I read in Tuesday's Iowa State Daily that the College Republicans have begun collecting sundries for U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why? Doesn't the U.S. Army victual its soldiers? Don't their families send them yuletide goodies? Aren't GIs paid enough to buy what they need, and even what they want?

"As Republicans we believe in charity," stated Jeremy Freeman, a member of the College Republicans. Donating toiletries, boxed and canned foods, socks and beanies to U.S. soldiers who can already deodorize themselves, who eat better than the poorest Americans and who are gallantly garbed, is an eleemosynary travesty.

Necessities should be doled out to people who really need them and who might get them if not for the hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled to the Pentagon in the greatest squandering of money on the planet. If anything, Republicans should sympathize with veterans struggling to find employment, a challenge that may daunt the discharged soldier, who might wish he had reenlisted. Soldiers are to Republicans as fetuses are to them: prized. But once out of the womb-like army, Republican solicitude for hapless veterans goes where extracted zygotes go.

"We get to show the troops we still appreciate what they're doing for us," said another College Republican. What are they doing for us? Nothing. But against us they're doing a lot: creating anti-American terrorists in the countries they occupy. Said the same College Republican, "It can't be fun to be away from your family for the holidays. As if American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had been conscripted? They chose to leave home.

Why do Republicans care so much about the military? Because the military-industrial complex is dear to their simplistic laissez-faire fantasies: a bottom-line patriotism that excludes the people at the bottom.

(170) comments

Sarah Bowman

You've got to be kidding me. As an ISU Alum, English, 02, and former reporter for the Iowa State Daily, I couldn't believe the garbage this lecturer spewed. Then again, I'm also an Army wife. My husband was deployed to Iraq over Christmas 2007. So I know how difficult a holiday can be when you're married to a soldier.

Shame on you, Thomas. Just be thankful the soldiers are doing their job so you can have the freedom of speech to hate them as much as you want.

Ed Nealson

You're on the wrong campus, Walker. Liberal idiocy like that belongs in Iowa City.

Mike Cunningham

Walker? is it? you just made my day. your article is nothing more than commie propaganda. i see through the lies. your words are about as appealing as cat piss.

Dusty Juhl

Yeah, our soldiers are really living in the "lap of luxury", overseas in third world nations, where they don't have decent roads, stable electric grids, indoor plumbing. And thank goodness they don't have to live in constant fear of being blown up by a roadside bomb, or being attacked and shot at in any given moment. Sir, you aren't fit to tie the boots of the soldiers who serve, to protect your right to spew such worthless garbage. Put on the uniform, separate yourself from family, friends, and home for a year, then we'll talk about how right you are.

Kolby DeWitt

Thomas Walker should be banned from any faculty appreciation event ever again, and should never accept a gift on behalf of his occupation.

Brett Barker

The views expressed by Mr. Walker are disgusting and abhorrent and a disservice to Iowa State University.

Matthew O'Brien

Mr. Walker, you are entitled to your own beliefs and opinions; however, attempting to state those beliefs and opinions (especially negatively about other individuals) as facts generates conflict and does not assist your cause.

Stephen Quist

This anti-troops rhetoric is absolutely disgusting!! Supporting the people that risk their lives to give you freedom is not a partisan issue!!!! Each and every American Citizen is eternally indebted to the men and women that serve in our military and should do anything in our power to support them!

Samantha Kampman

As a Republican who has donated to 3 separate charities aimed at helping those less fortunate than I, it was good to see this article because it reminded me I should also do something for our troops this holiday season. I would hate for them to get the impression that our country consists of people similar to you, who do not appreciate the sacrifice our servicemen and women make for us on a daily basis.

Jacob Thomas

I think saying thank-you to the men and women of our armed forces would be more appropriate, Tom. It is amazing to watch ignorant and ungrateful people complain about how our military doesn't deserve our help and good will. They are the reason you can spew your garbage and publicly smear them. Without them, you would be unable to say any of this. Our sovereignty is defended by them whether you choose to believe it or not, so how about a little respect?

Deborah Thornton

Remind me to not let my child, or my friends children, take a class from you.

Spencer Hughes

As a Democrat - and more importantly, an American - I'm appalled by the idea that soldiers serving overseas are doing "nothing" for those of us back home. Perhaps Mr. Walker would have a different perspective if he was in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Jean Kampman

What utter nonsense! Mr. Walker, because of our servicemen you are able to freely verbalize your ungratefulness to the selfless individuals who willingly choose to fight for the freedom of all Americans. And, Mr. Walker, because you had a mother who prized her unborn child, you are here today to write your simplistic and disrepectful opinion. However, I must thank you. Because of your comments, I just contacted an organization to contribute to a specific platoon this Christmas season. (This would be in addition to the other charitable donations I have already made to those who are, in your words, less than gallantly garbed.)

Timothy Foster

It amazes me that anyone in their right mind would submit such a heinous article in the paper about anyone, especially about anyone in the US military. Tom, you obviously don't understand that these troops are risking their lives and dieing for you to live your own disgusting life in America. Honestly show respect.
Here is a very patriotic video describing the soldiers over seas:

Jennifer Peters

As a student veteran....your article disgusts me. So sending a care package is beyond what you can comprehend? Because the families send "yule tide goodies" is enough reason for no one else to have the liberty or freedom to send a care package. So your saying a student veteran who could have possibly attended Iowa State-only familes should send them packages?That the student body who may support them/fellow groups they are involved in/church groups they could be involved with/other family members/boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses/organizations that the very solider is involved with shouldnt be sending care packages? Only families are entitled to that honor of sending a care package. You should step in their shoes and see how it feels to be away from their families for an entire year.

So now deployed soliders are paid enough? News to me. You should go enlist and see whats its like to be deployed. Oh are you married?Do you have kids. Do you even understand what its even like to be deployed. There are many families that have been ripped apart by deployment because their spouses back home literally steal all the soldiers money and when they return-they have absolutely nothing. So what is your estimate on how much soliders should be paid exactly? How much should soliders that have to live away from their families for a year/get shot at/ and among every other excruciating obstacle be getting paid. I didnt realize you were financial advisor now on how much deployed soldiers should get paid. I mean they are the very ones protecting you? I suggest you move to 3rd world country and see how it feels.

So your also saying since deployed soldiers can put deodorant on that they dont deserve a care package? How bout you go get deployed buddy and walk in the shoes of all those that have deployed or given their lives and ask them if they appreciated a simple care package.

You state deployed soliders eat better than poor people? Well I didnt exactly sign up to get a MRE. Soldiers sometimes do have the option to eat well-I do believe they should be entitled to eat well. They are the one defending you so you can sit in your office/home and write this ridiculous article.

You compared a soldier to a fetus?Really? I think you should go back to school buddy and after you do...how about you go talk with a group of veterans and tell them your exact words. You tell a deployed soldier you are comparing them to a fetus.

You should seriously rethink what you are writing about. Granted you do have the right to write this ridiculous article. I suggest you read this article to a group of soldiers-ones that have never deployed/ones that are getting ready to deploy/ones that are deployed/ones that have returned from deployment.How about you go stand in the Gold Star Hall and look at all those names that are around you. Those are the names that have given their life to protect you. How about you switch lives with a deployed soldier.

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. I am a student here at Iowa State and no way would I ever take your class. Why? Because then you will have to give me the option of doing anything in your class:homework/notes/exams/showing up/caring. You just said people shouldnt send care packages to soldiers, they make too much money. Well in my opinon-you are less of a person for writing this. I will always be in debt to those who have given their life/have served/currently serving.

Bryce Rosenquist

Mr. Walker, you are allowed to have your own opinion, but I feel that this letter is more of an attack, rather than a position. Who openly professes that they dislike when people show kindness to other people? Why should gratitude towards our military be wrong Mr. Walker?
Furthermore, both Democrats and Republicans join the military and both Democrats and Republicans will send packages to their loved ones in the service. If someone chooses to send something to the military, whether its an individual, a student group, a church, or some other entity then it is their choice to spend their money in that fashion.

Brandon Umscheid

As a student and Iraqi War veteran I am appalled by your article. First of all you are a lecturer here at Iowa State and are supposed to considered an intelligent person. You sir don't know the FIRST thing about being in the military let alone being deployed into a combat zone. Being pampered huh? So going for weeks without a shower or running water giving yourself a bath by wiping your body down with baby wipes so you don't smell like death isn't what I would called pampering. You also think soldiers get paid to much. Go check a pay chart of what a service member makes. When I was in Iraq I was an E-5 with 4 years in the army and I didn't even 40k that year (and that was tax free). But I'm sure my 40k that year was far to much compared to the money ISU pays you trash our military and the people who support them, not to mention the minds of students you try to put you B.S. into to.

I once heard a joke about a U.S. service member in a college lecture. It goes a little something like this:

A Marine was attending a college course between missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The professor, an avowed atheist, shocked the class one day when he walked in, looked toward the ceiling, and said loudly, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."
The lecture room fell silent and the professor began his lecture. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God - still waiting."
It got down to the last minute when the Marine stood up, walked toward the professor and threw his best punch knocking him off the platform and out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat down.
The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"
The Marine calmly replied, "God is busy today protecting America's soldiers who are protecting your right to behave like an idiot and say stupid stuff. So He sent me.

Please don't ever let me here something like this again because I would be that service member that would defend my brothers and sisters in arms.

Ed Nealson--it's funny you should say so. I live in Iowa City and attend the U of I, and when I first saw this article on Facebook this morning, I assumed it was out of the Daily Iowan (our school paper). I was shocked when I found out that this article was published in Ames.
I don't think I need to tell Mr. Walker, or anyone else, how ridiculous his words are... they speak for themselves. I challenge you to degrade our nation's troops in one of your lectures, rather than writing them safely in the privacy of your own home or office, shielded by your 1st amendment rights that these very soldiers you insult are fighting to protect. I don't think you have the guts to look these young Americans in the eyes and tell them what you think of their friends and family--or in Jennifer Peters's case--they themselves. I've never heard such an ungrateful stance on the lives shed daily to protect our freedoms and the way of life that we as Americans so often take for granted. Obviously you would never be able to take a single step in one of our soldier's shoes--you would never be able to be even half as selfless and brave as those individuals--so instead I think it might do you some good to spend some time in a third world country, to spend some time in a country where your rights aren't protected and there isn't anyone looking out for you... maybe then you'll appreciate all that our soldiers do to protect our very fortunate American lifestyle.
It's disgusting that you would make this an issue of political parties; Republicans and Democrats alike are Americans, and the ability to love your country and appreciate those who fight for it is not something unique only to conservatives--all Democrats should be deeply offended by your implication.
Mr. Walker, even in a town like Iowa City your words would not be well-received, and I hope that you expect much opposition to your anti-American rhetoric on a great campus full of bright, young adults who have certainly learned better than you to appreciate what they've got and not to take their lives, or anyone else's, for granted.
Despite the fact that I believe your article is a disgrace to all Iowa State alum and definitely represents the opinion of a very small and shameful minority, I do greatly appreciate the fact that you have rallied so many individuals to the very cause you insulted. As so many others I know who have read this article today, I'm now in the process of organizing a holiday donation to the troops overseas. Your utter ignorance and arrogance has served only to benefit those who you speak so poorly of, and for that we all thank you very much.

Kelsey Case

This is the first time that I can say that I'm embarrassed to be a student at Iowa State. I will never ever take a class with you and spread the word to everyone I can on campus to do the same. You are a disgusting man to even think this in the first place. I am so disgusted by this article and hope that Iowa State University does something with you about this article. If they dont, then they obviously don't care about their reputation as a university. By the way, I would be thanking our military because they are over their fighting for your freedom to say stupid stuff like this!

Austin Laugen

I have but a simple question - Why are you here?

America is a country founded on freedom. However, that freedom came only through millions of soldiers who have fought and continue to fight because they believe in something so great. That freedom allows normal citizens to live safely as well as to write and publish their opinion. If you don't appreciate the people fighting to maintain our freedom, then what is the point of living in America? Despite all great political differences, it is the one substance that ties us together.

