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Abie respected rules


December 12, 2018 Letters to the Editor

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Regarding the Nov. 2 editorial, “How would VA namesake regard stand-off at border?”

The title drew me, as I thought how and why can the late military hero, retired army master sergeant and veterans advocate Abie Abraham be drawn into the illegal migrant caravan debate?

The editorial stated that Abie “knew a few things about immigration, sacrifice, hardship and valor” and notes that he came from an immigrant family and was a 2003 recipient of the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award. In WWII, he survived the infamous Bataan Death March. The editorial concludes: “And we can’t help but wonder what Abraham, who died six years ago,would have thought about the Central American migrants clamoring to cross the border into America after their own march across Mexico. We should consider the debate through Abie’s eyes, Able’s experience, his wisdom and heart.”

Unless I have misinterpreted the editorial’s conclusion, it leads us to believe that because Abie was of immigrant descent, and he was on the Bataan Death March, he would be supportive and would condone the actions these migrants have taken. If I’m wrong, I hope you will let me know.

First off, to compare the Bataan Death March to the illegal migrant caravan is ludicrous and repulsive. The atrocities the Japanese inflicted on our soldiers and civilians was indescribable; they were totally vicious and unconscionable.

Secondly, Abie was indeed of legal immigrant descent, as noted coming legally through Ellis Island. He was proud to be a “hunky,” but he was an American through and through!

What the editorial missed was that Abie was a man who understood and respected the law, rules and regulations. He knew, through his vast military experiences, that without these, there would be chaos.

I met Abie in 1988 shortly after transferring to the Butler VA. One of the duties of my office was to determine veterans’ eligibility for care and scheduling veterans appointments for medical care. He became a regular visitor to my office as he was regularly advocating for veterans. We would go over the VA rules and regulations manuals to determine eligibility.

Abie always respected the rules. He would never try to circumvent them. He told me while in the military, he wrote and enforced many rules and regulations over his career.

I can say with complete certainty (I do not believe in speaking for someone else; but editorial writer TAH started it!) that Abie Abraham was a man of rules and regulations, and he would NOT support the actions of the illegal migrants in these caravans. He would tell them to do it right and follow the rules.

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