Mil­i­tary morale

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

Imust­ta­ke­ex­cep­tion­totheed­i­to­ri­al­writer’s com­ment in“TheLafayet­te­bri­gades”(Oct.30 edi­tion) that “The cit­i­zen-sol­dier ideal is al­ready bruised and bat­tered . . .” Au con­traire, that ideal is very much alive and well. Re-en­list­ment rates, even among Iraq and Afghanistan war vet­er­ans, are near all-time highs, and let us not for­get that all our mil­i­tary forces started out as vol­un­teers. Morale is also near an all-time high. Sure, there are in­ci­dents of abuse com­mit­ted by mil­i­tary mem­bers within com­bat the­aters, but com­pare th­ese within the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion of sim­i­lar age groups. And sure, en­list­ment stan­dards have been slightly re­duced, but you don’t have to be pure as driven snow to be­come a good sol­dier, and sol­dier­ing is a great way for a young per­son to fo­cus on the im­por­tant is­sues, to take char­ge­ofhis­life,an­de­ven­re­ha­bil­i­ta­teone­self.

I was, how­ever, sur­prised to learn that we al­ready have tens of thou­sands of for­eign na­tion­alsservingi­nour­mil­i­tary,andI­don’thave aprob­lemwith­theirearn­ingc­i­t­i­zen­ship­within a well-con­ceived pro­gram. It’s the surest way for a for­eigner to ap­pre­ci­ate what the U.S. and cit­i­zen­shiprep­re­sentsand­tolearn­theEnglish lan­guage and other use­ful skills. I would also fa­vor a fast track to cit­i­zen­ship for for­eign­ers qual­i­fy­ing for Pur­ple Hearts. As the say­ing goes,“there­arenoathe­istsin­fox­holes,”andthe case can be made that there would be no bad cit­i­zens in fox­holes. Derel Schrock Col., USAF (Re­tired) Colorado Springs, Colorado

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