'Seniors Must Learn To Sacrifice'

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This one came from a fabulous 70-year old man who is a retired pilot who gave countless hours of service:

"Seniors must learn to sacrifice.

"All citizens of the USA should remember this.

I was embarrassed to read that President Clinton and his adviser have said, "The older generation must learn to sacrifice as other generations have done."

"That's my generation. I knew that eventually someone would ferret out the dirty secret: We've lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous all our lives. Now, I know I must bare the truth about my generation and let the country condemn us for our selfishness. We certainly don't deserve any of that Social Security money that we've put away for 45 or 50 years. We sure don't need help with our medical bills. No, we've surely got enough put away for a $250,000 open heart surgery bill. We've had so much fun in our lives, why just read the following:

"During the depression we had a hilarious time dancing to the tune of "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?" We could choose to dine at any of the country's fabulous soup kitchens, often joined by our parents and siblings. Those were the heady days of carefree self-indulgence.

"Then, with World War II, the cup filled to overflowing. We had the chance to bask on the exotic beaches of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa; to see the capitals of Europe and travel to such scenic spots as Bastogne, Malmedy and Monte Cassino.

"Of course, one of the most exhilarating adventures was the stroll from Bataan to the local Japanese hotels, laughingly known as death camps.

"But the good times really rolled for those lucky enough to be on the beaches of Normandy for the swimming and boating that pleasant June day in '44. Unforgettable.

"Even luckier were those who drew the prized holiday tickets for cruises on sleek, gray ships to fun-filled spots such as Midway, the Solomons and Murmansk. Instead of asking, "what can we do for our country," an indulgent government let us fritter away our youth wandering idly through the lush and lovely jungles of Burma and New Guinea.

"Yes, it's all true: We were pampered, we were spoiled rotten, we never did realize what sacrifice meant. We envy you, Mr. Clinton, the harsh lessons you learned in London, Moscow, Little Rock, and the secluded cubbies of the Oval Office with a young intern.

"My generation is old, Mr. President ... and guilty; but we are repentant. Punish us for our failings, sir, that we may learn the true meanings of duty, honor, and country. Give that money that we've been putting into Social Security and Medicare to those more deserving ... like yourself?"

Robert J. Grady, Lt. Col., USAF, retired, Colorado Springs, Colo.

For all of us who still remember, let those who don't, understand.

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