I would like to reply to the article written about Paul Stoetzel, the National Guardsman who is protesting the possible war in Iraq (“Once on tour, now anti-war, student soldier won’t go to Iraq,” Oct. 17). I am in the National Guard and although I do not want to go to war with Iraq, I am not against war.
I know that most people in the military do not want to go to Iraq to fight in a war, far away from their families and friends. However, members of the military take an oath to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Maybe Stoetzel has forgotten he took this oath. I am not saying he cannot voice his opinion or be a member of Students Against War, but if he refuses to go to Iraq, or anywhere else the military needs to send him, why is he still in the National Guard?
Stoetzel also mentions there was a soldier that could not read in his battalion. I think this is unlikely. In order to be accepted into the armed forces, you need a GED or high school diploma, and you have to pass a test.
Stoetzel also mentioned a soldier who incurred an enormous credit card debt. I fail to see the connection between these two men’s problems, and their ability to protect him.
Stoetzel also was quoted as saying the National Guard was always in the back of the action, doing stupid details. In a war, there are no stupid details. Everyone in the military plays an important part. Some might be less glamorous than others, but there is not one job that is unimportant.
Besides, there have been National Guardsmen and units that were on or close to the front lines, what Stoetzel would consider the “important” jobs. Stoetzel also expressed the wish that people would get informed before getting involved. I totally agree. This includes him, before signing another contract to stay!