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In regard to Dorie Mattson’s opinion piece “Military students thrive in, enhance the classroom” (Nov. 11): In her essay about teaching for the University of Phoenix, Mattson says all the right things about our military members, legitimizes herself by pointing to her own family military heritage, quotes St. Colin Powell (the patron saint of the post-9/11 military) and even goes biblical by quoting St. Peter himself. Well done.

Although some of the initial calculations may have been off when the story first broke, the fact remains that for-profit universities are absorbing huge amounts of U.S. taxpayers’ money from the post-9/11 GI Bill. Generally, they are not giving our active-duty members and veterans very good educations. No serious employer in a serious profession takes the University of Phoenix, DeVry University, or any of the others of their ilk, seriously. End of story. And that’s bad news for our veterans who are trying, and failing, to find work after finishing service in the military (also a frequent topic in recent news).

While Mattson is ostensibly sincere in her praise for the active-duty and former military members she teaches, I still find her essay to be nothing more than a glorified advertisement for for-profit “higher” education. I find it disturbing and a disservice to military members that your newspaper continues to publish such pandering opinion pieces (of garbage) from people associated with these education corporations, particularly the piece by a former general officer who is employed by them (“Private-sector schools work with, and for, GIs,” Oct. 15, Gen. William R. Looney III [retired]).

Not to be outdone, allow me to quote St. Matthew as it relates to the topic: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Capt. Lance McAdams

Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan

Panetta’s comparison flawed

I take exception to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Veterans Day message labeling the current force as “the next Greatest Generation.”

His obvious lack of understanding of the contributions of both the military and general population during World War II should have prevented him from glibly applying such a label to the current generation.

While the popular support Americans have for the members of the uniformed service is truly amazing, it in no way should be construed as a direct contribution to the warfighting effort, very much unlike that of the early 1940s.

I do not intend this to disparage the sacrifices of our current forces. They continue, as they have for several hundred years, to selflessly perform duties others will not. Their courage and sacrifice is clearly on par with those demonstrated by our predecessors. The current force is better-paid, better-educated, better-trained, better-supported (especially their families) and clearly more militarily capable than their predecessors. But they are a part of a generation that has not earned the label “greatest.” What they are is the greatest part of our current generation.

Steven Schneider

Grafenwöhr, Germany

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