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…but names will never halt me.

Hackers have invaded my website with an attempt to ruin my credibility and interrupt my passionate goal to BACK-OUR-VETS. They are making statements which demonstrate their ignorance such as stating if I were born on January 29, 1927 I would have been 14 or 15 during World War ll which is too young to have served. Since you can’t do simple arithmetic use your calculator to add 17 to 27 and the year becomes 1944 which is long before the hostilities ended.

Another scurrilous falsehood the hackers included was that I don’t know that the two fingers raised in a V is the peace sign and not the Victory sign that I claim. Slight correction here Mr. Know-it-all. Winston Churchill introduced the V for victory during the war. Maybe Mr. Smartee you need to ask your father or grandfather who may have lived through those war years who Winston Churchill was and his contributions to the war effort.

If I am not mistaken I see many a hand raised with the two finger V to celebrate a victory at a ball game.

I am very much aware that the millennium generation uses the symbolic V to stand for peace and joy. I see no problem in that as I earlier wrote a sonnet that paraphrases that thought.

“Bullets are for battle. War is for peace.

THE ARSENAL OF HOPE

is a cartridge of caring and love

to BACK-OUR-VETS.’’

In an attempt to try to have peace with one of the alleged hackers we spoke by telephone. He asked me questions about some of the exotic equipment we wore which I identified, and then asked me the names of my team or the fallen heroes. My mind went blank as an empty cartridge and could only name a senior officer. No surprise to me because if you were to ask me who was my kindergarten, elementary, junior high, high school teacher I can’t name one. Or question me who were my professors in college or during my summer business courses at Harvard and the University of Virginia I would be at a total loss. My mind has never been worthwhile for remembering names. I can meet someone and try to remember their name and ten minutes later I have totally lost recall. During one of my morning spin classes I am always amazed that one trainer can call out the name of each of the 60 people in the class. The short of it was that the interrogator on the phone hung up on me because of my silence to his question.

I will defend the right of free speech, but hacking into a private message on the internet seems sacrilegious. Reminds me of whomever hacked into Sony’s website threatening them with dire consequences if they show a movie Sony produced. Or, can we condone the hackers who steal credit card and consumer information gathered by retailers? I am no lawyer, but to me that type of action is fraud, illegal and simply bad, unwarranted despicable behavior to not be acceptable.

They, the hackers can continue calling me an old man because it is undeniable as I am quickly approaching being 88 in a few days. However, I don’t know any other gentlemen at this ripe old age spending their time, money and effort in trying to help 65 million American veterans, troops and their families. And, I haven’t had the privilege of meeting another Preacher for Patriotism at this age who continues attempting to mold the GRANDEST GENERATION standing tall on the shoulders of the Greatest Generation.

At least it’s rewarding to have friends and strangers telling me I am their hero and thanking me for my earnest efforts in trying to BACK-OUR-VETS. Just a few days before this Christmas I lugged 500 of my books “THE WIZARD OF COMMON CENTS” to the VA Hospital in Houston where I signed and gifted the books to the men and women veterans. I got as much joy out of this event as did the appreciative veterans. Working from early morning, greeting and signing books for a never ending line of veterans was tiresome but heart- warming, and God willing, I hope to continue these and similar efforts as long as possible…so hackers, deTERRORs beware “Today is a better day than yesterday.”

Simply to close, I would just like to quote the lady in-charge at the VA hospital who thanked me profusely for the generous gift to the vets, but personally expressed her appreciation that I wrote a note while signing each book, took the time to talk to each veteran, thanked them for their service and wished them a Happy Holiday and a New Year filled with joy and peace.

This is not the end. The work is to be continued.

Earl Littman