This letter is in response to Paul Simmons and his letter published Thursday. His generalizations of the U.S. military could not have been further from the truth. First and foremost, you owe us an apology for your statements last week regarding the intelligence of our troops and the officers who lead them. You owe an apology to the families of Major Ricardo A. Crocker, killed in action in Haditha, Iraq, and to Captain “Gorby” Lopes, who was shot in a firefight in Haditha, Iraq. Both were highly educated officers, leading from the FRONT like Marine Corps officers do. Your implication that these men were in the rear, ordering the enlisted men to go fight, is more ignorant than you can imagine.
Next, you owe an apology to the families of Lance Corporal Roger D. Castleberry, Jr. and Staff Sergeant Joseph P. Goodrich, two highly educated, very literate and capable men also killed in action while serving with me in Al Anbar Providence in Iraq. These men represent the newest generation of the U.S. military that is the most educated and intelligent military force in history. My unit in Iraq was made up of a diverse group, many of whom were far more educated than you. For example, my four-member TACP team was composed of graduates from the Naval academy, Ohio State and an electrical engineer. In addition to this, I was only 24 credits away from graduation when I was in Iraq serving on this team.
So while you criticize the level of education or intelligence of the men and women who protect your freedom, remember one thing. They are receiving an education that you will never have and will never fully appreciate, an education in life, culture and what it means to be able to provide for you. While my parents also could afford to send me to college, I chose to take responsibility for my own life and pay for my own education. My parents also love me, just as yours do, but they love me enough to let me earn my own way so I can truly understand what responsibility means. That is something you seem to never have learned. So if you would really like an education, go and find a prior service member in one of your classes and tell him/her that they are ignorant and uneducated. Or better yet, come find me.
Sergeant Maxwell Aaron J. D Co. 4th Recon Bn USMC Reserves