I also read the Dec. 22 article “Is combat experience making Ranger School unnecessary?” and, after reading the Dec. 31-Jan. 1 letter in response (“Ranger-qualified not a must”), it gave me great pause.

To call to mind one of the bloodiest days in recent Army history as an argument to the fortitude of the Ranger is completely ludicrous, as well as in bad taste. Given the letter writer’s logic, those brave men who gave their lives for their country [in Somalia] are nothing more than an argument supporting not attending Ranger training, and that could not be further from the truth.

Now, I am not Ranger-qualified, and have no immediate plans to do so. However, my respect for those who wear that tab or scroll on their uniform goes without question, and I am sure that many of your readers will agree. Not everyone can be called Ranger or even hold the identifier as Ranger-qualified, and there is a good reason for it; my hat continues to be off to those who hold that title.

Can the letter writer provide a logical answer as to what would have been the outcome had those men not been Rangers? I would hazard to guess that enduring “72 days of suck” undoubtedly was one of the key components to their survival; call it a good “insurance policy” worth the investment.

Warrant Officer 1 Jim Verschueren

Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan

No ‘myth’ involved with magi

As a Christian, I was very offended by your headline “The myth of the Magi” (article, Faith, Dec. 31-Jan 1). You need to know that I, and billions of Christians around the world, do not consider the Magi to be a “myth.” The irony is that the article itself reinforced the historical fact of the Three Wise Men, as it relates how the story is confirmed in other ancient texts and faiths external to the Bible.

I don’t know when Christian-bashing came into vogue, but suffice it to say neither Stars and Stripes nor I would condone such headlines as “The lies of Islam” or “The fallacy of Judaism.” Why, then, do you consider it fair game to denigrate deeply held beliefs of Christians?

I realize there are many who do not subscribe to the Christian faith, and that is their right. But it is still possible to respect those of us who do.

Even The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman newspaper cited as the source of the article does not use the word “myth” in its headline; its headline says a new book “reveals startling details about Magi, Star of Bethlehem.” One can only conclude it was the Stars and Stripes staff that injected the notion of “myth.”

I am very disappointed that you chose to portray the story of the nativity in this light, particularly on your “Faith” page.

John Letaw

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

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