I'm so sick of people cutting down every part of America. The freedom we have is a privilege both worth living and worth dying for, so it's time to step up behind the great country we have the gift to live within. That is what College Republicans was trying to do, and it's what everyone regardless of political affiliation should be doing. Appreciate what our troops fight to defend Mr. Walker.. for in many countries you would be imprisoned or killed for writing such an article

Joe Wuebker

Complete garbage. That is what this article is. You are here, at ISU, teaching America's youth and shaping us to be the future leaders of the country you and I call home, and you say things like this? If we did not have these incredible men and women in the armed forces protecting us everyday, you might not even have the RIGHT to publish this article, or any of your opinions. Of all the events going on right now, you chose to bash the people who are LITERALLY dying to protect your right to do so. I understand that you DO have the right to produce this filth, thanks to our military, but I do not understand how someone, after writing this trash, can go on living and benefitting from the great policies and opportunities that this country provides to us. I support everything our troops do for us and I am eternally greatful towards each and every member of our armed forces for doing things that nobody should ever have to do. You make it sound like these people are on a vacation, living in classy hotel resorts, and enjoying the time they are spending over there... Well news flash Mr. Walker... Every night, they go to bed not knowing if they will even live through the night in combat zones. I do not wish you would have to walk a mile in their shoes. Why? Because nobody should ever have to go days or weeks without showers, proper meals, or even the slightest notion that people back home still think about them. This time of year is a time of giving, of thanks, and of love. Not of slander, filth, and scum. You need to take a step back, look at what all you have, and really thank the people who make it possible for you to have all that you do. I am proud to be an American and I want to send out a Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas to every single member of our armed forces, just to let them know that we are still here and we do still care about them. You should show some support too, we all should.

David Sheets

Mr. Walker; thank you for your comments. The primary thrust of your piece is a vitriolic attack on Republicans, and as an aside you criticize military members abroad, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think you position is based largely on prejudice and not very much on sound information. The idea that soldiers, serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere, are not keepping our enemies - al Queda (which is about as amorphous as the mafia) - at bay is ludicrous. The reason there has not been a second 9/11 is because the US military has been, overtly and covertly, killing al Queda "over there" instead of "over here." As for "Republican patriotism" and the preparation of care packages to be sent overseas, my only comment is that the College Democrats should be doing the same thing. Republican vs. Democrat is a false division created by leftist lunatics and reactionary conservatives who perceive opposing view points as danger; I suspect, Mr. Walker, you are such as person. In truth, I am not responding to you since I do not believe your opinion really matters - I am responding to other readers of both political parties that are sick of Republican / Democrat demagoguery. This piece is pure bile, but what we, the readers, can take away is the universal - Republican and Democrat - contempt Mr. Walker elicits. We of opposing political viewpoints should find positive reasons to come togehter.

David Quist

I have never read such a piece of claptrap in my life. The author's ignorance is only exceeded by his superciliousness.

Sarah Leigh


If you would like to see Iowa State participate in more programs aimed at the needy, start one yourself. Complaining where individuals choose to donate their time and money does nothing, especially if all you are going to do is put some eloquent words to paper degrading the way the Republican group believes they can help a group of individuals. You have a naive view of the world if you believe your abrasive article makes a difference to the students of this college. Go put your foot in your mouth and do something for those you deem to be in need. I think you will find you have more supporters.

P.S. While you have a right to your comments and your opinions, attacking the choice of a soldier to serve in our war probably warrants an apology. You are professional who chose to work at a college with individuals who have served in this war. Your students did not get the choice to be publicly degraded by their teacher.

Ben Gremel

we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!!

Emily Prymula

Without those soliders there to defend your freedom you would't be able to write terrible slanderous things about them. No soldier goes overseas thinking, "I'm protecting the rights of right-wing republicans and large corporations to continue to screw over America," they're thinking of their wives, husbands, children, and families, and wanting to protect their future. If someone wants to send them some extra toilet paper or deodorant, I'm all for it. Why on earth you would feel the need to complain about something charitable towards those who are protecting you is beyond me. You don't care about protecting veterans, all you care about is beating down on Republicans. Also, drawing any sort of correlation between an enlisted soldier and a fetus is both ridiculous and disrespectful.

Joshua Cory

This is exactly why I tell people I don't fight for America, I fight for my family, my friends, the soldiers beside me. So disheartening. I feel like I am stepping back into the Vietnam Era.... What a nice welcome home they received.

Emily Janssen

So....as a "liberal" I would like to say that this guy is rather off base. Yes the military wastes money like that's its job. However, they don't "waste" it on their soldiers. They do it on lots of other stuff that are not really necessary. They should be paying soldiers MORE money. Being a soldier is a government job and not only a necessary one but a HARD job too! Also, anyone sending care packages to soldiers is a perfectly worthy charitable cause.

Anyway, something I want to know...why is the Daily giving this jerk space on their website? I loved the Daily when I was at ISU. I loved the opinion section too because it had really interesting articles for people making good points. This is just stupid though...if media outlets stop giving these types of people attention then not only do we not have to listen to them...but maybe they will get bored and stop blabbering on.

Cole Converse

Articles like this only reinforce my opinion of me thinking that other than the police blotter, this entire newspaper is garbage.... Walker should be fired, and we should honor our troops better than this! GOD BLESS AMERICA! GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!

Art Adams

If you are representative of the faculty at Iowa State, no wonder our students are in trouble after they graduate and try to find gainful employment. Especially those unfortunate enough to have taken anything you teach as it is evident you know nothing about which you write. I've never read anything so ignorant. Perhaps a stint in the army would do you good but then again you'd never have the guts to participate. The only thing you can do is complain like the coward you are.

Holly Buck

It's really easy to complain via a letter. I challenge you to say this directly to anyone affiliated with the military. You obviously have no idea what they sacrifice to give you the right to be so cruel and ignorant. There are many groups that support veterans and those wounded in action in addition to our troops overseas. Perhaps before you go saying things you should educate yourself first.

Also- are you REALLY making donating items to a group, any group of people a NEGATIVE thing? So what if you don't agree with the cause. Don't donate or perhaps start your own fundraisers for groups you feel need it more.

There are plenty of liberals that support the troops as well, not just republicans. Regardless of political stance there is something called patriotism. If you don't have any perhaps you should move to Iraq or Afghanistan and see how things work in other parts of the world that don't have the freedoms we do thanks to the men and women that defend us every day.

Happy Holidays Jeremy!

Zachary Boss

As a student here at Iowa State University, I am very disappointed on Mr. Walkers article. This isn't a right or left issue! In my eyes this is a group of students who want to show appreciation of what are troops are doing over seas! You may or may not support what is going on over there, but these men and women are sacrificing their lives, their family, and their friends to serve our country! A simple care package is our way to say "Thank You" for these troops! Also Mr. Walker, as a person who has a focus in bringing these troops back to school, You are making it difficult for all those students who serve or have served to return back to this campus by writing things like this! For all of those who have served I say THANK YOU!!!! Have a Happy Holidays and God Bless!!!

Steve Krug

To balance out all of the other neo-conservative student viewpoints on campus, I believe Professor Walker's article is necessary and provides an alternate perspective on military involvement overseas. I would like to take his class and see what he has to say. He is probably a very interesting and radical person. This makes it easy for people to learn from information. You guys get off your "god" pedestals and donate to the poor. The government is doing all they can to keep your soldiers safe who volunteered to travel over seas.

Jennifer Peters

Dear Steve Krug-how about you get off your pedestel and put yourself in our shoes.

Tyler Smith

Mr. Walker,
Might I suggest you reflect upon what you have written. While troops are certainly given advanced weaponry, state-of-the-art technology and intense training in combat and defense at the expense of tax payers, do you not believe this to be a necessary investment for the continuation and protection of this great nation? Furthermore, while you may disagree with the justification for our current involvement in overseas conflicts, is it not vital that we support those willing to sacrifice their lives for such causes in turn preserving the very freedoms allowing you to display your disapproval and dissatisfaction of their “preferential” treatment? It is true that soldiers are capable of feeding and clothing themselves, yet these primitive aspects of daily life are no less important for them as they are for us. In fact, their day to day activities are far short of the “normal” operations most Americans experience: firefights, unexpected hostile confrontations with rebellious enemies, bombings and perhaps the most important of them all, the loss of a comrade or one’s own life. Additionally, if these armed service men and women are not fighting on the front lines, they are experiencing detachment from friends and family, challenging climate conditions, paranoia, PTSD, or an array of other case sensitive complications that arise during war. What I find most interesting are your comments about soldiers’ compensation and treatment in regards to food, clothing and morale/support. Certainly the army provides for these soldiers, it would not be logical if our army did not properly equip and feed our defenders (FYI: MRE’s are anything but fine cuisine. After consuming these for days on end you would enjoy a taste of real food from home as well). From the comments below and from my own understanding, while solider compensation may be tax free, it does not change nor replace the fact that they put their lives on the line or pay the ultimate sacrifice to continue the existence of our nation. Their income is hard-earned. They deserve every dollar they make. In addition to this, questioning the collection and donation of goods (food, clothing and letters of support) is what dumbfounded me. Of course their families send them care packages and are in contact with them, but this does not mean there is any less a need to send care items to soldiers from sources such as the College Republicans, churches, charities or communities as a whole. When you bring up the topic of the less fortunate, destitute Americans living in this nation being forgotten, then may I ask you what local food pantries, food drives and homeless shelters are doing? You are arguing that our emotional and financial support of the military is causing us to forget about those in need here in America. This correlation is flawed. Our armed service men and women and the homeless/destitute Americans living in this nation are both experiencing their own trials and tribulations and are both supported and funded in differing manners. While military expenditures exceed those for domestic poverty, funding to take care of the less fortunate in America is not lacking. In 2006, Americans gave about $295 billion to charity. This was up 4.2 percent over 2005 levels, and charitable giving has generally risen faster than the growth of the American economy for more than half a century. Correcting for inflation and population changes, GDP per person in America has risen over the past 50 years by about 150 percent, while charitable giving per person has risen by about 190 percent. That is, the average American family has gotten much richer in real terms over the past half century, and charitable giving has more than kept pace with this trend. Even these numbers do not account for the time countless individuals in this nation volunteer at homeless shelters, food pantries and outreach programs through churches or local services. Do you not believe we are in continual support for the less fortunate here just as much as we are for the soldiers overseas? If you believe there is a severe gap in treatment, why not do something about it? Just as you have the freedom to bash our soldiers and the actions of those who support them in this article, why not use this freedom to establish your own services of giving as you see fit? As for the veterans of this nation, I do agree that our services can be improved to better cater to their exact needs. Any service may need improvement when it becomes outdated over the course of decades, but you should provide positive suggestions for doing such rather than attempt to tie military expenditures to the lack of financial support of our veterans. Support of our armed forces should not be a partisan issue. It is a vital component of our nation and without it, much chaos and disorder would ensue. Lastly, I believe you and I would both agree that government spending is excessive and questionable more times than not. However, without any revenue generated by the Federal Government, much of our nation’s infrastructure would collapse. Yes, there are the unnecessary and downright unacceptable uses of tax payer money (entitlement programs) and these occurrences need to be addressed by the American people. Maybe you should be considering how to reduce this fiscal irresponsibility in a way that explores our funding in terms of discretionary and mandatory spending if you disagree with our military budget. Instead of stating Republican patriotism excludes those in need, perhaps those in need should not be excluded from Republican patriotism.

Isaac Hanson

I personally didn't sign up to pay the salary of a "radical" like Mr. Walker. I think it is utterly ridiculous that anyone would want to take a class with someone who has such a slanted view of how the world works. It is insulting to say troops chose to leave home or volunteered to TRAVEL over seas (as if they are living in hotels being pampered daily while providing no service but pissing off the locals). Joining the military is vastly different than booking a vacation. Finally telling anybody where there charity dollars should be spent is frankly counterproductive. If you think that money and time could be more effectively used helping the poor than do so. Don't look down your nose at people who decide that helping our service men and women is a worth cause.

Tom Menino

If this is typical of the caliber of logical thought and writing produced by an Iowa State faculty member, then why would anyone want to send their child there, or give them money to pay the salary of someone who writes this?

At least we know this poseur owns a thesaurus. It reads like some English 101 attempt to try and save a crappy paper with big-boy words. This is what one gets for instructors at ISU? Pathetic ivory tower wannabes who deride whole groups of people with generalities? Shameful, and a warning to anyone whose child plans to go here and possibly be exposed to such small, confined minds. Again, why would anyone waste their money with so many other choices?

Shea McNamara

I am a former Marine with multiple deployments (some combat) who has left active duty to attend college back home in Iowa. It pains me to see writings that attempt to diminish the sacrifice and efforts that our men and women are doing on the behalf of those back home. I would love to be able to add the thoughts of the young Marine tonight taking fire in Afghanistan, but personally know that he has neither the creature comforts you speak of, nor the desire to indulge you in rebuttal of your misguided thoughts. I am honored to speak for all those who at this time cannot.

