According to CNN , the Army and Marines have both given out more waivers to people convicted of felonies in 2007 than either military branch gave in 2006. According to the article, “The Army defended its use of waivers as a response to a changing American society, arguing that only three in 10 Americans of military age “meet all our stringent medical, moral, aptitude or administrative requirements.” Some of the waivers have been granted for offenses such as burglary, assault and drug possession, according to the article. Also according to the article, “Army never issues waivers for some types of offenses, including sexual violence, alcoholism and drug trafficking.“
I remember being in a social studies class in junior high. We were discussing the draft. I remember asking my teacher why we didn’t take guys from prison and send them out to the battlefield. After all, they weren’t doing anything besides sitting in a jail cell, so why not put them to use. I remember my teacher saying to me that the men in prisons couldn’t follow the rules and that’s why they were in prison and we couldn’t expect them to follow the rules if they were in the military.
Of course, that was more than 25 years ago when we thought as a society that men in prison couldn’t be rehabilitated and were hopeless. Times have changed.
Now I’d like to mention that the Army issued 511 waivers and the Marines issued 350 (according to the article). With the thousands of soldiers recruited each year, that doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? In the case of the Army, it is less than 1% of the 80,000 troops they wish to recruit each year.
Let me repeat that — less than 1%.
So, you’re thinking to yourself, then why bring it up? What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that Rep. Henry Waxman of California (Democrat) is giving both the Army and the Marines one month to explain themselves.
And, while these two divisions of our armed forces are preparing a report regarding less than 1% of their troops, how much of our tax dollars will they be spending? Why would anyone want to waste even more tax dollars when our deficit is higher than it has ever been?
Now, here’s what I would like you, my glorious reader to do.
If you live in California and in Rep Waxman’s district (It is the 30th District), please contact his office by going to his website (link will open in a new window) or calling his office: (202) 225-3976 (Washington #) or (323) 651-1040 / (818) 878-7400 / (310) 652-3095 (California #s).
If you do not live in California, please do not contact Rep Waxman — it does no good, really, they just toss your opinions away. All offices do that, not just his. They’re designed to only help constituents.
So, what to do if you’re not in his district?
Contact your representative.
Or, contact the committee yourself by clicking here (link will open in a new window). This is what I did and, if I receive a response, I’ll post it here.
We really don’t need to waste taxpayers money by looking for a needle in a haystack, do we?