The global war on terrorism, the focus of our January/February issue, struck a chord with veterans like Jerry R. Miller of Los Angeles: “This is a treasure I would ask to be buried with if I had not already signed up for cremation.” Allen Levy of Culver City, California, said, “Your superb issue was a bitter reminder, as C.J. Chivers wrote, of what happens when a superpower misjudges its foes and then changes its mind.” Gay McMillan in Austin, Texas, promised to share the magazine “so others can experience these powerful stories and see the images that capture war’s truth.” One historic image, however, showing the corpse of an American soldier on a street in Mogadishu, gave some readers pause. Even though the photograph was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, said Jean Lawson of Kingsport, Tennessee, “I don’t understand why you had to include that picture.”
What a wonderful article (“War Dog”). We tend to forget about these canine heroes after their wartime tours are over. Obviously, they too suffer from post-traumatic stress. I wonder how many other readers shed tears after reading this article?
— Gary Stellern | Pasadena, California
The Big Picture
Thank you for the enlightening world map of our nation’s ongoing military activity (“Where We Fight”). It should be widely posted. Would that we were actually making friends in all those places!
— Harold Parker | Chugiak, Alaska
I had a very emotional reaction to “War and Remembrance.” I’m a Vietnam veteran. I was always stoic, thinking my tours in Southeast Asia had not affected me. When I visited the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I broke down, and my hidden emotions flowed like water over a waterfall. I had no idea I had these feelings. These memorials to our fallen heroes are not only symbols for remembrance, but cathartic for all of us who have served.
— Edward L. Dresner | Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Forgotten War
I was aghast that “A Nation at Arms” did not mention the Korean War. Did some 43,000 casualties not happen? Please explain the omission.
— Leo N. Bardes | Medford, Oregon
Editor’s note: Though the “Nation at Arms” illustration incorporated all the armed conflicts since 1776, we regret that we didn’t provide a caption highlighting the Korean War.
Epidemics Past and Present
I want to thank Holly Millea for her great article about the movie Philadelphia, which was released around the time one of my best friends in high school died of AIDS; the article brought those memories back. Almost all of the extras in the movie who were HIV positive are now gone. While opioid drug abuse is a heartbreaking problem that may be causing as much death as AIDS, my generation will never forget losing people who were discriminated against because of a condition that no one deserved to die of.
— Peter Anderson | Charleston, West Virginia