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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Sgt. Robert Bales faces sentencing for deaths of Afghan civilians

It’s easy to condemn

While there is no way anyone could ever condone Sgt. Robert Bales’ actions, your editorial troubles me [“Throw away the key,” Opinion, June 9].

It’s to easy to condemn. While, I’m sure, there are those who can take a life, even in wartime, and not have it weigh too heavily on them, there are others who carry the burden of having done so troublingly for the rest of their lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder is real.

Let’s take the editorial writer away from his or her family and home for months at a time, put the writer in a hostile environment where an enemy or perceived ally is liable to kill you and/or your comrades at any time, compensate the writer like a third-rate citizen, deploy the writer four times to this environment, and see how he or

In this detail from a courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appears June 5 during a plea hearing in a military courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Bales is accused of 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder for a pre-dawn attack on two villages in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan in March, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Millett)

In this detail from a courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appears June 5 during a plea hearing in a military courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Bales is accused of 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder for a pre-dawn attack on two villages in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan in March, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Millett)

she holds up.

Our troops need all the support we can give them.

Mike Whittaker, Quilcene

Walk in his shoes

The editorial lambasting Sgt. Robert Bales, who confessed to killing Afghan civilians, offended me

Yes, what Bales did was horrific, very wrong and must be addressed. But who are you to judge him? Have you ever been in uniform? Have you ever fought in a war?

Bales has been at the tip of the spear (infantry) for years in these hellholes, living daily with fear and death. I believe he has served four tours of war. He is a poster boy of combat fatigue and desperately needs treatment.

There you sit in your ivory tower condemning a man who has spent years in hell fighting Islamic terrorists, protecting you. He snapped. Instead of crucifying him, why not criticize the politicians (more nonmilitary types) who put him in this hellish situation. Walk a mile in his shoes!

John M. Hoon, Belfair

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