Mr. Walker,

I am a simple college student and have no fancy words in which I can express as articulately as you my opinion. What I can offer to this, is my humble thoughts on the matter of which you addressed in reprimanding ISU’s College Republicans for their support of the troops deployed. Let me first preface this by saying this is nothing new in the history of this country. Throughout our nation’s history the military has often acted with the knowledge that there would be those who would shamelessly hide beneath the blanket of protection and liberties that they provide only to scorn and demean those who provide it. Few military members forward deployed have the illusion that all appreciate their sacrifice. The unifying theme is that they believe, however, that you should have the right to your opinions, as poorly founded as they are. They are so set on this believe that they are willing to sacrifice family, friends, comfort, and even life to reach it. They will go wherever they are told, complete whatever task might be required, and face whatever evil for your right to insult them from home.

You, yourself, are a college educator. Yet, you have much to learn. You speak of conditions in which you have only secondhand (at best) knowledge. You cannot imagine the sacrifices of the service men and women on your behalf, or you would not have expressed such an ignorant sentiment. Please understand I express the term “ignorant” in no offense, but as simple lack of knowledge. However, you are the learned college educator. You must know, in your years of comfortable study, what it is like to be alone. You must have read what a young veteran feels when he looses a close buddy. You must have experienced missing holidays, weddings, and the passing of loved ones because you were fighting for our country. You must have yourself picked up a rifle and have to have made a instant life or death decision. You must have had to live with that decision. You must have frozen in the cold and perspired in the sweltering heat. You must have given up your Thanksgiving meal in exchange for a MRE, or thanked God for delivering you home safely from patrol. You certainly must have done all of these things for you to have felt you could so boldly make the claims you made.

Certainly, your right to make those claims is guaranteed by selfless men and women of whom I am proud to call myself. I agree with you that we should help those who are in need; the poor and the unemployed. On this subject I offer no argument. However, of your assessment of the conditions for which those who serve suffer through, you could not be further from the mark.

I realize I addressed only very few of the issues you raised. However, the greatest concern of mine was that you make little of the sacrifice of those serving while having no basis on which to do so. I would accept the invitation to meet in person and discuss this issue if you have the courage or courtesy.
Semper Fidelis

Sarah Leigh

Steve Krug-

No one is denying Thomas his opinion of the military involvement overseas or his idea to donate money to the poor here in America. We have a problem with his lack of professionalism through his attack on the soldiers who are currently serving their country. He is a professor and should realize he cannot say whatever comes to his mind without consequences. Instead of wasting our time telling us to get off our "god pedestals" why don't you go help those you feel to be truly in need. No one is going to write an article about how fruitless your efforts are.

Michael Freddoso

How much does one really care about the poor if one uses them to score petty partisan political points (and uses them poorly, I might add)? I think the author of this letter has committed a grave injustice by wasting time writing this letter, rather than volunteering at a homeless shelter.

Justin Hoffman

The puritans made a distinction between the deserving poor and the undeserving poor, I make that distinction as well.

You are free to give aid to whoever you see fit. My aid will go to the troops.

Jasmine Clark

i'm a 20-year-old college student (but i don't go to this school)- oh my gosh, i feel sorry for any student unlucky enough to be in your class!!! they let people like you educate others?!! what does it take to be a lecturer at this school if even an idiot like you is allowed to influence young minds? horrifying!!

you are SO politically motivated and slanted that you COMPLETELY FORGET about the SACRIFICE our soldiers make for all americans. all you care about is "i hate republicans!!!11111" and repeating the "republicans=evil rich businesspeople/ military-industrial complex" bullcrap talking point. what you don't care about is the fact that our soldiers go through so much intense draining, danger, pain, hardships, and the deaths or permanent injuries of their friends and fellow soldiers. they risk their lives to protect all americans, even disgusting, useless pieces of trash like you. what if we had no military defending us? how would life be then? any other country in the world could attack us or take over. did you ever once stop to think about that?!

giving care packages not only makes things a little easier for the soldiers, it's also emotional, it sends a message: it's saying "hey, i care about you, thank you, i haven't forgotten you." did you ever once stop to think about that, either? no, because you're an idiot, like i said. not only that, you're cold-hearted and repulsive, the way you could not care less about the horrors and hardships soldiers go through. maybe you should become a soldier and go overseas, and see what it's like. it would be so tough for you, you'd be the very first one crying and whining and wishing for a care package.

another thing is that you think it's strange that "republicans prize fetuses." yeah it's only human lives, why should we prize them? (that's your opinion) maybe you should have been aborted, killed as a fetus. did that offend you? why should it, if in your opinion, it's a weird thing to prize a fetus? nope, what i just said should not offend you at all, since you're okay with abortion.

i'm a republican. people of all political ideologies (except whatever yours is) give to a variety of charities. i care about giving to the troops but i also care about giving to the poor, both in america and other countries. you stupidly assume that republicans' ONLY charity is for the troops. and of course we care about veterans, where did you get the idea that we don't care about veterans? making up baseless assumptions. still blows my mind that you're qualified to be a teacher if you're this stupid. that's scary.

to commenter steve krug, you assumed that anyone who disagrees with the piece of trash who wrote this article doesn't give to the poor, a completely baseless assumption. you have no logical argument either. fitting that you would want to take the idiot's class, you're two of a kind. you claim you like the fact that he "balances others' viewpoints" but you wouldn't care about "balancing viewpoints" if the author disagreed with YOUR viewpoint. but because he agreed with you, suddenly you think he's an interesting person and you care so much that there are balancing viewpoints. what a moron.

Justin Hoffman

I'd just like to point out that individuals on food stamps probably eat better than many of the students in your class.

Daniel Kauffman

This isshows as a clear a difference between Liberals and Conservatives on Charity and the Military as could be possible.

The Truth Sir is that Conservatives DO donate to all Charities far more than Liberals
More cash per capita more time and if everyone donated Blood at the Level of Liberals then stockpiles would plumet about 40%

So maybe you should ask YOUR side why THEY don't do more?

Picti Witta

Mr. Walker,
Is it okay if I write a politically motivated rant article in the Iowa State Daily telling everyone that I object to your personal acts of charity and that I want you to instead spend your time, money and donations on sending care packages to soldiers?

Erick Weigold

Our men and women serving our country overseas remain in our hearts and best wishes. A simple touch from home makes all the difference in many lives.

On the flip-side, it is true that many hungry souls walk our mean streets. Many a child goes to bed hungry, cold, and uncertain. Giving should start at home and extend to those of us who may be far away. The point I take away is we need to first take care of ourselves, our country, our home. When we are healthy and sound as a people, then we can look to help others. Our government "helps" other governments, which really means money is passed from government to government and most often fails to reach those who actually need.

Picti Witta


A Marine's Christmas Song"

Marine Corps Master Sgt. Robert Allen, deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, plays a song he wrote for his wife for Christmas.

Allen joins the thousands of military men and women deployed this holiday season in support of counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan. He said he hopes his Christmas song "will help people understand that though we're willing to do it, it's still heartbreaking."

To learn more about Master Sgt. Allen's song, visit:

To learn more about Marines in Afghanistan, visit:

Nathan Wagner

Dr. Walker
I wish to respond to your letter, but first I wish to thank you. Thank you for not heedlessly following the blinded masses. Thank you for bring the topic up to be discussed; both for the remembrance of the troops that are serving in hostile environments, and for the needy those “at the bottom,” as you say, many of whom are in dire circumstances.
Now as to why Americans should send care packages. It is because care packages are not about the goods that go into them. For soldiers it’s about knowing the citizens of their county care for them, knowing that not everyone wishes them harm, and that the citizens of our county really do remember that we are at war; an armed conflict in which human beings are dying everyday.
Yes, of course the Army provides for their needs, and families (when able) send them “goodies.” And yes by economic accounts, for the amount of education and skills (especially versus other nations) solders, and there families, are paid enough to get by. That is of course without the calculation of risking their lives, which no one can nor should attempt.
As far as necessities being “Doled out to the people that really need them,” that would seem to be the logical thing to do. I am sure any solder would be happy to know that even though Americans are aware of their hardships, and concerned for their wellbeing, necessities are being given to the needy. Perhaps that you’ve failed to address is that Americans are materialistic, and it’s through gifts that we allow ourselves to demonstrate feelings.
You ask, “What are the troops doing for us?” I think it’s very clear what the troops are doing for us. They are carrying out the will of our county. We, Americans, are responsible for our military and the members in it. The blame for any actions can be put onto someone person if you want, but it’s still ours. That’s what it means to live in a democratic state, even if it’s not perfect or perfectly democratic. So if the will of our country is to send out our military and station them in another county that is our doing.
Are they creating anti-American terrorist? It is more than possible, it is all but proven. Soldiers kill people, that is what they do, that is the nature of their work, as much as it is you job to teach. America sent soldiers to Afghanistan to find terrorists, and those who harbor them, and to kill them. To reduce the future possibility of Americans dying. This clearly involved a calculation made by America through our elected representatives, and we deemed that it would be better to kill before Americans were again killed.
I know I’ve only addressed some of the issues you have mentioned, and with merely adequate writing skills as compared to a lecturer in intensive English. But I invite you to contact me and discuss the matter further, Thank you.
-ISU Student and war veteran

Lukas Petersen


I'm guessing that as someone with an English background, you can appreciate an excerpt from a poem:

"It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

You sir, have sunk about as low as one can sink when it comes to abusing the rights this country bestows on its citizens. You have not only come on here to exercise your constitutional right to be an idiot, in the process, you've disparaged the men and women who protect your constitutional right to be an idiot. To me, this makes you not only an idiot, but a morally repugnant one. You disgust me and many of the other people who've read this letter.

I do have a piece of advice for you: how about instead of lecturing college students about how to use their sparse financial resources, you instead back the causes you support? Based on your thoughts, the homeless of Des Moines might have stiff competition from the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but with as much as you're paid by ISU (knowing what I do about public university salaries, it's far too much) I'm sure there's enough to go around.

Bill Skolnik

Hi there TOM

I just dropped in to let you know as a combat medic, I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire.

Matthew Solovey

Oh the ramblings of an academic liberal without an ounce of real world common sense... Liberals: always wrong - but so damn smug with themselves.

Laura Caldwell

First, I'd like to thank Mr. Walker for the word "eleemosynary", I'd not heard or read that one, and do so love coming across new words.

Secondarily though, I'd also like to voice my own agreement with so many others commenting here. Since many have already shared insights from the perspectives of soldiers, and their loved ones...I'd like to comment from the perspective of someone who's been through unplanned pregnancy, and has family who is abjectly poor

Mr. Walker, in this great country, much like the soldier has volunteered to serve (though of course has no power over where, or even sometimes how long) those who are "at the bottom" in most cases also have made choices putting them there, and in many cases continue to make choices keeping them there.

When I was in college, I experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Though I wasn't yet a registered Republican, that fetus was indeed dear to me--if only on a very intellectual level, and I did indeed make several life changing decisions based upon the values you so snidely deride. That fetus is now 20, and majoring in math; on the dean's list and earning awards and honors. She also has 3 siblings we all very much adore--oh, and I married and stayed married to her father. We've donated to crisis pregnancy centers. You might be surprised to learn that many support more than merely the Mother as she gestates a human being, they also provide diapers, clothing and toys for siblings, as well as anything needed by the rest of the unborn child's family.

Though, due mainly to our own choices, we are quite poor...we are poor in the world's greatest nation, and most of the time aren't particularly aware of our lowly state [beam] It only came to our notice really, when we were unable to qualify to help sponsor a friend's Mother to come to America. However, even in that state, not only have we made care packages for soldiers, we've also donated coats and blankets for Afghanistanis--I'd very much like to know if any other country in history has done what Americans do on a regular basis--even poor Americans! It is indeed a 'straw man's argument' that if charity is given to one group--it is not given to another.

As a pro-lifer, I think of people like Tim Tebow, who's Mom was told in no uncertain terms she should abort him, and people like my own church members who are bringing up special needs children--as well as myself and my own husband who have been blessed with four wonderful bright children, as well as losing another four in late term miscarriages. But when I think of our military, I think of people like Navy Corpsman Chris Walsh, who gave his life--while pursuing not only the enemies of our country, but also while trying to save children of those same enemies. I can think of no other country in all of history where a Grandmother would run out to the conquering soldiers on patrol--just after being attacked--yelling "Sick baby!" while holding the infant out to them. THAT is our military--and though Chris was eventually killed, along with others in his troop--the remaining ones did indeed get that baby out of Iraq and to American medical treatment....in such a manner that they were not killed by their own neighbors.

