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Caution was the proper call

By Staff | Feb 3, 2021

To the editor:

This is a response to the letter written by former U.S. Army National Guard member, citizen Thomas Gunderman.

I have researched and can find no place where President Biden said that he was fearful of the U.S. military members assigned there to protect and safeguard him. The Department of Defense, an apolitical organization within the federal government that was carried over from the President Trump administration, worked with the FBI to vet all the National Guard and other military personnel involved with the Inaugural. I think the Administration would be a ship of fools were it not overly cautious and, if some may have been, fearful, that there could be subversives among our good men that might act against the cause of a peaceful turn over of power.

The letter writer would no doubt have met some of that ilk in his time of service. I served 25 years in service and consider myself fortunate to have only met two who thought they could voice their true beliefs to me in their last days of service. I was glad they were gone. We are men and women, not utomatons. When we put on our uniforms, our prejudices and misbeliefs are not magically obliterated. For some of us, it takes years, and still we have our missteps.

Social media could become the death of our nation with so many lies so willingly swallowed up by those who wish them true. This last four years, yea, this last three months should have been lesson enough for us to have shamed us and made us see that America is not good unless we are good. That we would want to believe the worst of every person who carries a political label, that makes us animals, dogs, in comparison to the real demons of the world, the Hitlers and Mussolinis, the Stalins and the Maos who cared more for power than the happiness of their people.

I agree that we need to heal the divisions in our country. There are extremes we should avoid, the far-left and the far-right. In truth, we need to try to re-establish the middle where our political labels do not matter. Where honor and respect can exist with compromise; where it is not a stretch for me to see your needs and not a stretch for you to see mine own. If you saw that statement that Joe Biden said he was afraid of the military presence, it was definitely in a meme to misinform and rooted in some untruth. He sees his son who died in these men and these women. His administration? They may have been concerned.

The 12 men who were sent home? Ten of them had some security issue their unit had to address. The other two? They were heard making statements that made the military leadership consider it was more appropriate to send them back to their units than keep them with the inaugural force. It wouldn’t be the first time in the history of inaugurations that it was done. I was assigned to the military support of Reagan’s first inauguration and saw men sent back to their units for as much. In this particular time, I think there was a reason to be concerned. The spread of conspiracy theories, the refusal of so many elected officials to accept the election results was unprecedented. It was a shameful way for us to transition to a new presidency. If I know nothing else, I know in four years, we will not have the same sick state of America when it comes to transition. If George Washington was alive, he would have been ashamed of us.

James Fitz-Gerald

Cape Coral