West Point cadet who quit lacks respect, backbone

The recent article in The News about a West Point cadet quitting the academy six months before graduation because he felt he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayer makes me glad that he did what he did. I certainly don’t want an officer with a mindset like his in any branch of our military.

His very action mocks our history and some of our greatest presidents. George Washington prayed for guidance during the Revolutionary War, while Abraham Lincoln did the same during the Civil War and even proclaimed a national day of prayer on April 30, 1863. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a great and memorable radio prayer on June 6, 1944, while our military forces were hitting the beaches at Normandy.

This cadet spoke of disrespect toward non-religious cadets, yet he showed profound disrespect to the thousands of military personnel who made their peace with their creator before going into battle and dying. And he showed his lack of backbone when he said he felt offended because instructors jokingly used the term “heathens” toward non-religious cadets. I wonder how he would feel in enemy captivity, where his captors might use more succinct terminology? In my mind, as a veteran, I’m glad he quit the academy because I feel he did our country a favor. I only regret that he has taken up a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have shown respect for those who came before and for beliefs not completely understood by all.

Norman Machynski