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Letters to the Editor

June 08, 2010

Stop false claims of military service



To the editor:

I am a U.S. Army combat veteran who served for 35 years (1954-1989). As you might know, the U.S. Census Bureau has elected not to add a category requesting the number of military veterans (and their war or era status) in the census questionnaire.

You might also know the number of individuals falsely claiming to be military and/or war veterans has grown astronomically over the years since World War II. Some of these false "veterans" are claiming local honors. Some are seeking services or benefits from the Veterans Administration and other military or veteran support agencies.

I would like to suggest that our city encourage its true military personnel and veterans to register their names with their military veterans organizations on a local level, register them with the city government or register themselves on a national level with the American War Library, which has operated a 24/7 online database since July 4, 1988.

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You also might be aware that the FBI now has a special unit designated to investigate, arrest and refer for prosecution those who fraudulently claim military service or falsely claim to be the recipient of a military award.

The growing number of false military claims made by some individuals either for personal gain or profit is growing toward an epidemic level and is expected to dramatically increase as parades and other festivities soon will honor our returning legions from Iraq.

Military service has always been honored as the highest personal contribution or sacrifice any individual can make to their community or nation. And like other human institutions such as marriage, respect for military service has existed in every culture in every nation for countless generations. This precious institution should and must not be falsely overtaken by frauds.

I would like for your paper to assign a military writer to submit a suggestion to all local military personnel and veterans to officially register themselves and accompany their registration with a photocopy of their report of separation that validates their military service. Applicants who attempt to provide false documentation can be referred to local authorities or directly to the FBI or to a local U.S. attorney's office.

False "veterans" damage the image of the true military veteran and harm the recruiting efforts by our military services. As the older members of the American military community age and pass on, it would be unconscionable for those who did not serve to receive military benefits or funeral honors.

I hope that your paper will assist in making an urgent problem better known to everyone in our local community so that the individuals who are falsely claiming military service, or their family members, will end the lies so that proper respect will be afforded to those who truly served our nation in uniform.

James E. Walsh Jr.
Boonsboro




Tea partiers should consider BP



To the editor:

I do not know what the Tea Party is, but to me they sound like a bunch of low-taxation freeloaders. Apparently, their parents wasted their money on their children's education because it did not banish the ignorance and bigotry that run rampant through that chaotic group.

Where did they get such a foolish idea that we can do without big government, when anyone who is not blind can see all the abuses around us? These abuses need to be stifled, and there is nobody but the government to do it. Take a look at BP and see what happens when government does not do its duty.

Harold C. Craig Jr.
Emmitsburg, Md.




Editor's note: The following two letters appeared in the Monday, June 7, 2010, print edition of The Herald-Mail:

Job market could use some courtesy



To the editor:

Recent events have highlighted a nasty fact -- people cheat. This should not be news; after all, priests break their vows, ministers abuse their positions, climate scientists rig the game, financial managers create instruments to fleece their clients and oil engineers ignore the safety rules. The list goes on.

Clearly, cheating is rewarding. This would be fine except that those on the short end don't make out so well -- lives destroyed, reputations lost, fortunes plundered, ecosystems killed, livelihoods gone and economies wrecked. We need a cop.

Yet despite the overwhelming evidence, many believe that minimal government interference is the way to go. I assume they mean something like the Mineral Management Service, whose inspectors gave their inspection forms to the oil companies to fill out for them.

While I agree that waste and abuse in government are problems requiring government itself to be policed, I prefer a government that provides appropriate regulations, not minimal regulation. And one that provides appropriate services, not minimal services.

National defense, infrastructure, safety and health, finance, resource use, environment and civil rights are all areas of legitimate regulation.

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