In Vietnam I was assigned to fire base Barbara near Quang Tri and the Ashau valley. I wrote home and asked for an Iowa flag to hang on the wall of the bunker where I lived. Shortly before Christmas in 1971 I received a package containing the flag and a letter from Gov. Ray thanking me for representing Iowa in service to our country. It meant a lot to me.
After the war Gov. Ray welcomed refugees from the squalid Thailand camps. In Cedar Rapids, Lutheran Social Services sponsored this effort. As a volunteer, my task was to take newly arrived refugees to doctor visits and arrange for interpreters. They were in poor shape — malnourished and suffering parasites.
Gov. Ray was a caring man.
We are a community of immigrants. We used to have an Ethnic Fest at the Czech Village Roundhouse. It was a celebration of our rich ethnic diversity with music, dress, dance and food. Sadly, politics have changed. The words of Trump’s tweets drip with the venom of intolerance, isolationism, nationalism, innuendo and lies. It is time to speak up and tell him and those supporting him that they are wrong.