Letter to the Editor: Time for leaders to honor our soldiers


I am a veteran of World War II –  a combat infantry squad leader with Company K of the 4th Infantry Division of Patton’s Third Army.  I fought in most of the battles in Europe. To demonstrate the terrible sacrifice of our troops may I tell you about just two battles?
The Germans wanted to invade Belgium, but preferred to sneak in through other locations that were not so well guarded.  They chose the Hurtgen Forest, which is in extreme northern Belgium.  The daytime temperature was 10 degrees below zero and night temperature was 23 below zero, with heavy snow on the ground.  We learned of their plans and we lived day and night in the forest for almost a month with no shelter other than an army blanket each.  The battles were so severe that 33,000 Army troops lost their lives before the Germans retreated.
The next most dangerous battle was the Battle of the Bulge, where the southern part of Belgium drops down toward Germany.  There, 19,000 Americans died  and another 49,500 were wounded.  I was on the front lines of both battles.  I was not wounded until we entered Germany,  in the last days of the war in September 1945.  I was in the hospital in Verdun, France, on VE Day.  All of us should honor the thousands of Americans who gave their lives to protect the United States.
Today we have a government populated with fat cats interested only in power and money.  They would rather spend hours on TV talking into a camera rather than take action to solve our country’s problems.  The world was a better place when we finally got rid of the evil dictators who would have ruled the world.
Today we have government workers, employed or elected, who would like to institute Hitler-like programs.  Others are willing that foreign governments overthrow our country and tell us what to do.
It is time that all of our government leaders honor the thousands of our soldiers who willingly gave their lives so that all of us might live in the “land of the free”again.
Jack A. Rickel, Front Royal