Later today, I'll be shopping for some toddler bed sized sheets and warm PJ's for a family I know, who hasn't paid their own electric bill in at least the past three years...and who I've given rides for--as they go from charity to charity. Yes, they are indeed poor...but their prioritizing cigarettes, alcohol and pot over rent, utilities, diapers and laundry are the direct result of their own choices. My Dad worked as a social worker for 30+ years, and my Mom taught ABE (Adult Basic Education) as well as ESL for 30+ years before being forced into retirement by disability...and I've gotten to both hear of and see the results of choices, the consequences of consistently bad decisions.

Just because the soldier volunteered to serve, is no reason to bar him/her from charity, and kindness--exactly as much as it isn't decent to bar someone from charity--or especially their children--after their parents have made decisions leading to--and even continue to choose abject poverty. At least the soldier has chosen to attempt to be disciplined, self sufficient, strong, honest, and selfless. Rather than insulting them, and those of us who admire them and their sacrifice--volunteer for a soup kitchen, hand out some hot food to a pan handler--donate to a crisis pregnancy center and then sit down and write a nice long letter of gratitude for all the amazing blessings you yourself have received thus far in your lifetime--perhaps it'll help your outlook a bit. [innocent]

Chad Scott

1. Way to take a good thing and find the bad in it. On the flip side I could write an article about how welfare and the homeless take money from the government that could be used to buy our Soldiers better equipment. At least the Soldiers are earning what they get. When was the last time a bum did something to improve your life?

2. If those bums and homeless people want care packages and a job, the army is always hiring. Yes we volunteered in to the military but at least we are doing something for our money rather than just wanting a hand out.

3. What was the point of the article? What does this do other than piss people off? Were you trying to get people to stop sending care packages to Soldiers? Who give a damn what people send to whom?

4. Soldiers don't need the care packages but receiving them makes us feel wanted, appreciated, and not forgotten.

5. You think you are deep in the knowledge of the world because of what you have studied but you don't see the real world what goes on in the evilest corners of the Earth. You are a disappointment to this country, at least those that disagree with the wars don't take it out on the Soldiers. As if it is the Republicans responsibility to be charitable on an equal basis. When was the last time you sent a care package to either a soldier or a homeless person. I know republicans that do both on a regular basis. Go crawl back into your disgusting hole and cry over your inadequacies.

Washington Nearsider

"U.S. soldiers who can already deodorize themselves, who eat better than the poorest Americans and who are gallantly garbed..."

…and get paid a pittance for a job that often requires them to risk their lives. I think a few packages from home are the very least we can do for them.

When I was over there, I wanted Q-tips and baby wipes. That's not really asking a lot. If people like Lecturer Walker can decide that health care is a basic human right that should be paid for by others, shouldn't those of us who risk our lives voluntarily be able to get some baby wipes?

Oh, and the “rules of conduct” to post a reply to this work of art is rich: “Be Nice”, no “ism’s that is degrading to another person”, etc.

Strange rules given that this Pulitzer Prize-contending article consists of five paragraphs of name calling animus and disparagement towards young Republicans and US Soldiers.

Justin Tyme

Unfortunately for the author, conservatives do give to the needy. And not just through government programs, but through a variety of charitable actions and donations.

Missions from churches are just one example.

Giving a gift from home to someone who is away from home in a hostile environment means a lot to the person who receives it.

Giving some paracord or a barrel snake or even silly string to our troops is very much appreciated.

Who does the author think contributes to various Children's Relief funds? The same folks who send those care packages.

I suggest the author start contributing to causes for relief he believes would benefit from those contributions. It would be a start in the direction of understanding the gift of giving.

Russ Hochstetler

It's somewhat reassuring to see that some things I experienced at ISU in the late 80's/ early 90's are still around; however, I would prefer still having Top of the Town & That Place or DaVinci's around to enjoy rather than seeing this ignorance on display from an over-educated English department "lecturer".

It would have been so much easier to bite your tongue and say nothing, but you just had to open your mouth and insert your foot. I'm going to follow that old Chinese saying and wish you an "interesting" life because of this comment.

Mike Ingram

I am not shocked that a liberal would say these things. I've come to expect it. I also expect that you'll have a rude awakening come next November.

As a veteran and a citizen, I applaud the efforts of these young people in showing support to our Soldiers, Sailers, Airmen and Jarheads. I meant Marines [beam]

Kristen McFarland

You, sir are entitled to your opinion, but actually it isn't worth the powder to blow it to Hell and back. Republicans and conservatives in particular are statistically more charitable than any liberal Democrat out there and provably so, of course...that belies any good intentions you may have...as far as the American military is concerned, without them, you wouldn't have the freedom of speech you enjoy to malign, impugn and denigrate as freely as you appear to for those who protect and serve you; as far as the ability and all that 'high' military pay is concerned; it's nowhere near the amount that public sector unions pay teachers and so many others in that sector, including yourself..your lack of knowledge is positively staggering in terms of what the military receives monetarily for the services they so readily perform to keep you safe from the real terrorists of the world; and those Islamic fascists you and others like you so readily provide verbal support..let us know when they come back to bite you because they will...you'll be the first they go after when they invoke Sharia law because you are the most easily seen as those worth eliminating...you are provably the most naive', gullible and most submissive (something Islam demands) when the rubber meets the road...the rest of us will fight while you slip into the obscurity you so richly deserve...

Manny Laureano

What utter nonsense based on emotion rather than any kinds of real facts. Republicans and conservatives have long been documented as being more charitable than their counterparts on the left. We give to everyone... the poor, places of worships, and, yes, the military. The stereotype of warlike misers is invention. The editors of this online site might do better to do a bit of research on what kind of rubbish is passed off as opinion.

Ben Franklin

Mr. Walker makes an excellent point about how worthless the product is that Iowa State puts out. At least that is what I took away from his diatribe.

But hey, he used the word "eleemosynary" and in his mind that PROVES he is right. Bugger all of you conservatives with your logic and reasoning. I bet you had to look that word up!

Brad Mueller

Who I give my time, my treasure, and my goods to, is none of your business.

Brad Mueller

I'd like to add that if this is the quality of critical thinking being advocated at Iowa State, Parents should seriously reevaluate their children's school choices.

Steve Hensyel

Oh the ramblings of an academic liberal who is grossly overpaid with taxpayer funds and has no clue what it is like to work in the real world.

Curt Massie

It's actually refreshing that a liberal will admit to his vicious hatred of not only our military but our men and women in uniform also. I wish they were all this honest and openly admit their seething rage and irrational hatred of our brave fighting soldiers.

Spencer Hughes

It is unfortunate that so many commenters are drawing political distinctions on this issue between liberals and conservatives. Supporting our soldiers isn't a conservative thing to do, it's an American thing to do. Using the author Mr. Walker as an example of the liberal attitude towards the military, or to charity, is akin to using the Westboro Baptist Church as an example of the conservative attitude towards homosexuality.

Mark Seavey

The American Legion responded to this screed here:

Curt Massie

Spencer, how much do you know about the Westboro Baptist Church? Not much evidently. They are committed democrats. In fact Fred Phelps was a delegate for Al Gore in his run for presidency in 1988. He has also run for office on the democrat ticket. You might want to make a different analogy.

Aaron Holmes

being a US Army infantryman, this literally makes me want to vomit. how can this person possibly think that a soldier would rather go to iraq/afghanistan than be with his family over the holidays? We don't do it because we want to, we do it because we feel a sense of duty and willingness to serve our country. If it weren't for people who serve degenerates like this one would not be able to have his "thoughts" posted on a public forum.

Gregory Heuston

Typical America hating liberal dogma. That Lecturer spewed it. He has to wake up every morning knowing that the only reason he can freely spew his anti-American hate is because of the unquestionable sacrifice of others, who will always have done more for their country, in uniform, than this piece of garbage ever did. Or ever will do. And I hate to tell you buddy, but paying taxes is not doing your personal fair share. Paying taxes does not count as a Patriotic Duty. Serving your country punches that ticket. Supporting, aiding, enabling, and comforting those who do also counts. It really has to suck waking up every day hating your country, and, deep down, because you have failed at life, yourself. You are pathetic. You sir, have failed the test. I call you a coward.

Joe Downs

Dear Sir:

We have already given trillions of dollars to the war on poverty. Yet poverty is more pervasive than ever. What would the point be of ignoring our soldiers to throw more money than ever at a black hole that doesn't seem to solve the problem?

Perhaps you would like for these small gifts to all of the fine people in the Occupy movement to bolster our social consciousness? We certainly should make these soldiers more comfortable in their war on the US. It would only be right.

Or maybe, just maybe, we can give small gifts and care packages to young men who gladly leave their families to serve their country. You don't have to agree with any particular war or the military industrial complex in general. But how can you treat these men so poorly? These men give you the right to say what you say - right or wrong - obviously wrong on this issue but maybe you will be correct on some other issue. I doubt it but....

Spencer Hughes

Curt Massie, you have missed my point entirely. The WBC's position on homosexuality is a fringe, radical conservative view on that issue. In the same sense, this letter from Mr. Walker identifies (at best) with a fringe, radical political ideology. Rather than having commenters identify it as "typical America hating liberal dogma" (just one example out of many), I would hope that we could understand how out of the mainstream Mr. Walker truly is. As I've said before, supporting our troops is not a political issue, and rather than to go down to Mr. Walker's level and make it one, we should be standing together - not as conservatives and liberals, but as Americans - in support of our brave men and women in the military.

Curt Massie

Spencer, I completely disagree, I believe hatred for our military is quite pervasive on the left. Not too many will admit it in "mixed company" but a few will put themselves our. Jonathon Alter wrote a scathing attack against our soldiers. He's considered a "mainstream journalist." Once in a while liberals let the mask fall but they know that if the "masses" knew what they really thought they'd never get elected.

Rob Mitchell

One of the things our troops do for us is to protect and defend the Constitution of these United States, which in turn guarantees the freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, as Mr. Walker has so powerfully demonstrated, includes the right to publish the utterly asinine.

Jesse Faber

This professor is not a true American. This Professor is disgrace country.

Leslie Godwin

I volunteer for Soldiers' Angels (www.soldiersangels.org) because I don't personally know any servicemen or women but want to do something, even something as small as sending care packages and letters, to support our troops.

I can't think of anyone I admire more at the moment than the good guys who are killing the bad guys who want to kill us, before they get a chance to do so.

I don't think I've ever heard so much B.S. in such a short article. Only someone who is ensconced in the ivory tower of a university could think that these are pearls of wisdom. I hope parents are paying attention...Mr. Walker (and others who are patting him on the back right now for writing something that bravely speaks "truth to power") are teaching your kids!!! And you are paying a lot for the privilege of having your child indoctrinated in values that might be quite different than yours.

God bless our troops and their families and loved ones waiting at home for them!

Morgan Sanders

I do not want to argue about who should and shouldnt receive aid from volunteer organizations. I can see where his argument stems from. That does not mean i agree with it.

I am a student at Iowa State University and i am upset by the belittling comments posted about ISU. This man's opinion has no reflection on his teaching abilities or the university that employs him. It is simply his opinion. I haven't had a class with him but i will say to everyone that the standards at Iowa State University are the same as most other universities around the nation. Education here is provided by both far leaning right and left wing lecturers and if he had not responded in a letter to the editor, most would not know his political or personal opinions.

I am sure that most people that comment in this blog currently work with or previously have worked with someone who holds a very strong minority opinion - does that mean that your entire company is corrupt?

To everyone who has something to say about this letter - consider keeping your comments to the topic and leaving the skewed opinions about the university to yourself.

Steve Woody

This "professor" is an idiot to espouse his political views at the cost of troops serving overseas. Fortunately for him, the troops that are guarding freedoms he is able to use and abuse (and I'm guessing in the classroom as well) are the reason he is able to speak freely, without fear of military or governmental reprisal.

If the article had been about a liberal organization or religious entity mailing care packages, I doubt this person would have felt led to write this letter. This is nothing more than a pot shot at a conservative campus group. Must be fun to be a member of that group sitting in this guy's class.

