Mil­i­tary perks

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Base, sweet base,” June 13

I’m a for­mer Marine. I spent three years in the Corps, in­clud­ing a tour in Viet­nam in 1966. I have been read­ing with in­ter­est your se­ries on the dis­con­nect the gen­eral public has with the armed forces.

Hav­ing an all-vol­un­teer mil­i­tary is a pol­icy that Pres­i­dent Nixon in­sti­tuted to­ward the end of the Viet­nam War be­cause of grow­ing public dis­sat­is­fac­tion, par­tic­u­larly among draft-age Amer­i­cans. It was an idea that was driven by pol­i­tics. I think it’s a bad idea.

What we have to­day is an in­su­lar, al­most mer­ce­nary mil­i­tary that serves a pop­u­la­tion with no con­nec­tion to them, a pop­u­la­tion with no skin in the game. I think the draft should be re­in­stated with no de­fer­ments, and both men and women should be taken. Then they should be given a choice: mil­i­tary ser­vice or public ser­vice.

We don’t need any more mar­ket­ing ploys from beer com­pa­nies or peo­ple thank­ing us for our ser­vice so they can feel bet­ter about them­selves. Stop us­ing us with your pa­tri­otic baloney. Enough, al­ready.

Martin Schoen

Sierra Madre

Katie Falkenberg Los An­ge­les Times

MAKAYLA BALDERAS, 3, looks at uni­forms as she shops with her fam­ily at Camp Pendle­ton store.

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