Charles Jones, who served in U.S. Navy, says Clackamas County chair-elect shows appalling lack of patriotism.

COURTESY PHOTO - Charles Jones is a U.S. Navy veteran and a resident of La Grande, Oregon.The lack of patriotism shown by Tootie Smith, chairwoman-elect of Clackamas County commissioners, is appalling.

Smith's unwillingness to make the smallest sacrifice to COURTESY PHOTO - Charles Joneslessen the burden on hospitals, doctors, nurses and floor staff is selfish. Her lack of concern for the lives of the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions is heartbreaking.

Smith states she won't limit her Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations, that she will "celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with as many family and friends as she can find." She appears to cherish the life of a superspreader.

Smith's words mock the sacrifices generations of veterans have made. Assigned to a destroyer deployed to the Atlantic and North Sea, I missed many Thanksgivings and Christmases with family, all of whom were in the Northwest. And I had it easy — with a warm bunk and hot meals — compared to my fellow vets with yearlong tours in the killing zones of Vietnam, without any family or old friends.

And our sacrifices paled compared to the Greatest Generation. My father boarded a troop ship departing San Francisco in December 1941 for the Philippines, but rerouted to Australia, then to the jungles of New Guinea. After 3 1/2 years continuously overseas (and malaria), he returned stateside in April 1945. Yes, he, too, survived Thanksgiving with no family.

I fear for our country if Tootie Smith's attitude of others-be-damned and no-sacrifices-for-me (no matter how small) infects others because of her position of power.

Charles Jones is a U.S. Navy veteran and a resident of La Grande, Oregon.

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