To the editor: I congratulate Jean Scandlyn and Sarah Hautzinger for their research on Colorado Springs' military personnel. Although they appear to be aware of World War II as well as the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, they do not mention the Korean War, fought between 1950 and 1953. ("In honor of Veterans Day, let's deal with the real costs of war," Op-Ed, Nov. 9)
About 5.7 million military personnel served in Korea; more than 33,000 Americans died, and another 8,000 went missing in action. In about 10 years of fighting in Vietnam, about 58,000 Americans died, whereas just three years of fighting in Korea resulted in more than half that number.
I served with the Marine Corps in Korea during some of the most fierce battles of the war. Therefore, I feel compelled to make these important comments in the week that marks the Marine Corps' 239th birthday.
Don Shellgren, Pasadena
The authors make a strong case for having a "conversation" with wounded veterans about the costs of war. But we should have more than just a conversation. Because of limited resources, we are not taking care of them properly.
Military protection for oil has been found by the Rand Corp. to cost some $80 billion per year exclusive of war. If you add in a portion of the $2.1 trillion the Iraq war cost, you get to some very big numbers.
Yet when you buy gas, you pay nothing for these costs. A simple nickel per gallon tax, dedicated strictly to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, would raise billions. That would go a long way toward helping our vets.
Paul Scott, Santa Monica
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