This is in response to “Speaker criticizes military,” Nov. 10).

This is not about being a conscientious objector, a concept I can respect. But, rather, about the statements made by Kevin Ramirez regarding the military, specifically recruiting.

He utilized a few cases of unscrupulous people who should have never been in recruiting.

I recruited for three years in Lewiston for the U.S. Navy and don’t feel I ever misled anyone who joined. In fact many men and women re-enlisted for another term after their initial terms.

Regarding utilizing promises of education to get recruits was just plain wrong.

“A total of 57 percent get no money for education at all,” he said. Where did he get this information? I presently work for the Veterans Administration and know that this is false. All individuals upon entering any service for four years of active duty have the opportunity to sign up for the Montgomery GI Bill. They contribute $100 a month for 12 months and get back 36 months of at least $500 a month for full time schooling.

The only exceptions are those who opted not to enroll, did not complete the terms of enlistment, received a less than honorable discharge or failed to have a GED or high school diploma before starting school. A lot of people, including myself, have gotten an education from this program who otherwise would not have had an opportunity.

I don’t know if Mr. Ramirez ever did any active military service, but again he is wrong about “seeing the world.” In my 20 years, I did the equivalent of two times around the world and saw many things that the majority of people will never get the chance to see. But you had to get away from the base or dock to experience the land.

Finally, because we have a military, Mr. Ramirez has the “right” to express his opinions.

I think Bates College should give equal time to those who have made good in the military and have done well afterward. I’ll be waiting for the call.

Alan Elze, Auburn


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