I’m reluctant to join the military controversy. There’s really no controversy at all; the military win hands down. They can do no wrong in this town. But I can’t help but comment on the one-sided plethora of pro-military responses with nary a defense of Mr. Smith’s point of view. So I will offer my position.

I view the presence of the military in this town as wallpaper. They’re here and they’re not going away. This town has more to offer them in the way of comfortable living than any other town around here. It has far more to offer them than the tawdriness of Fayetteville, so it’s a no-brainer they would settle here, and increasingly so since I’ve been a resident.

Most if not all I read about in The Pilot extols the military and does not look at the dark side. So the scale weighs heavily in favor of the military presence in this town and the accompanying — to me — over- the-top flag-waving, etc. There’s no doubt in my mind that the military these days are a very well-heeled and prosperous group, not to avoid the onerous injuries of many of them as a result of wars I can only characterize as unwinnable.

I simply cannot support — can only see as tragic, and wonder what we are supporting — when we lavish so much praise on our military who have chosen to fight in them. That’s my argument, take it or leave it.

Bob Katrin, Southern Pines

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(7) comments

Peyton Cook

If the members of the Armed Forces are “well heeled”, how come it is difficult to retain them? The Pentagon is offering bonuses to vital groups, such as pilots, to extend their commitments. As the airlines are about 60,000 short, pilots are leaving after their commitments. I have a grandson who is leaning that way. Many of the Company grade of the Army, Lieutenants and Captains, are doing likewise. They are skilled and trustworthy. As a aside, they do know why they chose to serve. And they do know what they are serving for.

Ed Pieczynski

While I disagree with much of what this letter writer says I can certainly respect his opinions. BUT, when he states our military members are "very well heeled and prosperous" I can promise you he is not speaking with any first hand or factual knowledge. People do enter our all volunteer force but to be well heeled and prosperous is nit in the top 100 reasons.

As for over the top displays of patriotism I just don't understand the word "tragic." The word tragic means suffering extreme distress or sorrow. Guess I just don't get it.

Dan Roman

This letter needed to be written, it is well written and Mr. Katrin displays courage in having done so.

It should be remembered that unlike the Vietnam era draft military the current military is an all volunteer force. People volunteer for many reasons but volunteers they are. While it is appropriate to support the military this does not mean that the military is above criticism. Equally patriotism is a good thing but the somewhat overdone displays of patriotism we see in the area are chauvinistic, often less is more effective (don't display 100 flags when 3 would make the point, don't use a display of "patriotism" as a front for an anti-something agenda).

Mark Hayes

I don't understand why The Pilot continues with these type articles. For what purpose do they serve ? They remind me of the less than welcoming that many of us received by the locals of Oceanside,California during the later sixties. A brief stay while stationed at Camp Pendleton gave many of us that experience. I don't know if Bob Katrin was in the Military, or if ever experienced a cold reception by a civilian population because of his Military status, I would leave that question for Bob Katrin. I just find it disrespectful for the family members of our Military men and women to have to read articles such as this, being a small town and local newspaper it seems to be going a bit over the boundaries of what is considered appropriate.

Jim Tomashoff

you mean what is appropriate to you. you, as in, sole prosecutor, judge, and jury. glad to hear that you fought for your country. too bad, though, that you had no idea what you were fighting for.

Brenda Burt

Mark Hayes, I agree with you. I’m shocked at the treatment our local Military folks are receiving. It’s just like back in the 60’s all over again, when they came back from Vietnam and folks were so mean to them, calling them “Baby Killers.” What’s next, a protest against women making the same amount of money a man makes, when doing the same job?

Brenda Burt


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