When I read that Trump wanted a “really great parade to show our military strength,” I was disgusted that the man who Tammy Duckworth has named “Cadet Bone Spurs” and a “five-deferment draft dodger” wanted a parade solely for his ego. Both Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin oppose the military spectacle.

I know what my dad would have thought if he were still alive. He would say that the parade would be a wasteful use of taxpayer money and nothing like the displays he participated in during his career as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers.

When we were stationed in France, my father participated in a parade as a show of the Allies’ regard for each other.

My dad was also awarded a Bronze Star in Vietnam for his valor and for defending his country, as the engineers were in front of the troops, clearing the jungle.

However, my dad would know Trump’s request not as small indulgence, but as a vain-glorious fantasy to make himself feel better. The military’s job is not to make the president happy and stroke his ego, but to defend and protect our democracy. Too many have paid a price for that.

Melanie Lee, Lake View

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Skewed priorities for health department

Americans should now be well past the point where they have to get government permission to save their own lives or remove their own pain. The Illinois Department of Public Health needs to get past the point of forbidding the use of marijuana or anything else — especially if replaced with far more dangerous opioids. The department needs higher priorities that preserving its own powers (“Pain defines my life, but medical marijuana could change that” — Feb. 8).

Richard E. Ralston, executive director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Voters should cast out Ives

Jeanne Ives is on record as defending her ad and has gone so far as to ask, “what’s so offensive about the ad?” If Ives honestly believes there’s nothing wrong with her ad, then I would hope the voters of Illinois let her know there is no place for this type of bigotry in our democratic system (“Jeanne Ives goes for the bully vote with her TV ad” — Feb. 7).

The principles this country was founded on were designed to combat this kind of thinking and behavior. Her political positions should remove her from any consideration to be an elected official, entrusted with the public trust to treat all people fairly and equally.

This ad would seem to indicate that she is simply not capable of doing that.

Daniel Pupo, Orland Park

Quit the moping and get on with the Games 

U.S. Olympian Shani Davis is tarnishing his image by whining about the selection process of the U.S. flag bearer. He knows exactly how the process goes to select one Olympian to carry the flag. Ties are broken by the flip of a coin. Period. Congrats to Erin Hamlin for being selected.

Mike Kirchberg, Little Italy

White House drives away women’s vote

The burning question of the day has to be why would any woman vote Republican in future elections? The current administration has proven time and again to be indifferent at best, and antagonistic at worst, in their attitude towards abused women.

Beginning with Trump’s use of locker room talk aboard the Billy Bush bus — he and his misogynistic associates have been disparaging women at every turn.

The latest fiasco, involving Rob Porter and his battered ex-wives, is a good example of the lies and deceptions that repeatedly haunt this White House.

Porter, denied security clearance because of  domestic abuse allegations, nonetheless, was allowed access to classified information as a valued assistant to Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Kelly, once considered a pillar of openness and stability, deliberately ignored FBI warnings that Mr. Porter was a serial abuser of women.

The logical conclusion is that the chief of staff is either tone deaf to the “Me, Too!” movement or, is more concerned with being a Trump ally than being a man of moral conviction.

Either way, he is all too typical of the brutish mentality that defines this administration and has caught the attention of women voters everywhere.

Bob Ory, Elgin