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Defending the military

| July 30, 2007 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to a letter written by Ms. Felomina Genilla-Garvin of Helena.

I was rather disappointed by some of her comments. She knew the cost of each group and how many groups of teachers the Marines plan to recruit into their program of "how to influence our students into joining the military." She stated that it was a "sinister plan to subvert our public education system into preying upon our innocent youth and an inappropriate use of tax-payers money."

Our tax-payer money is already going to pay the military to recruit in our school systems. Why not ask for help from some of our teachers to enlighten our students on some of their other options as they grow up to be men and women who enjoy the freedoms allotted to them by way of the military. By lightening the load of our military recruiters, we allow men and women who joined the military to get back to the jobs they were originally trained to do. If we do not recruit our children, who do you expect our Government to train to protect our countries rights and freedoms? We teach our children to pledge their allegiance to the flag that represents our country, we just can't ask them to aid in keeping it a safer place to live?

Since when is giving our children an opportunity to see other countries a waste of money? Are you really that closed minded that you can't see that joining the military also gives our children the opportunity to develop job skills that they might not be aware even exist, or are unable to obtain on their own? I will be the first to admit that it is hard watching a child grow up and leave home to train to defend our rights or fight in a war. I will also be the first to admit that watching my own son leave home to join the U.S. Marine Corps was one of my proudest moments. It is hard knowing that he could die for something you or I may not believe in. While you know your numbers, do you know how many of our children live in the town they were born only to have stayed in that same town to work the same jobs that their parents worked, only to have died doing this job? How many loggers and mine workers have died in this state alone? Why not teach our students that they have options. Let them make the choice. The military is not forcing anyone to join. Our male students are told that when they turn eighteen they have to sign up for the Selective Service program, how will they know which branch of the military to join for further advancement in their lives if they are not educated in knowing what each branch offers.

I am proud to say that I have been the wife of Master Sgt. Matson of the U.S. Marine Corps for over fifteen years as well as the proud parent of Private Joshua Matson U.S. Marine. The military has been a wonderful way of life for my family and I am grateful for what I have received.

Tina Matson

Newport, NC