Letter to the editor: We’re being called to duty to help

Staff Writer
Topeka Capital-Journal

Throughout our history our citizens, men and women, have volunteered for the uniformed services to protect the lives and freedom of the other citizens of this country. In my lifetime, that includes WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the War on Terror. Those wars have spanned 36 years and cost over 500,000 American lives.

What is not to be forgotten is that since 1940 due to the selective Service Act, over 13,000,000 U.S. citizens were drafted into military service for a year or more. That is a big ask and order from the government to take a year or more of your life to perhaps fight and die on behalf of your country.

Today we fight an enemy at home, not abroad, and it has claimed the lives of one-half those taken in the 36 years of war in less than 11 months. Over 250,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19 with over 11 million infected.

The governor and other local authorities have asked us to maintain social distancing, avoid crowds, stay home when we are exposed to the virus, wash our hands and wear a mask when we are within 6 feet of others not from our family unit.

It means this Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations will be disrupted. Happily, a vaccine is on the way and likely means that next year this time we won't be living with any restrictions and economy will look much more like it did before March.

So let’s be patriots to protect our families, co-workers and friends, and follow the rules. We are being called to duty, and it really isn't too onerous to wear a mask when this much risk to life and health is at issue in the homeland.

Jerry R. Palmer, Topeka