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Children of the wealthy still serve their country

I was extremely disturbed to read Phil Ryan’s My View column “Great to see veterans welcomed as heroes” in The News. He stated: “your chances of serving with the child of a wealthy politician, a lawyer or a doctor are slim to none. These politicians can call it whatever they want, but it’s the middle- and working-class Army today. The 2 percent did what they usually do in this country – they bought their way out of any and all military service for their children. This is the law of the land and it’s not about to change.”

Ryan acknowledged that the sons of both the wealthy and politically well-connected have served in the past. His example of the Kennedys is excellent. While Joe Kennedy, one of the richest and most powerful politicians in the United States at the start of World War II, could have easily arranged for all of his boys to receive cushy stateside jobs, he let them serve their country, as was their wish. This decision cost him the life of his oldest son, Joe Jr.

Today is no different. Sons of politicians and the wealthy still serve in the armed forces, but today they do it out of a sense of honor and commitment for their county, not because they have been drafted and have no choice. They put their lives on the line for the same reasons that American boys have fought and died for over the last 200-plus years – duty, honor, country.

David C. Hartzell Jr.

Supervisor, Town of Clarence