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Voice: The military is a good option for many young people, particularly now

September 19, 2001

Tough times call for tough decisions. I was intrigued by a recent story from North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms. In short, he remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor all too well. He was so taken by the attack that he went to the Navy recruiting office in Raleigh to sign up. He had a left ear hearing problem but in time got that waived. He served honorably in the Navy and was discharged in 1945.

What a great veteran. As a matter of fact, any veteran is an honorable person in my book. I have noted in Oxford, N.C. (and in El Centro) a few young men, who I am reluctant to say but must, are shiftless. They may or may not have graduated from high school. They sometimes hold down a job. When asked about career goals they are not sure.

Interested in cars? Yes. Interested in the opposite sex? Yeah! Their response when I suggest that they look into the military: "Nah." It is a sad state of affairs.

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There are many opportunities in the armed forces: the opportunity to travel, get paid, housed and learn a skill. You don't even have to sign up full-time, as one can go the reserve route. Six to eight months of training, then back home and one weekend a month. Four days pay for two days work. Can't beat it.

How are we as adults failing these young men and women? Well, for one we need to suggest and keep suggesting the military to these folks, particularly now when their country needs them. Present the military in an honorable light. Our country has been attacked. We need these young folks to fall in line and assist just like the honorable Sen. Helms did! Your thoughts?

J. DERRY

Oxford, N.C.

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