Why vets should support the Occupy Wall Street movement

It is time for the military to get involved in the Occupy movements. But before conservatives and neocons start salivating over an idea they might agree with, let me make myself clear: When I suggest it's time for the "military" to get involved, I mean veterans must step forward to protect the protesters.

In whatever uniform we served in and still proudly own, we should form a circle of protection against those who would punish our fellow citizens for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech and assembly. Not all of those who are beating and harassing demonstrators are cretin thugs, but enough of them are to warrant calm, unarmed former service members to stand up for reason.

We should take the example of those Syrian soldiers who dropped their allegiance to a regime that ruthlessly kills their fellow citizens. Even large numbers of Gadhafi's soldiers saw fit to cross over to the struggle for freedom against tyranny. If we who have served our nation in the past can help again those who are protesting the path our nation is on, it's our duty to do so.

Generation after generation of Americans have been called upon to be foot soldiers in the struggle to preserve America's freedoms. We can be no different.

We will not need weapons and nonviolence must be our credo. But everyone should bring their cameras. As has been said before, in the fight for justice a picture is worth a thousand words.

Tom Wieland, Salisbury

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