Abby Wagner-Impson

How shameful for a lecturer at ISU to go about spewing such clear hatred and unfounded finger pointing! I want to know what you could possibly know about personal sacrifice, when it is evident from your thoughtless letter that you, sir, no nothing, not one bit. You sit in your ivory tower spewing accusations, and therein lies the problem! Get down from your tower and ask yourself, what are YOU doing for the "veterans or others in need?"
Is it only a Republicans duty to make sure veterans are being taken care of? As you are most clearly not apart of the Republicans NOR the military, how do you know what they do for veterans? I am stationed at Camp Pendleton with my husband, who is a Marine, and I am a witness firsthand to all the programs and help offered to veterans leaving the military. Our local community, which includes Democrats and Republicans alike, also give a grateful helping hand to veterans! Please tell me, since you must be somewhat educated, that you did indeed do some research before mindlessly deciding to stereotype! Let me tell you what, in fact, does seem to be a current issue in the military: Budget cuts. Budget cuts from the current administration, which are pushing families out of the military and back into the civilian world with hardly a thought or a choice. Added to that is worry and fear about benefits being slashed, as some already have, and bonuses evaporating. Do you go to work everyday afraid of what your employer is going to take away from your current job and from your benefits? Of course not, or you wouldn't be writing letters like the above.
Military men and women join the military for various reasons, just as I'm sure you became a lecturer of English for various reasons. They may choose to join, but they don't get the choice of whether they leave home or not, they MUST go, unlike you.
To answer you question "Aren't GIs paid enough to buy what they need, and even what they want?" I almost laughed out loud. I’m shocked to this day how poorly GI's get paid, and some GI's have children and families to take care of. I often wonder how many of the families make it!
The irony of your whole letter is this: A veteran was once a soldier, who you so obviously despise. If you claim that soldiers are getting paid enough for all their wants and needs, then why so much concern for them after they leave the military as opposed to others in America who are unemployed? Don't we all sympathize for those who lose their jobs, especially when today in America unemployment has become so prominent?
Why do Republicans care so much about the military?" The answer is, because they are still people, just like you and me. Republicans are indeed guilty of a patriotism, a kind that extends charity to those who need it now and most possibly later, as you pointedly brought up.

Sean Giese

I am a student at Iowa State, and a registered Democrat, and the hatred this lecturer is pouring onto the internet is disgusting and an insult to both Iowa State and liberals everywhere... I don't necessarily support the war, but I damn well support the troops fighting for my right to live free from oppression. This radical, hate-filled opinion tarnishes the reputation of the university that I love and serves only to polarize politics further.

PS- the use of words such as "eleemosynary" among otherwise idiotic writing tends to make the writer sound less intelligent and more like a moron with Thesaurus.com on his favorites.

Jack Dau

Unreal. This guy should be ashamed of himself.

Caitlyn Ryan

I think it is unfortunate that the opinion here is one that is representative of Iowa State. I see comments on this letter like, "Parents should be careful..." when considering this school for their children. Or comments to the effect of "if this is the type of staff that Iowa State hires, then..." I am a student of journalism at Iowa State. It is a wonderful institution filled with many great opportunities. Not a single one of the teachers I've been in the classroom with have ever pushed their thoughts or opinions onto the class as a whole. In fact, many of my teachers will preface their statements with, "Now, I'm not telling you this is what I think, I'm just telling you the research says this..."

But moving on to this letter... I fully understand our First Amendment. This instructor is within his right to publish this article as they are his own thoughts. However, I feel this was executed in a horrible fashion. Overall, I found the tone of this article to be very disrespectful.

I've had a lot of friends and loved ones go into the military; many of them have gone overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan. I agree with the many people who brought up the point that by sending these care packages to them we are saying, "We haven't forgotten you, and we appreciate your sacrifice for us and our country. Stay strong, and we will see you when you return."

I won't dismiss that, yes, we do need to take care of our homeless. But there is much being done about that on many local levels. There is not a situation that has been presented here where it's either soldiers or people on the streets. In fact, I have received many emails from ISU indicating where to drop off canned foods, jackets, mittens, etc. to many of our unsheltered families and youth. They are not at all being overshadowed or forgotten.

In short, I do not believe this article should be a reflection of our school. The reflection of the author... Well, if you read on to more comments, that will present itself.

Richard Williams

Dear Professor

I find it the height of irony that a person of your obvious intellect has the gall to protest the very thing that allows them the freedom to say it: namely, the members of the US Military. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every single day just so you have the legal right to speak falsehoods about our military as well as to display your own arrogance and pomposity without fear of governmental repercussions. As a recently retired 20-year veteran, I would like to say "you're welcome". If we did not do our jobs defending your freedoms and serving our Nation honorably you would probably be arrested, shot, "disappeared" or branded an enemy of the state for your views, and it would most likely be done in any other language than English. Because I left my family for months at a time, missing birthdays, holidays, babies firs steps and many other significant evens, all while I watched compatriots get shot at and even die, you have the First Amendment right to say what you will. Again, I say "you're welcome", even though I know you will never thank any of us for putting our lives on the line and will continue to brainwash incoming students with your political vitriol rather than teach them English.

I also take extreme exception to your statement "...who eat better than the poorest Americans and who are gallantly garbed...". Professor, I invite you to dinner with me and my family. You can see with your own eyes how we are making things stretch with hot dogs, casseroles and other inexpensive items that we eat on a daily basis. Note that there is no lobster, prime rib or expensive chocolate on the menu at my home, but you are welcome to it. In return, I would love to have dinner at a tenured professor's home. Perhaps we could exchange recipes, though I doubt we would be able to afford many of your ingredients. In reference to your assumptions on what I wear, I will inform you that I am currently wearing hand-me-down clothes (as are many of my children) because we simply do not have the funds to shop at the mall and purchase the latest fashions. When we returned home to Iowa, we had no winter clothing and many kind people donated things for me and my family to wear during our first winter here. We prefer staying warm over wearing "gallant" clothing. Professor, you made a completely false, sweeping generalization about military members that only shows your ignorance and how you take your privileges for granted...rights and privileges that were earned with the blood, sweat, tears and very lives of our men and women in uniform and their families that suffer in their absence.

Perhaps your obvious intellect is overpowered by your brainwashing at the hands of your political party? Professor, your bias is showing. You're welcome.

Jj Montague

Please, Professor, go spend 30 days living among deployed soldiers - then, and only then, tell us whether or not you think deployed soldiers need care packages. Your current opinion is worthless otherwise.

Kenyon Murphy

I dont agree with Dr. walker about his statement, but people are all over work about one man's opinion. He is entitle to his opinion like many of us, not all of our opinion are good. I think that you got to support your troops. Don't hate the soldiers, but hate the policy maker. And lastly his opinion has nothing to do with how ISU operates and it doesn't effect the academic integrity of this University. all im saying is that you have to decide and think for yourself.

Are you kidding me?! This is the biggest piece of garbage I've ever seen. This Thomas Walker guy is a joke, not to mention politically biased judging by his statement. I can't believe the ignorance of this guy.

Howie Phelterbusch

Really, really, classy there Walker posting this 2 days before the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Mr Walker when I was in high school about 20 years ago I had a teacher who was in the navy during WW2. Oh you're thinking he fought in WW2. No actually he didn't. He was one of the many US service members forced to surrender to the Imperial Japanese army in the Philippines. He managed to survive 3 years of torture in a Japanese POW camp. The horrors he personally witnessed and which were perpetrated on him are nearly unspeakable but he did share some of them with us. Here is one of them, please take the time to read it:

"We were being forced marched from the Bataan Peninsula to the pow camps being setup. It was 70 miles. We weren't fed or allowed water. If you passed out on the march, they (the Japanese) wouldn't even waste a bullet on you they would bayonet you and leave you to die. One of the worst things I witnessed is what they (the Japanese) did to the locals. They were rounding up nuns and raping them. When they got done with the poor woman, the Japanese soldiers would bury a sword up to its hilt and then carry the nun, screaming for her life, over to the sword and drop her on it. Then they would impale another two on top of the 1st. "

This story is meant to shock you Mr Walker. You see there are bad people in this world who do bad things to other people and they do it because they like it. On a small scale we use the police to catch and imprison those types of people. However when "those people" operate on a national or international scale we use the Military.

I had a client named George. he is 83 years old and Marine veteran of the Battle of the Chosin reservoir in Korea. He has a picture of the men he served with hanging on his wall. Of the men in that picture only one third came home. Sixty years later after coming home he asked me "Was it worth it?" My reply was "Look at the hell that is North Korea today, and look at the free and prosperous country that is South Korea. You and your friends saved millions of people from a fate worse than slavery." He nodded his head and said "i think you're right."

That Mr Walker is what the US Military and its personal are about. Duty and Honor.

Too bad you haven't any sense of either traits.

Jordan Hutchens

wow, this story is going viral. Here is a statement from Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy

“Please understand that Mr. Walker’s opinions do not in any way represent Iowa State University, and as a military veteran myself, I strongly disagree with his comments. There are many people in the Iowa State community – on campus and elsewhere – who also disagree with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Walker. I do however respect every individual’s right to freedom of speech, which is so highly valued in our nation, and which is one of the cherished values that our troops are fighting to defend in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. ”

Rob Stone

I was with Mr. Walker until he wrote: "What are they doing for us? Nothing. But against us they're doing a lot: creating anti-American terrorists in the countries they occupy."

Those who volunteer for military service sacrifice much for us. They don't choose the missions they are given. We don't blame the military for the policies they are charged to carry out.

But, Mr. Walker has the right to write whatever he wishes. I hope he reconsiders some of his opinions.

David Quist

Is anyone really surprised that a college professor is also an ignorant buffoon? Really? Professor Walker hasn't read Who Really Cares by Arthur Brooks (Basic Books) so he doesn't know that conservatives are far more generous to people in need than liberals; he hasn't read The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier (Oxford) so he doesn't know what actually causes poverty nor what it takes to deal with world poverty; he hasn't read any economics (except perhaps discredited Marxist economics) so he doesn't know what produces wealth and prosperity. And of course, he is a great hater - of the US military and of anyone whose views are different from his own. But I thought the left was all about tolerance and respect for "the other." Well that's a thigh slapping joke, isn't it? Who knew? Well, really, we all knew and now we just have more evidence of what has been plain for a long time.

Julie Busch

I am the mother of 2 soldiers in the infantry. This person who professes to be a "professor" obviously has not done his "homework." Thankfully, because of the sacrifice of our soldiers, he is allowed the freedom to spout whatever he likes, whether it is fact-based or not...which is exactly what he does. First, I am going to speak to you from the Infantry point of view since it is what I know. Many are under the mistaken impression our soldiers get a free lunch while in the military. Infantry does not. They do not get new socks. They do not get decent blankets. Most infantry have no pillows at all and sleep using their rucks as their pillows. They do not get gourmet food. Most of the time, when running 2-3 missions a day, they are lucky to get anything to eat. They eat what they carry on them...snack packages provided by CARE PACKAGES. I have sent over 125 hand-tied blankets in CARE PACKAGES because it can get below 0 at night between October and April. I send home-baked cookies and bars in CARE PACKAGES because my son was in the farthest outreaches of Paktika for 54 days without anything but MREs or wild turkeys that they could catch. Even helicopters could not get to them. Men who went on leave to a FOB would bring back the packages with my baked goods in them. My other son was in the Pech, a mountainous area of hell. I had to send him gun cleaning oil and supplies so he could keep his gun in working order. As any soldier knows, your gun is your best friend and is never to be neglected. They go for days or weeks at a time with no mail because these places are remote and the only way to get mail to them is via helicopter. The only way the will send mail is a helicopter with guns because mail is termed "sensitive material." As you can imagine, helicopters with guns also transport soldiers, so often they have to choose between mail or soldiers...and mail always loses. I have sent hats for them to wear under their helmets to try to keep them warm VIA CARE PACKAGES. But most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough...the care packages hold a deeper intent. They are intended to show these sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, that while they are thousands of miles away in a hostile land, they are not forgotten. They are appreciated. They are loved and thought of daily. They are prayed for. By the way, my sons earned a whopping $1,600 per pay check while deployed, twice a month. This is while being shot at, freezing, going without meals, getting 2 hours of sleep, marching through horrible terrain, and in the case of my sons, witnessing the death of their friends and buddies right before their eyes. Professor Walker has a right to his opinion because of men like my sons, and I have a right to strongly disagree with him. Maybe someday, he will EDUCATE himself and he only way he can do that is to walk a mile in the boots of my sons. By the way, the usual liberal argument against all this is "Well, your sons volunteered for this." My usual conservative response is, "Yes, and you should kiss their feet...because my sons volunteered, yours were not drafted."

Maurio Mckay

Screw the military and the soldiers. Like I care if they die. I'm not a liberal and not a conservative but I don't support any troops unless they are actually protecting something.

They sure haven't protected my freedom. Terrorists haven't tried to take my freedom of speech away, terrorists are not an army and they aren't invading.

People lost in the military are replaceable like everyone else on the planet. They shouldn't expect any sort of respect for being able to carry a gun. I can train a dog to do the same thing so maybe it's just a patriotic.

