By prefacing my words about my father’s time in the military with an editorial comment that I “scoffed” at his uniform, Geoff Boucher does both my father and me a disservice (“Still Running and Hardly on Empty,” Sept. 28). My father was telling me something about his time in the Army, a period of time that ended before I was born. To place my father in uniform at the time he said it, that he enjoyed the Army because he didn’t have to think, portrays my father as being committed to not thinking. My father read Mark Twain, Voltaire, Ambrose Bierce, Conrad and Cervantes, and many other critics and chroniclers of man’s folly, and would be the last person one could call nonthinking.
But really, where does the “scoffed” assertion come from? I didn’t say it. Perhaps Boucher read it somewhere else?
Perhaps it corresponds to Boucher’s notion of me as an antiwar activist to portray me as having an acrimonious relationship with my parents. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In my youth, I “suspected” adults of everything from a lack of vision to a lack of energy, from being generally complicit in the ills besetting the world to being just too tired to address them with the fervor they demand. In regard to those ills, my father was my first teacher.
To represent someone who opposes the war as an ungrateful son is to echo the criticism that those who oppose our war policy are unsupportive of our troops. Again, nothing could be further from the truth.