Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Pass 'once is enough' law for weary soldiers

In response to the article from April 4, "Is US Army bent to the breaking point?": I am a former Navy Judge Advocate General officer who spent a good deal of time trying to help sailors and marines returning from Vietnam. I also spent a lot of time working with families of those killed and injured.

In light of these personal experiences, I think it is deplorable that the military is trying to cover up its own deficiencies by ordering multiple combat deployments, many of them allowing less than a year at home in between. This could cause physical and mental harm to these men and women.

What we now need is legislation that would allow any service member who has completed a combat tour, or who has been unable to do so because of combat-related injuries, to have the option of applying for and receiving an honorable discharge upon his or her return. We could call it the "once is enough" law.

Passing a law such as this is the least we should be able to do for those who have put their lives, and their families' futures, on the line.

The choice of additional tours should be theirs, not the Pentagon's.

Lawrence J. Fleming

St. Louis

Online self-policing doesn't suffice

In response to the article from April 4, "How do you deal with unprincipled citizen journalists?": This is a thought-provoking article and subject.

The common belief that self-regulation is sufficient and appropriate is incorrect. Usually, it is self-regulation that doesn't work well. The online death-threats mentioned in the article are but one example of failure to adequately self-police. Contrary to popular opinion, creating a code or codes of ethics for bloggers can work to prevent the "unprincipled citizen journalists" from acting inappropriately online.

Codes can work in at least two ways. First, they establish a standard by which behavior may be judged - the more widely accepted the code, the more normative social force is brought to bear to enforce it. …

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