Letter: Kats chooses strange way to honor Tiverton veteran

Posted 12/4/19

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, Justin Katz shared his views of Tiverton resident Tom Buchanan. Mr. Katz called into question the honor and honesty of Tom Buchanan and linked it …

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Letter: Kats chooses strange way to honor Tiverton veteran

Posted

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, Justin Katz shared his views of Tiverton resident Tom Buchanan. Mr. Katz called into question the honor and honesty of Tom Buchanan and linked it to his status as a Navy Chief and veteran. After reading Mr. Katz's letter, it became painfully apparent that he is unclear how we, as Tivertonians and Americans, address and refer to veterans of the United States military.

As most citizens with a publicly funded education are aware, veterans returning from Vietnam in the '70s were treated so poorly by communities and celebrities such as Jane Fonda. Liberal activism was fueling behaviors, including veterans being spit on and called "baby killers" all over the nation. 

Most of that idealism and practice were left behind in the 1970s. Yet the letter from Mr. Katz has a similar feel. Since when do we immediately call into question the honor of a veteran, or use his active duty rank or veteran status against him? It appears that Mr. Katz is happy to do just that to achieve an obtuse goal related to his recall from the town council. That is a shame. 

As a veteran, the wife of a veteran, and someone who works full time directly with veterans, I take extreme exception to anyone who can be so cavalier with insults to the veteran community. Tom Buchanan is my husband. He is an honorably decorated, retired Navy Chief. His honor and honesty have been tried and proven multiple times in the line of duty abroad and at home. Our family has shed countless tears, spent many sleepless nights, made numerous moves to different states, and at times had a constant feeling that a life-changing event is right around the corner when one of us deployed. 

We are so grateful; we made it to retirement from the military, a privilege many, some of whom were close friends, had taken from them when they laid down their lives for our country.

Most people say "thank you for your service," or just a simple "thank you" when talking to a veteran or active duty member. Yet in Mr. Katz's letter, a veteran's honorable service was called into question. I have decided to assume that Katz is confused about standard practices that most Americans use to show gratitude to veterans. 

Perhaps he was having a bad day and let his emotions about a town issue get the better of his sensibilities. Either way, I hope he can now understand that he no longer needs to question the honor or honesty of my husband, one of the brave men who have sacrificed so much to defend this country and all of the many freedoms we enjoy daily. Mr. Katz, I choose to forgive your faux pas.

Nickie L. Buchanan

Navy veteran

Tiverton 

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