Intent was not to offend but stands by words

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Dear Editor,

Firstly, to the citizen of Airdrie who attended this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, and who I may have offended, I do apologize – it certainly was not my intent. However, as a veteran and decorated soldier, with 38 years of service fighting for this country and its citizens, I stand by my words.

Contrary to the previous authors’ comments about my statements being unfounded, self substantiated rhetoric, my statements where based on fact.

My intent was not to fear monger but to demonstrate the chaotic state our world is in today and the situations our soldiers face every day when deployed to these war-torn countries. However, they certainly have the right to their opinion, as do I – that’s why we fight for our rights and freedoms.

The comment that the term “politically correct” is only used to be hateful or disrespectful is only their opinion. My understanding is different. When the government sends you to a war zone but then states, “do not get off the aircraft carrying your weapons because we don’t want to offend the locals,” that is political correctness.

When told by the government 20 years ago to “take the title Armed out of Canadian Armed Forces so as not to make people think we are aggressive war mongers,” that is political correctness. The title Armed has since been reinstated. These are statements no soldier ever wants to hear.

I never once in my speech stated refugees or terrorists belonged to a specific religion. I also never stated we should be suspicious of all refugees – it was the previous authors who assumed I was referring to the Muslim faith. In Canada we accept refugees of all faiths and races, without exception.

I remind you that I and other soldiers spend many months out of our careers away from our families and often at risk to our own lives in war-torn countries saving lives. We are there because we believe in what we are doing, protecting innocent defenceless civilians from the horrors of war, so they can come to countries such as Canada as a refugee.

One author stated it was upsetting to some, who we have saved from war-torn countries. It wasn’t the we that sit at home in Canada that saved them, but the soldiers like myself with boots on the ground that saved them. I suggest until you have spent time in war, watched your friends fall or seen the faces of the defenceless homeless children, and the faces of the ones you couldn’t save, you have no right to suggest that I am a bully, a bigot, or disrespect and condemn me.

Many of us return home with permanent physical or psychological injuries because of doing our job and defending your freedom. I feel it is the right of every Canadian to understand the horrors of war from the eyes of a soldier.

A proud veteran.

Al Price

Airdrie

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