Recent Column

This letter is not for submission but rather a complaint that I hope reaches the eyes of the author of the original piece and those who have so callously treated as humor a subject that is anything but funny. Should you decide to run it, kindly delete this first paragraph. Julian Brizzi’s halfhearted attempt at anti-militarism of a few weeks back left a sour taste in my mouth. As a UVM alumni and an active duty soldier in the US Army I found it disconcerting that a UVM student, a representative of a group that traditionally consists of the financially privileged, would heap such scorn on a class of people spawned, generally speaking, not from the luxury and excess that constituted the archetypal UVM student’s upbringing but from more meager beginnings. Long gone are the days when the military sucked in the dregs of society and represented an only slightly more attractive option than jail for would-be enlistees. Today’s soldier is, as has been my experience, someone who wants a better life for his family, someone trying to facilitate his education without the resources available to most of my Catamount brethren, past and present, or someone who believes that in a time of war an American owes his country his service and, if necessary, his life. For this student to stand securely atop his pedestal, shielded from scorn by the insular and xenophobic Ivory Tower and, as an American, protected from dangers far more alarming by the very individuals he mocks, is loathsome and pathetic. Far more sinister, however, was the ‘probably has a crew cut’ jab leveled at the author of an answering piece by the op/ed staff. For a single student to spout off with a crude and unsophisticated attempt at rendering funny that which is decidedly un-amusing is sad; for the Cynic to ad lib with vile nonsense of its own is far more sinister. Whether a decision undertaken by one or by several, adding that blurb attached the signature of the entire staff, its advisors, and its advertisers to an insult leveled at a former serviceman, in so doing insulting all those who do, did, or will put their lives on the line for the freedom and security of all Americans. I request a printed apology. Anything less is but another insult. Spc. Russel Henderson, USAAlumni, Class of 2003