Veterans on War

By: Danielle Banks
By: Danielle Banks

While fixing shoes may be on the mind of master cobbler Jim Hughes, so is the thought of upcoming war.

"My primary thought is if we don't do something they will. If we don't do war over there they're (going to) do war here," he said.

Hughes knows the horrors of war all too well. He served in Vietnam for almost two years.

"It's a horrible thing that happens," Hughes said. "When two people go to battle each other and to try to kill each other. It's a horrible act."

Hughes said everyone has a right to express their opinions. But he fears anti-war protests, like the female college basketball player turning her back on the flag recently, are becoming anti-America protests.

"To turn your back on your country or show disrespect for your country by showing disrespect to one of our patriotic symbols is a horrible thing to do," he said.

Tuesday's protests are all too familiar to veterans who faced a divided country after Vietnam.

"Most people don't understand," Hughes said. "That's why I'm active with my veteran's club. We're all combat veterans and we all understand each other but we never talk about it."

Hughes said the troops need our support. One way to show that support is by respecting the symbols of America.

"To me, the flag, the pledge, and the star spangled banner, and all of those things are patriotic things that represent our country," he said.

Sunday night, Deidra Chatman, a freshman at UVA, became the second college basketball player to protest the war by turning her back on the flag.

Read more about America's Fight Against Terrorism.

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