Let's be real here. The military hasn't protected anyone freedoms since WWII. Right now it's taking down dictators that they helped put into power in the first place.

Of course republicans hate this piece, if you don't like the military you are just a radical liberal just like the military when it was torturing people in secret prison camps. Now that's freedom! Maybe we should set up gulags and work camps like those freedom loving Soviets did back in the day.

Jennifer Peters

Dear Maurio, I would love to talk with you. I also currently attend Iowa State and have been deployed before. I still currently serve to-to make sure you are protected and dont have to go through what I and other veterans have done.

Maurio --

"Of course republicans hate this piece" ... that right there shows your total ignorance to this issue. This isn't an issue for political parties, it's an issue for Americans. If you don't like the work the U.S. soldiers are doing, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1. Vote. The soldiers don't give themselves orders, they fall under the Commander in Chief, or President Obama as you may know him. Or 2. Leave.

"I don't support any troops unless they are actually protecting something"
Again, you're only making yourself sound incredibly uninformed. If we didn't have armed forces, we wouldn't be America--we would have been overran long ago. Our soldiers not only protect our lives and our freedoms at home, but they protect the lives of innocent civilians in war-torn nations like Afghanistan where children are too afraid to go to school because they might become the victims of any number of radical terrorist groups that reside there.

"... terrorists are not an army and they aren't invading"
Do you even watch the news!? You don't have to be very knowledgeable about the War on Terror to know that we have caught (and continue to catch) terrorists and potential terrorists both in the U.S. and abroad with detailed plans to bomb airports, universities, government buildings, etc. etc. Apparently you were unaware of the attacks on 9/11 where thousands of innocent lives were lost, both American and not, due to the acts of terrorists here on our home soil. You're obviously confused... You don't have to wear the same uniform to be an Army, and you don't have to arrive in armored vehicles with mounted weapons to be "invading" ...

I suggest that you do even the slightest amount of research before jumping into an argument that you are clearly very unfamiliar with.

^ The American Legion's response to this article. Maurio and Mr. Walker both might find some useful information here.

Chelle Adkins

This letter is a disgrace! Perhaps he should do a little research before he fires up laptop! I am the child of a father who served 20 years in the Air Force. GIs do not get paid much and their families suffer greatly when one parent is serving overseas! They don't get paid enough for their sacrifice!

The need for a care package is only a fraction of the reason we send them. We send them to soldiers not only as a morale booster but to let them know that there are Americans that care and appreciate what they are doing for our great country. Care Pacakages are the very least we can do for our brave men and women. I feel sad that this professor doesn't realize that.

Another thing I think that this professor neglects to consider is that people do give to more than just soldiers. Many of us also give to others who are in need.

I feel very sorry for Mr. Walker.

Jesse Faber

Professor Walker i am over seas right now We never ask for care packages the true American people send them on their own will.

Jesse Faber

Maurio --
Hey go rent the movie American History X. Some day you will learn not to open you mouth.

Daniel Macioce

Mr. Walker raises some very good points. Rather than having individuals going around and performing works of misguided giving, we and the world would be much better off if there were a governing body overseeing how our collective resources are doled out, to each according to his need, from each according to his ability. How else are we to ensure that those receive the most help who are the most deserving of such help? The world can no longer afford for "individuals" to go around mucking things up with their so-called good intentions, which are so obviously ill-conceived.

Maybe this is how Mr. Walker believes we SHOULD do things in America, but I for one do not. I praise these College Republicans for taking the initiative to do good works in our society. I wish there were many more individuals like them, and many fewer bitter souls like Mr. Walker, who probably didn't participate in any sort of effort like this (even for the supposedly "more deserving").

Maurio Mckay

[beam][beam][beam] god I love how everyone is soooo getting butthurt over this.

Freedoms Saddam Tried to take that we recovered: ???
Freedoms Al Qaida tried to take: ???
So if we go to war with Iran what freedoms are they trying to take?

Hey Jesse, doesn't your job suck knowing that you're doing a machines job?

Christine if terrorists are an army then we must go to war with China, I saw a chinese guy rob a store once. Besides they aren't free. Oh wait it's only fighting for freedom if we can win.

Maurio Mckay

Well as much as I love trolling newbies to the internet I've got some starcraft to play. Enjoy your butthurt [smile]

Abby Wagner-Impson


Mike Dehart

Mr.Walkers comments are not new. He is not the first misguided academian to think that he needed to call out some group for supporting the troops. It has always been funny to me that the ones who protest the loudest abot their "rights" are the ones who have done the least to preserve it. In their own world the liberal academian resides, they think themselves to be morally and intellectually superior to others around them, and they believe that only they have the right to dictate to the rest of us how we should live our lives and what causes in their opinion should be supported.

We should pity these poor misguided fools. There is an old proverb that is fitting when reading Mr.Walkers diatribe:
"People who are able to do something well can do that thing for a living, while people who are not able to do anything that well make a living by teaching."

Simply put Mr.Walker you should confine yourself to teaching. You have no earthly idea of what service to your country is. You have no idea of the sacrifices and conditions our soldiers endure every day..not just in Afghanistan but all over the world. You would not survive a day as a soldier,sailor or airmen. I for one am glad that the people in uniform are there doing their jobs. If we have to depend on people like you to protect this country we would be in dire straits indeed.

Sally Thomas

[thumbdown] You have no idea how stupid you are....and sound...and mean spirited too! My mother and grandparents were from Iowa....they would have been ashamed to hear your ignorance. But that's okay...life has a way of teaching people the hard lessons if they don't get the good lesson. Best of luck to you! LOL

Maurio, you just sound uneducated... No one is taking you seriously, I'm sitting here literally laughing at you right now. You just compared a Chinese man who robbed a grocery store to a terrorist...... You might as well drop out of college now, I don't think there is any hope for you. Nobody is "buttheart" (that word alone speaks for the legitimacy of your argument) over what you have to say, it just leaves us all scratching our heads wondering where it is you've been all this time, completely unaware of events like 9/11, and just what--if anything--you've learned while at ISU.

Jennifer Peters

Maurio, you just got owned. You play starcraft? A military like computer game?How about you go join the Harry potter club then. They would probably be open to taking you since your education level is so low.

Owen Riess

Well Tommy makes a valid point. We should all be concerned about the hungry and homeless in America today. Other than that he is entirely off the mark. He has clearly never served his Counrty, and to be critical of those that do, and critical of those that make an effort to provide some level of comfort to those that do is simply shallow and disrespectful.

I'm not exactly sure why the Iowa Daily would print such an antagonistic letter, unless your just looking for attention.

Vince Renaldo

Oh yeah, let me jump in here too, just because I love to entertain the thought process of an educated A-hole.

I am currently a 18 1/2 year active duty soldier, that has served honorable and returned from three combat tours. Lets put this whole "volunteering" bit to bed, I swore an OATH, not to volunteer to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. That means, when the call to deploy comes, I go, period.

I too miss my family, and apreciate the kind gestures that my family and those of total strangers when the Holidays arrive. There were many times that with all the "money" that I make, there was not a local Walmart around to purchase what I needed to sustain me, ie. toileties. Hard to have all that on hand, when you have just enough room on your vehicle for what you absolutely need to have.

And why are all the educated A-hole's always running their mouth's, I guess it is from all the military experience they had and all the Soldiers that they trained, and kept alive, and returned home to their families? NOT!

When I can find the time to further my education, this is the thought process of the individuals, which I will refer to the so-called professors as, that will attempt to "teach" me something? That's interesting.

Bottom line is, if you served your country, you wouldnt have the nerve to run your trap and say all this garbage. Still consider yourself a Patriot?

Vince Renaldo

Maurio, are you by any chance a natural born douche-bag?

Kini AlohaGuy

So, how much has the author of this Hit Piece given to charity, probably nothing.
Put your money were your mouth is.

Ken Currie

When I heard about the professor at Suffolk University spout these same disgusting sentiments, I thought, "Well, after all, it's Boston; what can you expect?" Now we have another member of the over-educated elite come forward at Iowa State, someone who obviously is clueless about the sacrifices made by our military members and their families; who has no doubt been coddled from day one (and who has probably never had a job other than in academia); and who certainly has never worn the uniform ("womb-like army"? You've got to be kidding) or volunteered for any kind of public service that would have put him in harm's way or the enemy's gun sights. My praise for and blessings to the College Republicans at ISU who have their heads screwed on straight on this issue. I am thankful that this individual is merely a lecturer; may he never be granted a permanent position, let alone tenure. I would like to believe my alma mater believes in service to one's country; it certainly did when I attended. If there is a here, it is this clearly this faculty member.

Elizabeth Lovett

I would typically begin this note with "Mr., or Sir", but I cannot bring myself to address you as either. I'm ashamed of you, and I'm embarrased by you. I am, of course, an American Soldier, and a Veteran of this current war; neither of that really matters for what I have to say to you. I can tell you, from experience and logic, that those care packages are not given or received out of neccessity, but rather, LOVE. I never sat in Iraq and thought to myself, 'gosh, I sure would love some cookies right now'. I did, however, sit there crying each and every time someone sent me a box of baby wipes, or when I received a letter from a 3rd grader in some unknown town. The point is, I didn't NEED any physical thing, I only needed to know that I was still cared for and loved, because of what I was doing or even though I was doing it. I don't know, and don't really care. I am just so thankful that you appear to be the minority here. I am thankful that there are so many Americans backing thier Soldiers, Marines, Airman, and Seaman.

In light of all that has been said, I think it would be a fabulous idea for you to take Mr. Morford's offer of a day of chatting and eating together. I wish you the gift of clarity of thought, and perspective. I wish for you to be open to the truth of the matter, and I wish that not a single Military member or Veteran would have ever been subjected to your ignorance. If even one of these wishes were to come true we would all be in a better place.

May God protect you...because that's all you deserve. But the truely amazing thing here is that almost every Military member would still do so, simply for the fact that you are American. Say your prayers tonight, and ask for forgiveness.

Earl Ford

Another proving point that " It's not what one puts in their mouth that defiles them, It's what comes out that does"

Cyndy Marks

Mr. Walker - I don't know why it still astounds me. You represent another "educator" who has fallen victim to his overwhelming sense of self-importance. Life is like a lighthouse, dear Mr. Walker - a lesson so many of you so called smart people just can't seem to learn. By trying to shine a light on what you think is wrong, you've now invited that light to spin right back around on yourself, and I've no doubt it will reveal many interesting things about you. Such as....how much do you get paid. Mr. Walker? I'd like to make sure this is discovered and published, and if we find it's more than the lowest paid service member, I'd like to personally make it my mission that you never receive a cent more from the taxpayers as - in your own words - it will be enough for what you need - indeed for what you want. It's a good thing the average American is more enlightened than you, Mr. Walker. Let's pretend for a moment that your argument that soldiers "choose" to leave their families. Does that mean we should withhold care packages for drug addicts, homeless people who choose to drink and panhandle, women who have five children out of wedlock and choose to live off entitlements, people who chose to risk their financial futures buying houses and cars they can't afford... In the end, the only thing your letter has accomplished is revealing how myopic your thinking truly is and incentivizing those who disagree with you to do exactly the opposite of what you wish. Congratulations.

Philip Beck

FYI Mr. Walker:
“Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election.

Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."

And he says the differences in giving goes beyond money, pointing out that conservatives are 18 percent more likely to donate blood. He says this difference is not about politics, but about the different way conservatives and liberals view government.”

Lynne Hart

I am speechless! You must live a very sheltered life. You most certainly have never known anyone personally that served our country in the rank and file. Sadly, many of these men and women lack some of the basics. I worked with a group called Moms on a Mission. We sent lots of baby wipes, insect spray, pillows, sox, toiletries and other goodies. Why? Because the troops asked for them! They deserve to have more than enough to just get by in my opinion. If not for these men and women, would we even have the freedom to disagree? Maybe we should just stop doing nice things for people who do wonderful things for us. No gifts for teachers, no tips for our mail carriers, no gifts to our coworkers....for heaven sakes they get paid and can afford the basics! If as an American I want to make some of our soldiers a bit more comfortable as they put their lives at risk for my freedom, that is my privilege! You, sir, can just sit in your comfortable home and take care of yourself.

