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