Culture War Redux

January 8th, 2009

I fully agree with the letter from Robert Wheelersburg '88 PhD stating that, because of its unwillingness to invite ROTC back onto campus, Brown doesn't deserve to fly the U.S. flag ("Flying the Flag," Mail Room July/August).

While many avoided the draft by applying to graduate school or starting a family, I joined the Air Force ROTC unit on campus. As an officer, I learned discipline and management skills that later served me well in business. The responsibility for the actions and welfare of seventy people at Lincoln Air Force Base in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the Cuban Missile Crises taught me to grow up in a hurry and become streetwise, both of which have been valuable tools in business and life.

The military must remain a strong and viable instrument of U.S. policy in order to deter would-be adversaries from aggression. Without a strong military, we would not enjoy the freedom and liberty we demand as our birthright. By requiring every student to serve at least one year in ROTC, the military can educate young people about the privilege of what it means to be a free American.

Brown took a shameful, cowardly, and detrimental course of action in banning the ROTC program from campus.

George D. Tidd '60
Indio, Calif.



Martin Velazquez '94 takes Brown to task for refusing to reinstate its ROTC programs. He criticizes what he considers to be the hypocrisy of Brown's memorializing its war deaths with Patriots Court while failing to provide any place on campus for training today's soldiers ("Glorifying Old Glory," Mail Room, November/December).

Honoring the memory of those who have died in war is unrelated to supporting the discriminatory practices of the military. As long as gays and lesbians are rejected by recruiters and discharged if discovered, Brown has no business participating in this denial of civil rights.

The real hypocrisy is placing restrictions on the service, and consequently the promotions, of women, while assigning them to frontline jobs by calling the assignments temporary.

Only when the military becomes an equal-opportunity employer should Brown take a second look at its ROTC policy.

Carol Orkin Agate '55
Santa Monica, Calif.

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January/February 2009