Heck at War 

In the last year, we've run war-related news and cover stories from all over the journalistic spectrum. We've interviewed conscientious objectors, deserters and opponents of recruitment in schools. We've also addressed cracks in veteran's mental health care, parents watching their children come of age in combat and, since 2003, we've been the only local news source to run updates of U.S. casualties in Iraq. But what still strikes me most are our readers' responses. I often receive letters insisting that printing casualty counts is disrespectful to soldiers. Or, in the case of Rachael Daigle's no-nonsense interview with army deserter Robin Long, I read on our Web site that for us to print the interview at all meant we were "completely snowed" by a "self-important, gutless turd."

Keep it coming. When we get called names and assailed with anonymous phone calls, we know we're doing our job and spurring local dialogue into areas that might otherwise be overlooked, internalized or ignored. I can't wait to see how our polyphony of pundits respond to this week's Memorial Day cover story.

--Nicholas Collias

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