Toni Ballinger (senior, Psychology)

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The photo of the week from October 31, titled “Ocean View” by Sam Haller, with the caption “captured this abandoned building in the Marin Headlands in Northern California,” is an abandoned bunker, probably an artillery lookout, from World War II. Japanese submarines came within firing range of the West Coast of the USA and bunkers were built in many places on the West Coast. My father is a history buff and my sisters and I saw many important WWII battle & historical sites throughout the Pacific Rim and Asia as children.

In our current media and political climate of fear, terrorism, and war, I think it’s important to remember that once things were different. We believed, sacrificed together, and supported each other—a different time, not a different place.

I don’t support the current political administration or the “war,” but living near a very large base with a disproportionate number of troops doing three or more tours in Iraq, I have to respect the men and women in uniform and their families. I was always taught to respect them. The first time I saw several hundred troops on the foredeck of a ship being transported to Okinawa and then to Vietnam I learned that many would not return, that that was what war did to people. That was over 40 years ago.

We need to see the flag-draped caskets unloaded from huge transport planes and warehoused. We need to know what war does to real people and real families. We need to use all the power we can to make a change. Vote.

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