Longmont, CO – August 7, 2012 – American Legion Decries Milwaukee Shooting Incident –

Jim Gates, Colorado State American Legion Commander states that “when the unspeakable happens and the perpetrator(s) just happen to be former or current members of our military services we are shocked, dismayed and saddened by the fact that “one of us” could be capable of carrying out despicable acts. Veterans then are all tainted and labeled “guilty by association!”

The American Legion, with over twenty thousand current and former members of military service in Colorado and nearly three million veteran members across the globe is dedicated to: 1) Helping Veterans; 2) Mentoring and protecting Youth; 3) Promoting Americanism/Patriotism and 4) Supporting a strong national defense.

The Preamble to the Legion’s Constitution includes, but is not limited to “Defending the Constitution of The United States of America” and “Maintaining Law and Order”! We work very hard at promoting the ideals of The United States as envisioned by our founding Fathers and those of the founders of The American Legion.

And, Commander Gates feels that, “like any other family, we are not immune to one of our members taking a wrong turn in life and doing the unthinkable. And, don’t get me wrong here; I’m not covering for the likes of Wade Michael Page. Rather, I’m trying to inject some logic into this sad event that all Veteran’s are not hopelessly brainwashed by their military service and at some unknown time will lash out at their own countrymen.”

“I don’t want us (veterans) all branded as being “off center” ticking time-bombs. The good far outweigh the bad but, in my opinion, the media would rather promote controversial incidents of a thrilling nature than focus on a Boy Scout Troop awarding the Eagle Scout Rank to one of its members, for example. Why? Because a goodly segment of our society now demands that they be continuously bombarded with exciting, thrilling tidbits that will keep their psyches on edge, kind of like a substance abuser coming back for that extra hit. If it doesn’t stimulate, they don’t want any part of it.”

“The typical “loner” or “cult” identifies with the latter. They are stimulated by the fact they too can be given a lot of attention and dragged from the shabbiness of their nothing life by acting out some of the easy craziness now depicted by the entertainment industry. With the same swiftness as moving a joystick or control module driving a trashy video game, individuals who are unable to determine right from wrong, good from evil simply lash out as an extension of their misguided overly-stimulated environment.”

“We can only offer condolences to the victims’ families in the wake of this latest tragedy.

And, wish that we could see into the lives of the misguided so that we might help them too.

One cannot be helped, though, until he or she admits they have a problem, and too many of our younger generation, unfortunately, don’t even realize they have a problem. So how do we prevent these horrible incidents from recurring? It will take a lot, starting with a re-vamping of our society and a return to the family-based Christian community of not so long ago, for starters.”

“May God help us all!” “We only need but ask!”

Contact Person: The Observer – 303-366-5201 – or E-mail observer@coloradolegion.org

– 30 –