Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
As a retired 34-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the South Dakota Air National Guard, I feel it is important to comment on the most recent apparent failure of President Trump to extend the hand of compassion to the family of a soldier killed in an October 4th ambush in Niger.
President Trump has angrily denied his alleged lack of empathy in the telephone conversation to the widow, but two other present with her support her account.
When I was a member of the South Dakota Air Guard, we were members of a “family” who came together to do a job, respecting the values of “Duty, Honor, Country.” Different people from different towns, different walks of life, men, women, and people from different ethnic backgrounds. But, members of a community — a family.
I recall with pride when our base commander called the members together as there had been some members who were allegedly acting in a demeaning manner toward other members.
Our commander laid down the law that this would not be tolerated … that we were all members of a team who needed to work together to accomplish our mission. We would succeed or fail together. And, to be honest and compassionate in the performance of all aspects of our mission.
The values of honesty, consistency, acceptance, and responsibility are central to effective leadership. From these core values, the performance of tasks flows in an ethical manner.
Mr. Trump was elected by voters who have real needs, who felt these needs were not being recognized and met and voted for him in hopes he could help to “Make America Great Again.” They voted for him, despite his character flaws. Now, we are all reaping the whirlwind.