Letter: Get out of my face, civilian!

Editor:As an enlisted member of the U.S. Army, I feel the need to address Andy Thompson’s column (“Get out of my face, Private!,” Feb. 12). I have read and re-read this column, hoping to somehow find a link between Physical Training (PT) and the Bush Administration, but I simply cannot find it. All that seems to be present in this “column” is a frustrated rant on the current state of affairs in the Middle East. Cadence calling has been a tradition in the U.S. Military since its inception. It serves to call time, instill camaraderie and improve morale. Apparently, it also serves to annoy a columnist who would rather turn his back on the people who have sworn to die for him. What perhaps offends me most about Thompson’s column is that he hides anti-military feeling with the customary “Support Our Troops” slogans. He hints that he enjoys the military’s sacrifices in Iraq, because it fills his bank account through his stock investments. Well, I’m glad that our pain and suffering can accommodate Thompson’s checking account. He claims we deserve respect, and then implies that we embody the problems of America. He mentions that soldiers are no longer spit on, but after reading his rant, I feel my uniform soaked with his saliva. Throughout the history of the U.S. Military, there have been those who have called us warmongers, baby-killers, rapists and thieves. Even though my career in the Army has only begun, I have already begun to receive criticism from the people I care about most. I have been mocked for my decision to protect my country. I have been accused of selling my soul to the government. Every member of the military has learned to turn the other cheek when faced with the unappreciative. With that said, I have two final statements to make.The first is to Andy Thompson. I wish you well in your studies, Thompson. I truly hope you or someone like you can find ways of ending the conflict that plagues our world. I am a bit pessimistic about this, however, and until you find that way, I will be here to protect you and your freedoms. You tell the military to go hide in the foothills, but instead we will always be here, between you and danger. My second statement is to the U ROTC. Sing your cadences loud, gentlemen (and ladies). Don’t let the criticism of a few quiet the many.

Specialist Brant M. WaymentU.S. Army