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Gratitude for Veterans

* All veterans should be proud to celebrate with dignity and honor our nation’s Declaration of Independence, America’s charter of liberty and freedom.

The first shot fired in Lexington for our independence sealed the first “contract” by American soldiers with our nation. That contract with Congress in 1776 was no different than the one veterans have with our Congress in 1998.

George Washington wrote Congress strongly urging politicians to keep their promise of pay and pensions to the American soldier. He stated, “If retiring from the field, they [the veterans] are to grow old in poverty, then I shall have learned what ingratitude is.”

Now, 222 years later, a grateful nation will only be grateful for just so long and worry that these veterans are beginning to cost too much money. We then see a grateful nation start to sneak out of its contract.

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If you spent your lifetime not worrying because you believed that the government you fought to protect would be there for you and other veterans, think again. The balanced budget and continued subsidies are going to prove our downfall. Veterans organizations are not strong enough to fight this battle alone. You and I have to get involved today. Call. Write. The time is now.

On a positive note: Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. I say “thank you” to our veterans for the freedom we enjoy.

MANUEL A. ENERIZ

Camarillo

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