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Discourteous attack

Written by Susan Mannella on .

Marine Staff Sgt. Jeff Ehnen ("Keeps Us Alive," May 6 letters) might have consulted his boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, before he attacked Francine Porter's earlier letter to the editor suggesting that the country's military budget is bloated ("Path to Doom," April 30).

Speaking Sunday, May 9, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Secretary Gates acknowledged that our military budget is bloated. Further, he proposed cuts of $15 billion he described as necessary to sustain our fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Ehnen claimed Ms. Porter's attacks on the spending would deprive his unit of equipment necessary to keep him and his unit alive in Afghanistan. But Secretary Gates didn't remotely suggest his budget trimming would cause shortages of equipment necessary to keep our fighting forces in Afghanistan effective and alive. Rather, he wants to go after the defense contractors who are inflating our defense budget.

What is particularly troubling is that Staff Sgt. Ehnen chose to make his point by ridiculing those in the teaching profession. He wrote that teachers ought to accompany his unit overseas so they could learn to do real work for a change (his emphasis).

I am an Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and I believe it is preposterous that he exhibits his warrior ethos by tearing down teachers' contributions. His comments lack the courtesy and respect for his civilian counterparts that we should expect from members of our armed services.

JOHN BITTNER
Crafton

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