The following was emailed on November 13, 2006 by family niece Mary Beth (Mistretta) Jones, a student at California State University Monterey Bay. For older vets, the campus is on the grounds of old Fort Ord. The area is solidly blue on every election map, hence the title I gave it above ... MB is definitely taking a risk in expressing such subversive thoughts!

While I was sitting in class the other day waiting for my professor to arrive, some young, naive classmates of mine were discussing the situation of politics in our country. If you know me, you know I'm not a huge political discussion fan.

But I was listening to what they were saying about the war in Iraq, Bush, Republicans vs. Democrats, and I really began to become infuriated. I'm no expert on political issues, but I'm starting to grow really tired of hearing people be so demeaning towards things that they have no clue about. They seem to just hear something that sounds like a good idea, and all of a sudden, it is the absolute!

So, I decided to write an opinion column to submit to be printed in my school newspaper at CSU Monterey Bay. Below is what I wrote. It is me saying what I've wanted to say for a while, and wouldn't you have guessed it, CSUMB denied it for publication. Anyways, I just thought you all might like to take a look at it and see the opinion that was not allowed to be presented to my many fellow college students.

(Followup: I got an e-mail from the CSUMB newspaper and they said that it was a big mishap. Apparently, the general editor never saw it, and they have no idea who wrote me that letter saying that it was unacceptable for publication.

They were very apologetic. I accepted their apology but said they should think about hiring some new, fair, impartial journalists, or at least keep better tabs on the ones they have now. But I'm really glad the word got across. So now we'll see if they'll publish it.)

For the Love of my Country, I am going to say this.

I am going to say this once.

I know I will be criticized, even by those closest to me, but I am not ashamed to say what I feel.

Who are people to say America "sucks?" Who are people to say "our president is a moron" or "should be shot?" Who are people to call our soldiers who are dying in another land far from their familiar surroundings and loved ones, "murderers" when they are there fighting for your right to call them "murderers?" Every American is entitled to their own free will, just as every person is entitled to their own beliefs -- but guess what?

You live in America -- the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave ... show it a little bit of respect.

Your President is human -- just as all human beings, he too can make mistakes. Does that qualify him as a moron? Does that mean he should be shot? Does that mean he couldn't give a sh*t about African-Americans or Mexicans, or any other person of a different race? You think you have a tough job? Try running the most powerful country in the world while terrorist groups are plotting everyday on the most effective ways to destroy it, and meanwhile, all the people who inhabit your beloved country, your own citizens, call you a prejudiced, murdering, liar. And you say HE is a moron?

Your fellow human beings across the sea, your soldiers, are fighting for your rights to be able to say what you do. They are willingly risking their lives, day after day, trying to track down those who seek to destroy us, and our way of life. Without complaints, they hear your words, they may think about it for a minute or two, and then they remember their wives, daugters, mothers and fathers, who are back home on American soil. They go on, with honor, because they know the reason they are there.

In conclusion, it doesn't matter what political party you associate yourself with. Where I live, on the central coast of California, I've seen a routine pattern of hearing something good, and going along with it. And, without doing any research or without caring to find out the truth, people go with the popular fad, as has been the case decade after decade. Just remember, before you decide to bash the country where you live freely everyday, that you are a citizen of it.

You don't have to sleep on a dirty ground, with your gun for company, awakening to even the slightest noise fearing that it may be the last noise you ever hear, and knowing that the very people you are risking your life for are the same people who will persecute you when, and if, you return home, but you are willing to do it ... for the love of your country.

Mary Beth (Mistretta) Jones
Student, CSU Monterey Bay