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“Dear US Army”

by Nadine Gallo

 

U.S. Army Human Resources Command
1800 Spearhead Division Avenue, Dept. 450
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5405

Dear Louis MacGregor,

Thank you for sending my brother’s “deceased” personnel file. I’ve been waiting for sixty seven years to see it. Although many have died working in the field of glory for their country in many wars, this particular death meant something to me. To read the names of his buddies and their testimony about his final moments put the cap on a long sense of doubt. There is one error in the file: the omission of previous service. Edward M. Howard also served in the Merchant Marines during WW II. He was in Trieste, Japan and the Philippines.

I have an interest in colonialism and believe that we followed the history of England in Asia. The present state of anti-western feeling in China goes back to the days of Queen Victoria when pirates went to Peking. Japanese colonialism followed that and Korea became a satellite of Japan as did China. Had General MacArthur allowed Korea to determine its own future rather than occupy that place, my brother would have had a chance at survival, as would thousands more. Millions in the case of Koreans.

When the people of North America stop trying to spread democracy to Asia perhaps we will do a better job of spreading it in our own country. If democracy is so great, it will spread by itself. When democracy is corrupt, it’s just as bad as any other corrupt system. Our present condition is proof of that. The human element makes every system vulnerable to corruption.

Sincerely,

Nadine Howard Gallo