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Letter demeaning to active military, veterans

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In response to the letter “Manning Helped our Quest to Remain Free” that appreared in the Times on Aug. 7, the writer, Ed Barlow, states that “any military including our own is more like communism than any other form of government” and “the military structure is and always will be, in its current form, the largest threat to actual freedom that exists here on earth.”

Mr. Barlow also says “the civilian public are rabbits in a cage with no idea of what is really going on.” In his case, this may be true.

Apparently, the writer failed civics, history and logic, resulting in total ignorance of the U.S. military’s structure within our government. Are you aware that the president (commander in chief), secretary of defense and Congress have total control of our military, and strangely enough they are all civilians?

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to raise and support armies, declare war, organize, arm and discipline the militia. Article II, Section 2 establishes the president as commander in chief of the Army and Navy.

The military is not a form of government and wouldn’t exist without civilian directive. If our military is a threat to American freedoms, why have so many hundreds of thousands died defending them? Maybe the writer would prefer English as a second language to Japanese, German or Russian.

As a retired Marine (chopper pilot, Vietnam 1966-67) I find Mr. Barlows’s commentary demeaning to all veterans and most insulting to Ft. Drum’s 10th Mountain Division currently shedding lives and limbs to defeat terrorists — the genuine, irrefutable danger to our freedoms. I’m surprised the Watertown Daily Times would publish such misguided rubbish considering the large number of military (patriots) you serve.

Brian W. Rolfe

Cape Vincent

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