Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Response to Graf Begins...

from Marquette Trib 1/31/06
By Matthew Fueston
Senior, Engineering

Mr. Graf,
I just read your Viewpoint in the Jan. 26 Tribune and felt compelled to respond to your thoughts. I would like to tell you that I am a proud Midshipman Petty Officer at Marquette, and I come from a strong line of both Naval and Army servicemen in my family. Your article bashes some of the most intelligent and patriotic people I have ever met. For some strange reason, perhaps the fact that your arguments have no substance to them, I have been able to counter each of your main points.

1. The Catholic Church has not released a single statement against the war since the beginning of our engagement with the insurgents. It is obviously not due to a lack of official letterhead, or the unwillingness of the Pontiff to share his thoughts. Your statement on the accountability of the ROTC programs to the university is completely hollow, and I guarantee you have no evidence to back it up. Perhaps you have not been educated on this matter. For one, the Naval ROTC, including our commanding officer (who happens to be a professor of naval science) as well as all staff officers of the unit, are held accountable for every aspect of their actions on and off campus. We are involved in many different activities, including color guard detail at many different sporting events, Al's Run, and all the way to community service events such as Habitat for Humanity, both on and off the campus itself. It is also wrong to say that we "train young men and women to fight this immoral war," when in fact the ROTC supports many different fields in the service, including nurses, naval intelligence and the Naval Reactors program (which trains individuals for employment in private sector nuclear power stations without any military requirement at all).

2. Your entire paragraph on how one person spoke out for five minutes about God knows what, and seeing how you don't even talk about what was said, it adds nothing to your argument whatsoever. Because this one person said something, that means the university should not have any ROTC programs... Good point.

3. Catholicism, as well as religion in general, is a large part of the military. Our services boast having the largest religious participation of every single government organization. We value our involvement in a religion that denounces immoral acts, both domestic and foreign.

I have sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States from enemies, both foreign and domestic, and in doing so, I believe, as well as a large portion of this campus believes, that what our program is doing is for the betterment of all. Our training helps us become more efficient, ethical individuals that actually care about the course of our nation, and feel compelled to act upon that feeling. Unlike you, I have made it a point to give back to the country what thousands of brave individuals have given their lives for. And that is the choice to be free. While I do not agree with what you say, I will defend your right to say it, even if it means my life. It is that single aspect you just don't understand.



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