I am a pacifist and idealist who came of age during the Vietnam War. Imagine my surprise when my then-freshman in high school daughter announced that she intended to participate in an Air Force ROTC program. She is now in her third year of Air Force ROTC training at the University of St. Thomas while majoring in nursing at the College of St. Catherine. The atmosphere in her ROTC detachment is one of respect, support and camaraderie. In her coursework she is encouraged to be a thinker, a problem solver and a team player as well as a leader. I am proud of her accomplishments and have supported her 100 percent in her decision to serve in our military.
I am also a realist. While there is a great deal of goodness in our world, there is also darkness. It is my fervent hope and prayer that diplomacy will always be the first choice as a means of settling disputes. However, we need a strong military to defend our nation and her citizens. I have a deep sense of gratitude for our military personnel, including ROTC cadets. I am proud of my daughter's choices and her dedication to preserving life in the face of death.
I suggest that Bekavac walk a mile in a cadet's combat boots before questioning cadets' motives and experiences.
When one reads a lot of very opinionated blogs and other opinion sources online, it can be easy to start thinking of all those on the other side of an issue as being liberal moonbats or conservative wingnuts or worse. It is nice to have a reminder that people can disagree and still be reasonable about it, and respect honorable choices made by them . I suspect the author of this piece and myself would have many political disagreements, but could have a reasonable discussion about them. A quality sometimes lacking in parts of the blogosphere.