Make saints, not soldiers.
It seems most "soldier saints," including Francis and Ignatius, didn't become saints until they left the military behind ("Vetting the saints," November). Perhaps an appropriate patron for veterans would be Uriah.
We owe our veterans much, including an apology for sending them into war. I have nothing in common with veterans, but maybe we can agree there should be no more of them. It is time for our church to take a stand against the violence of war, especially the inherently evil policies of pre-emptive war, nuclear weapons, and torture.
If we have a federal law that prevents our tax money from going toward the funding of abortions and we protest paying for insurance that provides for birth control, then why don't we--the church--demand our Catholic soldiers be exempt from participating in these immoral policies and practices? Lest they be duped into war by misplaced loyalty, hyper patriotism, or fear, let us pray through the intercession of Uriah that our soldiers not be used to cover up the mistakes and failures of political leaders.
We may feel hopeless in dealing with the trials our veterans must endure, but the least we can do is reach out to the young with better education about Catholic social teaching. Then they can make more informed choices about how they can confront the evil in this world without resorting to violence.
--Father Dan Lincoln
Vine Grove, Ky.