Your Letters: The Military-Civilian Gap

We received hundreds of responses to a story last week by NPR's Tom Bowman about a study by the Pew Research Center. It found a gap among civilians and military personnel about who should bear the burdens of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Host Scott Simon reads listener comments about this story and more.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

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SIMON: Hundreds of responses to a story last week by NPR's Tom Bowman about a study by the Pew Research Center. The study found many civilians and military leaders don't share the same views on patriotism, or on who should bear the burdens of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PAUL TAYLOR: Is it fair that the military is making the sacrifices when the public is not, or is just part of being in the military? And the public says, you know what? It's just part of being in the military.

SIMON: Samantha Fergasun of Santa Fe, New Mexico, writes: This story was extremely offensive to me. Droves of teachers have lost their jobs due to underfunding. This affects the fundamental future of our country. Meanwhile, we are funneling money into the military and the infrastructure of other countries and their futures. She continues, I don't support the war, but I am a small business-owning mother who is damn patriotic. How dare anyone say that I and the millions of others like me are unaffected by the wars?

Per Fagereng of Portland, Oregon, adds: It's worth recalling why the draft was ended. Young Americans were killing and being killed under false pretenses. People feel we are not being called to fight for our country, but to rescue our politicians.

Last week we had a remembrance for Bob Cassilly, a man who rescued old buildings in St. Louis and turned them into wondrous public spaces. Mr. Cassilly died in an accident last month. And listener Mark Ray writes: The City Museum exists as though someone projected their unfiltered right brain and id into the material world with pieces of tile, cement, rebar and machinery. Cassilly was a national treasure who chose to remain and do his best work in an old, once-grand, Rust Belt city where creativity still lives.

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SIMON: Many thanks for our interview with the McClymonts about their new album and relocating from Australia to Nashville. Jim Coulter in Minnesota, writes: My family saw them at the Minnesota State Fair. They were fantastic. The same amount of energy and fun they brought to your interview they bring to their concerts.

We welcome your energy, fun and complaints. Go to npr.org, click on the Contact Us link. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter at nprweekend. I'm nprscottsimon, all one word.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KICK IT UP")

THE MCCLYMONTS: (Singing) So kick it up another notch. This party ain't for shrinkin' violets. Give it all you got. Oooo Oooo. Pass me the scotch. Let's kick this mother up another notch.

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