across Moscow's Red Square; of North Korean troops goose-stepping in Pyongyang; of Nazis marching down Paris' Champs-Elysees in WWII.
Trump poses the parade as a mark of appreciation for our military. We don't need parades. We do need reliable funding and policy support for homeless and disabled veterans and their families; for improved VA hospitals and veterans' health and wellness services; and for more dependable and systemic actions to help veterans and their families struggling with PTSD or other service-related challenges, gain employment or acquire education and training for becoming more productive self-reliant community members.
In this time of problematic budgets, sky-rocketing national debt and deficits, and snarling contention over essential legislative needs, is the colossal expense and disruption to normal operations required to orchestrate such a spectacle justifiable? Do we not have other very real, very serious needs that scream for attention and action?
Mr. Trump, I suspect, seeks this parade so that he can pose on the reviewing stand — perhaps imagining himself a real and respected leader. As a veteran, I resent his attempt to compel U.S. military personnel to serve as props and back-drops for his his rantings and grand-standing. He is a sad caricature of a commander-in-chief, and he constantly displays a remarkably unformed and inept sense of his role and its import. It would be comforting to see our elected Idaho representatives in Washington voice some reasoned opposition to this man's strivings.
Grenville E. Day
Vietnam Veterans of America