Beautifully worded, Dr. Mandrola - and totally unexpected, as I was just scrolling through some old, unread emails. I particularly appreciate your comments since I'm part of a military family. My father served in the Navy during WWII, I have over 30 years in the Navy Reserve, my husband is retired Army, and our son served as a Marine. Thank you.

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023

Much respect for you & your work

I'll first start off with a point that I greatly agree with - free speech is critical, and our ability to disagree is one of the most important things there are - I think that's something all of us who are huge fans of Sensible Medicine agree with

Like you, I also agree that the US is a great country - also like you, I think there's a lot we could do better

Though I have much respect for & feel great sorrow for those young men & women who gave their lives, like our medical care system I think we do a great injustice when we gloss over the truth

Those men & women, most of the time, are lower-income, recruited by bordering-on-predatory recruiters who aim for those lower-income schools (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000735/)

They're convinced with a story, that tells them about how they will have a chance to change their lives with free college tuition, all while defending the great tenants of this country (free speech, etc.)

The sad truth is that frequently they're used for not-so-great ends, such as Iraq, and Afghanistan - less about defending those ideals we all believe in & more about helping certain vested interests

Many of us remember the lines that were fed during Iraq - "I support our troops" - to not support them was blasphemy

But that's terrible; I support them too, I feel for them, I don't want them to get killed - but conflating the lives & sacrifices those poor young people make with foolish wars we fight doesn't do anyone any good

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Thanks Dr. John. Just a word about a couple of the less favorable comments. As a college Professor for 36 years, I always read the "comments" section of my course evaluations with a certain amount of dread. I could read 100 super-positive comments but that one - that one student that just didn't get it or me - would always stick in me like a thorn. At some point, I realized that you have to examine those carefully and really dig into them to distill any truth that would improve my class. Even so, it never got easier to read the negative. Doubt it ever will. Always keep in mind that most everyone gets the respect you have for our country and those who gave all.

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Thank you. So very beautifully said.

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Next month will mark the 50th year that i immigrated to this country.

Never for a moment have I regretted the benefits that this country has showered on me. I pray daily for this country, its people and its leaders ask God to guide them in doing the correct thing.

My prayers also include the many who sacrificed their lives in wars they did not understand and in doing so guaranteed all Americans and me the freedoms we possess.

Previous comments are critical of this country's actions in Viet Nam and after 9/11. It would be futile to debate them with the authors of the comments.

I ask that the authors of these comments recognize and respect the lives sacrificed on our behalf. Disregarding their sacrifice is a poor exception of our gratitude,.

I ask these authors to join all all Americans this Memorial Day. in joining hands and saying a prayer of thanksgiving for those who sacrificed and end their prayer with a Thank You and RIP

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Sadly, it appears Dr. Mandrola has bought into the bill of goods our citizens have been sold for decades to propagate U.S. hegemony under the guise of fighting and dying for freedom. Not a single one of our country’s founders supported pre-emptive wars of aggression. In fact, they warned repeatedly against entanglements abroad.

Like many surviving Vietnam combat veterans, I dread Memorial Day, but observe it in reverence nonetheless. However, I honor and mourn the loss of not only my friends - like me, mindless tools of U.S. interventionist war-making policies - but also the countless, brave Vietnamese fighters who actually did die for their country and their sovereign freedoms.

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Beautifully stated and such an important reminder which so many forget. Thank you!

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John, A marvelously written piece -- you have a second career if you want one...

It was both respectful and important to take this pause to honor those (including some in my family) who have given as much as can be given to preserve something far beyond the whines of social media and social justice warriors. Thanks for using this platform to remind all of us.

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Yes, honor and remember those who died. But that is not how this day is celebrated. It is a tightly media-controlled display of militarism where no one is allowed to question what MLK called,  "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." A celebration of war mongering by a terrorist nation, one that caused the death of 4,000,000 people only since 9/11 (https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2023/IndirectDeaths).

One would think that a medical blog would at least mention the horrendous waste of human life and call for it to end on memorial day, rather than simply lauding the naive young heroes marching off to their death in obeisance to their rulers.

I opposed and protested the Vietnam war, and refused to join. That was a far more meaningful endeavor than cheering my fellow comrades off to war and then honoring their death on memorial day.

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Well said, thank you.

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Thanks for the pause.

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Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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Once during my Army days I was talking with a friend from one of the Ranger battalions about some of his experiences. He didn't spend much time talking about battles and blood; instead, he reflected on the way things are for many people in the world, the regimes they live under, the instability and violence they face. After a few moments he went silent. Then he looked me in the eye, and said, with deep sincerity "I tell you...I'm just so grateful to be an American."

We are so lucky, in so many ways. I never want to take it for granted. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, Dr. M.

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