"‘Doonesbury’ strip offensive" (letter, April 23) discusses some of the recent plot events from the comic strip.
Garry Trudeau, creator of "Doonesbury," is a huge supporter of the troops and regularly does United Service Organizations tours to provide humor and moral support for forces serving overseas.
His comic strip is one of the few that depicts real-world issues facing troops and it does so with compassion and honesty. He has received recognition from the Army’s 4th Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment and the Ready First Brigade for his portrayal of the first Gulf War and the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service for his portrayal of BD’s recovery from Iraq after losing a leg to a bomb.
The character in question, Melissa, was indeed sexually assaulted by her superior, a perfect example of "quid pro quo" style sexual harassment/assault, a very real thing. Trudeau established this long ago in the strip’s history when BD was undergoing treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder. Mel was also undergoing treatment at the Veterans Affairs facility, and her healing process was a major plot point at the time.
As a regular reader and an Army officer, I was not the least bit offended. His strip’s portrayal of battle buddies that go behind their friends’ backs to talk to chaplains for them, chaplains who go to motor pools to talk to soldiers in need, and commanders who talk to chaplains and get their soldiers the help they deserve − that is the opposite of "prejudicial to good order and discipline."
First Lt. Aaron FreedKaiserslautern, Germany