NY Sports Dog: From a 21-Year Military Veteran: Leave Them Alone

Thursday, September 9, 2010

From a 21-Year Military Veteran: Leave Them Alone

I am a 21-year veteran of the Armed Forces, and a disabled vet as well.  I am absolutely appalled by the Press coverage that Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez are getting for not going to Walter Reed.

Why?  It is not big deal that they didn't go.

Carlos Beltran said he visited a VA hospital this off-season and had meetings to attend about his charity on the day of the Walter Reed visit.

Luis Castillo said he is not comfortable around amputees and those with other disfigurements.

Oliver Perez refuses comment, which is his right.

The fact of the matter is that this wasn't a visit to the zoo, it wasn't some mandatory fun, it was a visit to Walter Reed to pay tribute to fighting men.  Why on Earth should someone be forced to do it?  If it was voluntary, then why make a fuss over anyone who didn't attend?

Oliver Perez is from Mexico.  Does that mean if an American works in Mexico he needs to go visit a Mexican veteran's home?  Should they wear a Viva Zapata! shirt while doing so?

If Luis Castillo doesn't want to see disfigured people, do you force him to go and deal with the trauma?  Do you make the soldiers uncomfortable by forcing a guy on them who refuses to look, or possibly gets physically ill in their presence?

Do you force Carlos Beltran to delay the meetings for his $10M charity, and his lifelong dream, so that one more baseball player goes to Walter Reed?

Here's something you may or may not care about--those guys at Walter Reed get visits all the time.  It's not like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet their hero.

I am staggered by the reporting here, and I guarantee you that if you speak with any Walter Reed Soldier, Airman, or Marine, they would tell you to leave those three guys alone. 
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