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A Mother's Day Message to a Soldier via NPR

I happened to catch this program on NPR’s Morning Edition, driving my usual circuit at the start of the month.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5367957

As we were getting ready to drive off to visit our son, Josh, Tammy, his wife, and Myles, our newest grandchild, and celebrate Mother’s Day, something seized me and I found the rebroadcast and wrote my thoughts down. Story Corps is a great connection with other human beings, as is LiveJournal, so I thought I would post this after writing to a long time friend.

I find that NPR has been an education, an inspiration, and almost a family in its familiarity. I carry my radio outside with me in the quest for more and bigger sunflowers, and there is always information, enlightenment and inspiration.

------ Forwarded Message
From: Lizzy Cooper Davis <edavis@storycorps.net>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 13:58:34 -0400
To: Laurence Lewin <tinkll1@cox.net>
Subject: Re: For the Nelsons

Thank you so much for sharing your impressions of our recent StoryCorps Broadcast – Thomas and Lauren Nelson -- on Morning Edition. We are forwarding your message along to them.

Please visit http://storycorps.net/ml to sign up for our email newsletter with links to new stories. Also, check out our story archive at www.storycorps.net/listen/ for more stories from around the country. You can also schedule an interview with a friend or loved one when you visit: http://www.storycorps.net/participate/record_an_interview/.

Again, thanks for listening!

StoryCorps Team

On May 14, 2006, at 12:03 PM, Laurence Lewin wrote:

It’s Mother’s Day and we’re about to visit a son and daughter-in-law, and a grandson, and I want to take this moment of happiness and pleasure in our lives, to thank you for your sacrifices, for the putting off of starting your family, I infer, for service to your country.  Thank you isn’t enough, by far, but your patriotism and your willingness to put your lives on the line for that diverse nation we call our country, to take orders that you may personally disagree with, or question, and to go forward because you feel it is your personal responsibility, well.... That’s something I fully respect and admire.  It’s an example that I want my grandchildren to follow.

Please realize that dissenters like myself, fully against the war in Iraq from day one, separate our thoughts about the politicians who send you into a hostile environment for all the wrong reasons and are prepared to gamble your lives for their misguided ends, from the heroic volunteers who step forward to guard the values that we treasure.

If you see protestors, please understand that most are not protesting against soldiers, but against the politicians who gamble with the lives of soldiers for delusional concepts of extending our notion of freedom, of democracy, to tribal societies who, when given democratic choices, too often choose another form of despotism.

I want our armed forces used in a fashion that will protect our country from real enemies in a position to hurt us.
Afghanistan, the Taliban, Al Quaida.... Yes, a justified use of military force against a real threat.  Iraq, a tragic blunder, as was Viet Nam.  Whatever your views, whatever position you are in now, where you can or cannot express your views, or question your leadership, please be aware, that I, as a dissenter, fully respect you and honor your sacrifice.

In my medical practice, when I take a Social History, and learn that a patient is a veteran, I ask him about where he served, and as an amateur student of World War II and military aviation, I can usually carry the conversation farther than most contemporaries.  As one who was always deferred, as a physician, as a nephrologist, one with special skills in artificial kidney work, I have always felt a little ashamed that I had not stepped forward as you both have.  Not the team player, I have dedicated a good portion of my career to working for universal medical care.... What the current politicians would call “socialized medicine,” but what I would call “health care for all.”  I could not pursue this goal with these skills without the sacrifice of others, volunteers like yourselves.

I am so proud to be an American because of people like you!  Please be safe!

Laurence Lewin, M.D.
Santa Ana, CA
Tags: iraq war, mother's day, patriotism
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