Philip Beck

Teachers more often than not, based on what’s in the news, apparently are no longer allowed to teach America's youth what unique qualities have made the United States of America great in the eyes of most of the world, qualities displayed even when this nation was challenged with our own civil war and issues of civil rights. They seem to be compelled to focus on America’s faults and "who was the cause' of those "faults". They can't even point out obvious evil in our society and in the world and how we must combat that evil in order to survive. The "blame America first" crowd is often much louder than the "pro-America" crowd, even though the pro-America crowd outnumbers the apologists by a vastly significant percentage. Mr. Walker has his freedom of speech, as do I.

Philip Beck

The following may have relevance to this story:
National Education Association Union General Counsel Bob Chanin (July 2009 speech):
"It is NOT because we care about children, and it is NOT because we have a vision for a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues..."

The NEA plans to "tax" their members $10 for Obama's re-election campaign. They are doing this before they even know who Obama is going to run against. This indicates to me that they are just bigoted, big-government bureaucrats with little or no respect for their members. Or else, maybe all teachers are simply short-term-minded sheep.
(The caps are Chanin's voice emphasis (i.e. NOT) during his 2009 speech.)

Philip Beck

Mr. Walker, maybe you could introduce the following in class and invite comments and discussions as how this creed does or does not benefit U.S. citizens as well an other peoples of the world.

The American's Creed:

"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies."

Cyndy Marks

$37,200 - I'd say you make considerable more than most of our GIs, Mr. Walker. I'd wager this isn't your only source of income.

Based on Mr. Walker's logic, he is making more than enough to have everything he needs and could possibly want. This being the case, let's see whether he is a man of principle or a blobiating hypocrite. I'd like to encourage everyone who sees this to bookmark the link below and make note as to whether Mr. Walker "puts the taxpayers money where his mouth is."

The lighthouse, Mr. Walker. Never forget the lighthouse.

For anyone who is interested, here is the link to the Iowa State Employee Salary Database where this information is posted: http://thegazette.com/2009/07/09/iowa-state-employee-salary-database/?appSession=18717787458705

Randy Burbank

Regarding your editorial, I must first say that I respect your right to your opinion and I will defend that right. This is one of the many freedoms which make this nation so great, even in times of struggle within and without. However, I do hope you give great thanks to the many soldiers AND their families who have sacrificed greatly and much to give you this awesome and wonderful privilege. The soldiers you maligned and insulted are the ones who have guaranteed and will continue to guarantee your right to your views.

It is not the Republicans nor the Democrats who afford you the place where higher learning and free thought can occur without government intervention, but the soldier. Now allow me to correct you on a couple of your points. First, today's soldier after their initial issue must purchase their uniforms from an allowance that is NOT always adequate. As far as the quantity and quality of food, have you ever eaten a MRE (meals ready to eat)? Are you aware that when soldiers are on missions that they may or may not have the time to eat 3 square meals? Are you aware that soldiers often give their MRE's to hungry children and other civilians? As far as their food, it is incumbent to have a well nourished military to protect others, each other, and to defend the Constitution. A malnourished military will quickly become a defeated military.

It is not unusual for a soldier to have only 1 or 2 hours sleep in any 24 hour period, and that sleep is often under extreme conditions. While engaged in missions, soldiers do not have time for a shower or even deodorant. All because they must be ever vigilant in their protections for the innocent and our nation. And when it comes to the families of our soldiers, there can never be enough gratitude expressed for the sacrifices they make every day. There are not enough care packages to take away the many sleepless hours they experience. But, it does encourage them and strengthen them to know that others care about their soldier. Many families have lost their soldier in operations that due to security, will never know where or how their soldier died. How do I know all these things to be true? Because I am the very proud father and father-in-law to two such soldiers that you have dishonored.

Should we do such things as send care packages for soldiers deployed abroad? Absolutely! Now, allow me to ask you this question, and would you be so kind as to reply with your answer: "As a college instructor, have you ever taken an oath that would require you to sacrifice your life against all enemies, foreign and domestic?" Such is the oath of a soldier, to defend your right, even to insult them and their families.

Respectfully yours,

Randall Burbank
Killen, Alabama

Encyclopedia Faye

It's a good thing our military has defended his right to denigrate them.

Dave McFadden

Parents of potential Iowa State students take note of the faculty at this university. Is this the kind of influence you want for your son or daughter?

David Block

Complete and utter drivel. Is this professor living in a left-wing bubble? How is it that ANY university would allow so-called "professors" to spew such utter hatred and false accusations. Isn't he supposed to be educating, instead of disrespecting the students?

Private colleges for my children, that's a fact!

Bevan Everett

I am speechless to this professor's ignorance to the experience of being deployed. Supporting family overseas while deployed gave me knowledge of what good the College Republicans were actually trying to do. Not all soldiers have family at home, not all of them have access to certain toiletries that are needed (especially when they live outside the wire), and not all of the troops know we support them without us showing it. Neither do our troops create terrorists. They go out of their way to do the best job they can and do it by bending over backwards for backwards people. I hope we can relieve this person of their lecturer position so he can find employment where his talents are desired.

Steve Lyons

I would remind him that his opinion is protected by the very military he despises. It is his dislike of Americans that contributes ti the evolution o terrorists. He is a philosophical enemy of the very nation that employs him.

Jo Cebuhar

Two weeks ago we got treated to the Iowa State professor defending the likes of Joe Paterno and Mike McQuery in the DM Register, now this. Save your stamp, Alumni Association. I am no longer interested in having my name associated with Iowa State. I'm an attorney-- I understand all about the first amendment. I also understand that you are what you stand for. Unless you speak against such amoral drivel, you are assumed to agree.

ISU '74

Kenyon Murphy

Dave Mcfadden..
I disagree with your comment. This has nothing about how one professor influences students. I read many comments from you, and many other people that states.. "parents should evaluate where to send their kids to" and including your comment Dave. Iowa state University is an excellent place for higher education. Don't jump on that band wagon. This is not grade school when kids can't think for them self. This is a higher education institution, and students are young adults. We are able to differentiate what are facts and what are not. Walker is an english professor, not a politic professor. I disagree with walker's statement, but your statement is as bad as his. Get to know the university first before you jump on that band wagon.
student of Iowa state

Steve Williams

It is both and sad that Mr. Thomas. has some very distorted views of soldiers, Republicans and people in general. The people who have stepped up to be a part of our military come from all walks of life and are largely motivated by the notion of defending the defenseless as well as our nation as a whole. I have never heard anyone in the armed forces stating that they are in it for one polical party or another. I do small things to say "Thank You" to these fine people have agreed to stand between me and harm. I have given my seat in first class EVERY TIME I fly to some one in the armed forces. A tough day for them could be far worse than my worst day at work and far far worse than that of a Professor. Everyone deserves gratitude for doing their job with complete commitment, but I doubt Mr. Thomas runs the risk of getting shot or blown up if he has an off day.

My sincere hope is that everyone regardless of your political leanings takes time to say THANKS TO OUR ARMED FORCES. They are what I could only hope to be. Mr. Thomas should hope to be seen with the same respect as our active Military and our Veterans get and deserve.

Lara Ponchot

As the wife of an active duty service member, I found Prof. Walker's letter to the Iowa State Daily extremely hurtful and in poor taste. These service members that are on deployment often have to go without showering for several days, so I'm sure they are grateful when they receive a care package with some baby wipes (so they can keep clean) and also day to day items that so many of us take for granted - granola bars, beef jerky, magazines, tissues, etc.

A big thank you to the Iowa State College Republicans for being thoughtful, concerned students who were collecting for the care packages. They have far more class than Mr. Walker will ever possess.

Tom Wilson

This is in response to the debate over Mr. Walker’s editorial: I decided to join the Army in 2007 because I wanted to serve my countrymen and defend the ideas exhibited in our Constitution in the most literal sense and this is the way it appealed to me most. Here, though, I speak only on my own behalf. Knowing several people who have served over seas I can tell you that Walker is wrong to say these “Care Packages” are not needed or appreciated. They loved getting new papers, socks (you can never have enough socks) and comfort foods from the states among other things. Though Mr. Walker did come off bigoted and made a poor argument, I think his message was not understood to the reader, and I think that’s what drove a lot of emotional responses. In the responses to Walkers editorial there was some fallacies that should be addressed.

One response said that the military ‘gives’ him the right to voice his opinion. This mind-set that rights of people can be “taken” or “given” is dangerous and the cause of foolish never ending debates. Your rights come from your humanity, by your very existence and cannot be taken or given by any person or authority. A government that recognizes this was the vision of the founders. They are inalienable. It is written in the constitution that the right to voice one’s opinion and to petition the government peacefully shall not be infringed upon by the government. It does not say they ‘have’ right, because it was assumed and obvious to them that people had the right.

The military industrial complex (MIC) was mentioned in both Walkers editorial and a few responses. What is currently known as MIC did not start under President Johnson as one response stated. At the latest it was started during WWII as evidence by President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address in which he told the American people to be wary about “a permanent armaments industry”. One reply stated that it was a right wing conspiracy. I don’t understand that claim at all. It can’t be a conspiracy theory because, well, it exists. And I doubt Mr. Walker is right wing at all as he called the laissez-faire system “simplistic”(As if that’s a bad thing). One response argued that it was economic plus. To this one could respond: Say money is taken out of the economy to make a bomb. The bomb explodes. Where does the money go? Sure some of it goes to the workers that made the bomb, back to the economy, but that’s where it already was in the first place. But once the bomb explodes it has no value and the value was taken from the economy and then destroyed. That is a simple example but it doesn’t take an economics degree to see it applies to the MIC in the large scale.

Although Mr. Walker made a poor argument and his conclusion is wrong, it could be that his aim was to bring awareness to this issue of war. Do we blindly accept some wars in fear of being called unpatriotic? In what ways does war defend, not “give you” your rights? What is gained and what is lost? Is there a difference between supporting the troops and supporting a war? How and it what magnitude is war justified? Should economic stimulus be considered a justification for war as one response suggested? Does this matter to you? What can you do about it?

Matthew Quiroz

Maybe Mr. walker needs to take a trip to the hot spots we are currently deployed in and take walk in the shoes or our soldiers, airmen, marines and other forces in theater before he makes such asinine comments. Lets see if he can get by on just what is issued to him. Unbelievable.

Rebecca Schwarz

It is a disgrace to this country the ineptness of those educating our young people. Too bad liberals, who have benefited greatly in this exceptional country, to continue to believe that the military is the enemy. This teacher would not be free to spread his hatred if it were not for the millions of military men and women who have fought for the freedoms we all share (so far). Glad this man is not a teacher in a university where my sons attend.

Jim Butland

While I also agree that it is Mr. Walkers right to say what he wants in this country. Such ideas clearly show that he is truely and english lecturer and not interested so much in history. He clearly has experience issues when it comes to his understanding of how military families live and how much they earn. I would suggest the the appropriate response would be to not attend or sign up to have a person such as this speak on topics he does not understand. Just because it is your right to have this opinion does not mean that it comes without consequences. Many people are fired from their jobs each day for speaking of their beliefs.

Kevin Cupp

Another fine example of an out of touch teacher who apparently has no knowledge or intelect outside of the course curriculum he teaches. I bet you have made your students and your school proud!

A person would think that your condition would have been positively effected through formalized education in correcting your Deficiency...

Andy Castor

Hey, I just swung by, and this guy Mario speaks sense, along with Thomas Walker.

Why does everyone think and behave like conformist sheep around here?

Walker says that military people should not have to rely on charity - correct.
Walker says that military people should not be treated as cannon-fodder - correct.

Walker (and Mario) are annoyed that all that resource is being thrown at blackening the name of the US in the rest of the world.

Is that what the Republican charity collectors really want?

Pamela Dunn

Apparently this person has NEVER served in the armed forces, but that doesn't excuse his being a complete south end of a northbound horse.
Although a soldier maybe well fed, well clothed and get excellent medical care, there is NOTHING that raises morale and spirits like a box from home containing everyday things, even something like a deodorant, a can of chili and some RItz crackers. I should know, I was in the military (not in an active combat zone) and it was great to get those things that said "you are remembered and we care" .
It's dangerous to leave a brainless person such as this in a position to pollute young minds.

Jean-David De Gay

Free speech....what a beautiful thing! Common sense......what a beautiful thing. Intellect,,,,,,what a beautiful thing. Safety and security.....what a beautiful thing. A free homeland......a beautiful thing indeed. Military service is here to protect all of it.....truly, a beautiful thing. I served my country. I know what freedom costs. Trust me when we tell you it isn't cheap. What gets me is those that cheapen the efforts of our service men and women with their "spew". They provide that blanket of freedom. So, since we are all about freedom of speech, rave on buddy....cheapen the efforts of so few that protect your spewing right. We love you too. Remember, when the boogey man comes to your front door you might want to recant some of your spew so that those that wear the uniform will want to come kill that boogey man! Just sayin'.

