To the editor:

Brendan Walsh’s July 18 letter (”Can anyone really be proud to be an American?” upset me. Being a proud American, I have to reply. 

He lists all the good things he had the choice to do because he is an American. But he says “none of the above make me proud to be an American.” He criticizes the president for saying “I’m proud to be an American” and being against illegal immigrants breaking the law to come here. The president is trying to enforce the written law and you go on to criticize him for not enforcing other laws? Is there something special about breaking the law that says to break the immigration law is okay? That’s not the way we work in the United States.

Mr. Walsh is proud of his Coast Guard Reserve time, he votes in elections, pays his taxes and lives a good, active life! I did eight years in the Army Reserve (no active duty), had three brothers in World War II and another in service during the Korean War. What little training in the Reserves was by veterans of World War II and Korea. A couple of years under those guys and I lost my enthusiasm for war. But I was always proud to be an American! Christ said to love your fellow man. You say native-born Americans can not be proud of being an American. Considering how lucky we are to be legal Americans, we should be very proud to be Americans!

John Toomey

Danvers