Letters to the Editor: in response to “Seeking moral ground: regarding ROTC”

By: TJ Hizer

I usually do not respond to opinion articles because I understand everyone has a right to their opinion and to voice it in whatever way they see fit. However, I fear that, after your article dealing with ROTC, I can no longer stand idly by and hold my tongue.

I am not a member of the ROTC program. However, my family is filled with people who were, and still are, members of the military, a “force of evil in the world,” as you called it. My grandfather was involved in the planning of D-Day. My cousin still flies helicopters for the military. My older brother, a graduate of the program you desire Xavier to cut, served a term in Afghanistan, where his camp experienced rocket fire every day for several months. Also, my brother’s roommate every year at Xavier, Michael Runyan, who was killed in action in Iraq just three years ago, is a man whose family I hope to God never has to read the disgusting words you wrote. So, even though you did not offend me directly, you have offended my family and friends, which in turn offends me.

I’m not writing to say you are wrong in every way. Dislike war as much as you want. Dislike the administration that puts our men and women overseas as much as you want. However, one of the most disgusting things a person can do is to condemn those willing to die to protect this country. You incorrectly describe the military as inherently violent. The goal of the military is to protect, not to kill or maim. Most of those who sign up for the military do not do so because they want to kill or maim. They do it because they want to protect this country. They do so because they love this country and they want to protect the rights of its citizens. Rights that, ironically enough, include your right to print an article that condemns those who join the ranks, an article released, disgustingly enough, on the anniversary of the day that led to the current war. Also, I understand that you said your article is not a condemnation of ROTC cadets, however, when you call a program evil and immoral, that condemnation spreads to those inside of it.

Finally, the program you dislike so adamantly oftentimes is the only way that students can receive a college education. The United States military pays for each and every one of its cadets’ tuitions, a point you conveniently neglect in your article. So I celebrate, and am eternally grateful for, the Xavier ROTC program, and those brave enough to protect this country and the right of its citizens. They have more courage in their pinky finger than someone like you or I could ever wish to have in our entire life.