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Old 01-03-2006, 11:45 AM   #1
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Veteran's Tally Irks Military Recruiters

Yes, we all know potential recruits wouldn't be aware of the danger and the deaths if it weren't for a sign like that. Is that how much credit some people give these recruits? If anyone is qualified to make a statement in that way I'd say a Vietnam veteran is. I don't understand the post commander's attitude either.

By Patrick Condon, Associated Press | January 3, 2006

DULUTH, Minn. -- Scott Cameron never imagined his modest memorial to American troops in Iraq would transform a quiet street here into the latest staging of the nation's tense debate about the war in Iraq.

His sign tallying the war's dead and wounded rests feet from the local Army recruiting office, and Cameron's refusal to take it down despite Army requests has drawn national attention. The fuss is giving the Vietnam veteran a chance to air a view he wishes he'd expressed long ago.

''The way veterans have been treated in this country is shameful," Cameron said last week.

His tribute has irritated the military recruiters next door, who dislike the daily reminder of friends lost. Staff Sergeant Gary Capan, the post's commander, requested that the sign come down for his colleagues' benefit.

''They're saying: 'Why should we have to look at that? We lost people over there,' " Capan said. ''It's not just a number to them."

Some of Cameron's supporters believe the sign will hurt recruiting.

''You're a young kid and you see those stark numbers, you might realize there's a cost you didn't consider," said Gary Tonkin, a Vietnam veteran.

It all started a month ago, when Cameron, a volunteer for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelley, posted a sign in the window of the campaign's local office. It reads, ''Remember the Fallen Heroes," and contains three tallies: the number of American troops killed in Iraq, the number wounded, and the days passed since the war began.

''The sacrifices our troops and their families are making are an important part of Minnesotans' lives right now," said Kelley, one of several Democrats seeking to unseat Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, next year. ''If this draws attention to that, it's all to the good as far as I'm concerned."

On Friday, the sign reported 2,177 troops had been killed and 16,155 injured, after 1,017 days in Iraq. Capan said the sign hasn't hurt recruiting: ''We had three people sign up just today," he said earlier this week.

Many residents seem uncomfortable with the controversy.

''This really shouldn't be that big a deal," Sam Johnson said. His companion, Lisa Whitestone, said, ''I think it's a fair thing to be reminded that there's a cost for us to be over there."

Cameron said he never intended to discourage recruiting efforts -- but he's not particularly concerned if it does.

A native of Spokane, Wash., he went to Vietnam at 19. He was injured when AK-47 fire ripped through the floor of a helicopter he was riding in, hitting his spine and collapsing his left lung.

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Old 01-04-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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Seems to me this memorial is putting the names to show the human cost of the war, to personalize those who gave their lives.
Cameron has earned his right to a statement.

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Old 01-08-2006, 05:35 AM   #3
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Re: Veteran's Tally Irks Military Recruiters

Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
''The way veterans have been treated in this country is shameful," Cameron said last week.
I guess he means the veterans speaking out against war..

the question is: in which way are they treated? What does Cameron mean?

Ah I guess I got it.. when you´re not totally pro-war you´re a traitor of American values or something in that direction.

Yeah, its just AMAZING how coldblooded government and military are when people who put their lives at risk dare to critisize them. You´d think they owe the veterans something, well apparently they don´t think so
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:13 AM   #4
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Originally posted by BonosSaint
Cameron has earned his right to a statement.
We all have the right to make a statement. That's why it's called a right. Some people might give Cameron's statement more credence, but we all have the right to say what we think.
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:40 AM   #5
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Point taken.
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