Donna Langlois had sent the President a four-page letter on Oct. 13, and the response arrived just in time for Thanksgiving.
Her kids had wondered whether it was a good idea to write George Bush. He'd probably never read the letter. And their mom's name might end up on some kind of enemies list.
But Donna figured if she didn't tell the President what she thought, she'd never have a right to criticize. Besides, all she wanted to do was urge prudence and diplomacy. And she wanted to know what he thought.
"The Vietnam conflict took from my generation untold numbers of Einsteins, Picassos, Kennedys and, yes, even George Bushes . . ." she wrote. "(My son) values beyond reason the uniform he wears. He will without hesitation . . . march into glory at your direction. For he is a Marine!!
"It is I who sees the ultimate waste in a future without his contributions as a husband, a father, a brother and a son."
The President's response came on a heavy, unfolded piece of paper that was placed in a large manila envelope and packed against cardboard. His signature was stamped at the bottom. It read like a form letter:
"I want you to know that I will continue to do my best to bring about a peaceful and timely solution to a matter that is so important to the United States and to the other countries of the world," it ended.
The letter was nice to have, but she still did not know what he thought.