German Parada

Dear Mr. Walker,
Although I might not share your exact views, it is great to see someone with the courage of stating that there is an excessive emphasis on the military forces on this country. While I agree soldiers don't have an easy job, there are many others with tough working conditions (miners, oil rigs operators, truck drivers) but much less benefits. Risking their life? So are fire fighters, police officers, construction workers, and other.
And to finalize, it's incredible that some people decide to attack you personally, downplaying your position and intelligence, instead of rationally arguing against your statements.

Al Lemmons

Sir, I will be happy to give anything (including my deodorant) except for my priorities to the American people. Please, message me on Facebook so that I may understand why you feel you should say this and also so that I may share my opinion with you.

Bryan Bentley

Call Mr. Walker up and tell him how you feel. 515-294-3568

Aaron Neely

When a person is confronted with another who they can plainly see is doing a great thing, it inspires one of two reactions: either love or hate. Love manifests itself through emotions such as admiration and appreciation, such as the college Republicans.
But in this case, when coward, both physical and moral, such as Mr. Walker beholds an American soldier, he hates them because they represent everything that he is not and cannot be.
Instead Mr. Walker, I advise you to man up, ruck up, and join me on my next year long vacation. Then criticize me.

Luke Morgan

We have a major problem in our education system in this country. So many teachers go from lowly students, to graduate school, to the doctorate, without ever stepping foot in the shoes of a real worker and citizen. They then go on to "educate" the rest of us about what our view of the world should really be...if only we were educated enough to understand. I know without a doubt that I could learn more about courage, morals, decision making, work ethic, and you name it, by throwing his coursework in the garbage, and going to work at McDonalds...and I would be better off for it.

Michael Dunlap

As much as I want to rant and rave I am so impressed with all the comments that true Americans have shared here. I am an Airman and all the of you make me think that there is real hope. Thank You

Jonathan Snively

Yes, there is freedom of speech. Yet, I have heard of people getting imprisoned for hoping that the President gets assassinated? Isn't that free speech. I am in no way hoping that Obama gets assassinated by the way. I just feel that Mr. Walker should, the minimum, be fired... if not tried for treason. I am sorry for students at ISU. I am sorry for the embarrassment he must mean for your school, and i hope you guys can recover your great name. Wow, USA is really messed up

William McMaster

Hey Professor! Were YOU never away from your family! These men & women are willing to lay down THEIR lives to protect this great country of ours! Maybe you should take a step back & rethink this. If YOU had served in the military, maybe you'd think differently! Normally, I'd wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS, but with YOUR attitude, all I can say is BAH HUMBUG!

Brian Stickel

I'm a member of the military with over 12 years of service, and I'm a little surprised by how harshly people are reacting to this. Walker has every right to express his feelings, and the main thing I disagree with is his questioning of what the US Soldier does for America. While he is correct that a lot of what we've done has only created more animosity towards us--accidental bombings creating new terrorists out of anger over family members being killed, I get that--he misses all the good we've done. Too long to list. And that is disappointing.

Also, it's petty of him to mention the goods donated to soldiers. Yes, a lot of what is sent over is unnecessary for the troops themselves, but he misses on the point that this stuff is typically redistributed to those in need in the struggling communities in Iraq and Afganistan. Believe it or not, Walker, I'd say 99% of those serving would much rather devote their time helping those in need than hurting them. This is something one may only be able to grasp by walking in combat boots.

He is not wrong about those leaving the service being dumped into society and virtually forgotten about. Good for him for pointing this travesty out.

I am grateful for those who support us at home and abroad, and who have voiced their support here. Very grateful. But I don't think this guy should be fired for his comments, much less tried for treason. Reread what he said in the letter and his message isn't nearly as incendiary as it first seems.

Michael Smith

This article only goes to prove that liberals are restricted to several groups.

1. Lazy. They want someone else to work so they don't have to. This seems to be the stance or many of the Occupy movement. They want 4 years of college paid for but they don't want to take classes in topics that can make them productive. They want to study Art History in a culture with too many Art History majors instead of Mechanical Engineering.

2. Foolish. Despite a century and a half of evidence, they thing that the government can legislate prosperity. They don't understand the a government controlled economy leads to almost equal opportunity poverty. The only ones who win are the government class and their cronies. The poor in this category mistake their poor decisions for a bad system. It's very hard to get into college if you choose not to study in high school.

3. Evil. People who seek to control others by promising something they can't deliver. I don't know whether our president fits in this category or the one above. Since he is so well educated, I chose to believe he is actively evil.

4. Unlucky. I shudder to say this. But I know that there are people born with disabilities that preclude earning a living. I suspect that if we didn't have problems with the first three categories, people in this category would be properly supported by private means.

Raymond Hargat

Mr. Walker,
As a former sailor and the father of a sailor, where did you spend this Thanksgiving?Where will you spend Christmas?
You are both ignorant and arrogant. God (bet you hate him too) Bless our troops and the freedoms they provide, even to those who don't realize or appreciate what they have been given.

Jeffrey McNeal

Mr. Walker:

Those that can't do, teach or become community organizers. Remember that.

Melissa Wilburn

Mr.Walker does not deserve a comment from me however Mr. Michael Smith who commented about lazy, foolish, and evil liberals. How ignorant are you to defend soldiers against this lunatic and in the process forget that us liberals also volunteer for service. Please open your eyes this is not about politics it's about an educated man making some very ignorant comments.

Barbara Underwood

I am so sad for the students of Iowa State if this is the kind of things that you are being taught. This man is a lunatic with some issues. He should be let go,and institutionalized!

John Creamer

Unfortunately, this intellectual's effort to link some fault to efforts of those he hates (Republicans) caught an honorable group (the military) in his fanatical rant.

As the self imposed protonotray apostolic, I pray the standard apply equally to him as he has applied.

Jennifer Burrows

The author of this ridiculous commentary fails to mention the incredible "good" the American military does....when there is a global tragedy who is always the first to respond and provide aid? It is the U.S. military. While having the privilege to serve in the U.S. military is voluntary, it is not without sacrifice. Those who serve do so out of respect and honor for their country. It is because of these people that authors like this are able to write articles that are so poorly thought out. If it were not for our military, this author might be writing in German instead of English. Remember...war never solved anything except slavery, nazism, communism and fascism.

Daniel Click

It amazes me that in this day and age there is so much animosity towards those that don't agree with ones point of view. Mr. Walker has every right to his point of view, and dispite his way of presenting it there is some validity to what he has to say. The majority of comments in reply to his post also have the right to their point of view, and with a few exceptions all present valid points. Where I have a problem is when those making this points feel it necessary to insult those they disagree with. Mr. Walker feels it requires him to denegrate the military and the republicans in order to point out that there are those in the states that require humanitarian aid as well. Several letter writers feel it necessary to insult and denegrate liberals in their reply to Mr. Walker. That is uncalled for. Just because one is liberal or conservative, republican or demacrat, white or black, green or red, different from you or me DOES NOT GIVE anyone the right to denegrate, degrade, insult or be rude in any shape or form. Have we forgotten how to disagree in this country? Do we REALLY need to yell in order to be heard? What would our High School English teachers think about how we present our arguments? Really People these are your friends and neighbors you are talking to and about. And if they aren't does it really matter? When we as a society can't agree to disagree about something and still be friends or at least friendly then we have lost more than we gain by our argument. Remember it is easy to hate what you don't know and even so much easier when you make it the faceless THEM. However when you put faces and names to the faceless, it doesn't matter if they are rich or poor, miltitary or not, they become human. Let's not forget that we are all Americans and we are all Human.

Happy Holidays to ALL and to All a good night!!!

Spencer Hughes

Mr. Michael Smith's comments are despicable. Note that his comment has absolutely no direct reference or connection to Mr. Walker's article whatsoever. I wonder how many conversations each day he will attempt to hijack as a forum to discuss the evil liberals in the world. I wonder if he even read Mr. Walker's article.

Rob Stone

I agree, Spencer. I think Smith's comments reveal more about the right than Walker's say about the left.

Lisa Trimble

It is with great sadness that I read today of yet another college professor spouting off about something of which he apparently has little or no knowledge. On Monday, December 5, 2011, Thomas Walker, a lecturer in the intensive English and orientation program of Iowa State took aim at that university’s College Republicans. The group had begun collecting sundries for U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Walker, in his ignorance, lashed out at the group, suggesting that their money, time, and efforts, in essence would be better spent gathering these items and donating them to Americans that are poor and “really in need…” and not so “gallantly garbed” as our U.S. soldiers. It is apparent Mr. Walker has never deployed to a distant battlefield, especially one as remote as COP Carwile in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan for example. There is no local Wal-Mart to run in and grab some toothpaste, no Publix for a gallon of milk, or Sears for a new pair of boot socks when needed.
How many MRE’s (meals ready to eat) has Mr. Walker had the chance to enjoy? These edibles, designed to fuel soldiers sufficiently, keep them alive and functioning well but they fall significantly short of a Big Mac and fries. On the battlefield, soldiers seldom concern themselves with deodorant, but at 15 below zero, and no toilet paper for two weeks and no supply truck for days on end, a package from home comes in handy. As to Mr. Walker’s statement of “what are they doing for us? Nothing. But against us they’re doing a lot: creating anti-American terrorists in the countries they occupy.” Here is a man speaking as if he knows something. He knows nothing. Mr. Walker has never seen the mosques our soldiers build for some of the villages in these mountains. We are not speaking of replacement mosques, but new buildings so the people have places to worship. These villagers previously had no place of worship. This is just one example of many.
The holidays can be an especially lonely time. For many soldiers, they have limited or no family. Receiving packages from school groups is a joy. While we are on the subject of holidays, let us clear something up here as well. Soldiers do not get to select when they deploy. They train together and go as battalions, whole units to the war zone. They do not get three weeks off for Christmas, a week at Thanksgiving, spring break, semester breaks, weekends off, and they most certainly cannot call in sick.
As an educator, Mr. Walker is in the position to enlighten. It is important when he speaks that his statements are factual and knowledgeable. There is more to making an educated proclamation than using big words, i.e. eleemosynary. In the future, this writer would expect Mr. Walker to research with the veracity of a standard research paper prior to making further statements regarding soldiers, their lifestyles, their salaries, and those they affect on a daily basis while deployed.
This writer also recognizes the president of Iowa State and his statement of understanding Mr. Walker’s right to free speech. One would certainly hope the college is concerned with the wisdom this educator uses daily in the classroom if he so freely challenges anyone trying to do something good for our U.S. military. For Iowa State to employ one either so radical or so ignorant, makes it evident the school is not concerned about false indoctrination of its students. This should be a concern for any parent considering this establishment for their children.

Rob Stone

"For Iowa State to employ one either so radical or so ignorant, makes it evident the school is not concerned about false indoctrination of its students."—Lisa Trimble

Are you suggesting that Mr. Walker be fired because his comments were not politically correct?

While I firmly disagree with what Mr. Walker said about the military, you have no evidence that he engages in "false indoctrination." (Is there an acceptable kind of indoctrination?)

If ISU begins to censor employees for voicing their opinions, not only would that be a violation of the First Amendment (ISU is a public institution) but it would belie its mission as an institution of higher education.

Walker gets to spout his opinions and we get to criticize them. That's what critical discourse is all about. Firing people doesn't defeat their arguments or counter their opinions.

Mel Mariner

I'm not sure what is the point of this opinion letter. Was it to spur Republicans to not give to our soldiers? Was it to shame them for caring about our soldiers? It is clear that the writer does not recognize our soldiers as human beings. They are our sons, daughters, wives, husbands, siblings and most of all the parents of children. While we will all enjoying our families during Christmas there will be families that will have to do it with someone missing from their family gathering. While they try to enjoy the family that is here, it will be with the awareness that someone they love might be suffering harm at the very same moment. I have experienced that and I don't wish it on anyone including the selfish person that wrote this opinion piece.
From my view point it serves no purpose but to spew hate. From what I hear over and over from the left, hate speech is unacceptable. And yet this is not only acceptable to them but others are defending his right to say it. Yes he has a right to say it but is it the decent thing to do?
I have attended Iowa State and have never been impressed with the hypocrisy of what is considered hate speech. It is these kinds of opinion pieces from supposed educators that come to mind when Iowa State starts calling alumni for donations. I don't forget and while I can't hate; I don't have to support it financially either.
So does he have a right? Yes. Does it benefit anyone to read it? well........

Erwin Echavez

Vote Rogue Iowa, Write-in PALIN!

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