The Nov. 9 article “Kaplan scrutinized over recruiting vets” paints a grossly distorted picture of Kaplan University’s track record serving active-duty military students, veterans and their spouses. The [Bloomberg News Web] headline’s reference to a single veteran (“Kaplan Quest for Profits at Taxpayer Expense Ensnares Veteran”) is telling.

Careful readers will note that the single veteran, around whom the article is based, complained that he was misled as to whether his education would be covered by the GI Bill. Buried in the article is the fact that he was notified that he was unlikely to be eligible. Also buried were the positive remarks of two other military students about their experience at Kaplan University.

We serve approximately 11,000 military students (active-duty, veterans and their spouses), count more than 2,000 military graduates, and continue to see more military members drawn to our school because of our support programs, flexible online courses and reduced tuition plans that permit military students to pursue their educations without necessarily incurring any out-of-pocket costs — facts that were also missing or hidden in the article.

Months ago, KU initiated a program that permits new students to enroll for up to five weeks in the program of their choosing without incurring any financial obligation — permitting them to assess if Kaplan University and the course work is right for them.

We are proud to serve the students who proudly serve their nation. No one is more deserving of a first-rate education and the chance to pursue their career aspirations both inside and outside of the armed services. Schools like KU have gone out of their way to make our programs attractive to military members, who may find traditional college courses not available, not convenient or just incompatible with their challenging schedules and frequent changes in deployment status.

Wade Dyke, President, Kaplan University

Davenport, Iowa

Conduct suspicious from start

Regarding the Nov. 10 letter “Victims’ parents were naive”: I agree with the writer. If some grown man came to my house to answer an ad to watch my kids, I can say with 100 percent certainty he would get the door slammed in his face. I don’t know of any normal single or married men who want to be baby sitters to someone else’s kids. If it looks creepy and feels creepy, then it probably is.

The parents of these innocent kids have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask: “Am I responsible? Did I show due diligence in letting a single, grown man watch my daughters?”

Am I biased toward female baby sitters? Damn straight, I am! But in this day and age, the safety of our children falls to us, not Criminal Investigation Command or the Office of Special Investigation. I do have one question, though, for the CID and OIS folks: Don’t you guys routinely [monitor] the website that [Staff Sgt. Joshua Adam Smith] was posting ads on? How does a sexual predator walk around willy-nilly in our community and no one at OIS or CID knew until after the fact?

A single guy posts on a open forum that he wants to watch kids and that doesn’t raise a red flag? Someone fell asleep at the wheel on this one, I don’t know if it was the Kaiserslautern military community command or the criminal investigative branches or the parents but someone dropped the ball and these precious kids are damaged forever.

Stephen P. Malone

Kaiserslautern, Germany

Parents must be the filter

Regarding the Nov. 10 letter “Unfit for family-friendly paper”: Stars and Stripes publishes what is news — news that’s bad, good, indifferent to some, important to others.

Many times there are unpleasant pictures and articles that really are not fit for a child to read. That’s where we come in as parents. We serve as their filter. Anything that my daughter watches on TV, looks at in a magazine or puts in her mouth — I screen it.

Our children are looking up to us as mentors and counting on us to feed them what is “fit.” I wouldn’t just give my daughter any publication, carte blanche, and say, “Here — read it.” I would look through it first. If I think there’s something in there she may not be able to handle or comprehend, I’ll refrain from giving it to her.

Parents should not put the onus and the blame on the communities and other organizations to raise their kids; they should do a little work themselves at home first. And they shouldn’t blame others because their kids saw something they shouldn’t have seen. It’s not “Shame on you, Stars and Stripes.” Stripes editors were doing their job; parents should do theirs.

Simone Larson

Grafenwöhr, Germany

On balance, there’s balance

After reading the Nov. 9 letter “Commentary leans to the right,” I was surprised to hear of the reader’s claim that “every time [italics mine] I pick up a Stars and Stripes I’m bombarded with more right-wing opinions.”

I decided to check a few editorials and columns from previous issues to verify his extreme claim, and here is what I found: columns from Victor Cha (professor at Georgetown University) and Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post (Oct. 18); Diehl, Felicia Nimue Ackerman and Frida Ghitis on Nov. 2; financial policy strategist David M. Smick on Nov. 7; Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News and Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute on Nov. 8.

Arthur Cyr from Scripps Howard News Service wrote about civility in politics on the day “Commentary leans to the right” was posted (maybe the letter writer should read that one before he writes again) and a Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram editorial on Nov. 9; and finally, on Nov. 10, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times (he and his paper are extremely and consistently liberal) and a Washington Post editorial were included in Stars and Stripes.

So it appears, even from a brief perusal of the last two weeks’ commentary included in Stars and Stripes, the columns are divided evenly along partisan lines. It is easy to deduce from a letter accusing the U.S. military community of being “Republican, Sarah Palin-loving, Barack Obama-hating and Democrat-bashing” that the writer is quick to judge others with unsubstantiated and sensationalistic accusations.

Just because Stars and Stripes prints George Will and Kathleen Parker (slightly right of center) opinion pieces occasionally and one Sarah Palin piece that drew the letter writer’s ire does not mean “Stars and Stripes [is] owned by Fox” and that the letter writer “bombarded” with opinions that may differ from his own.

Capt. Todd Perry

Kirkuk, Iraq

Better informed better for all

Regarding the Nov. 9 letter “Commentary leans to the right”: If the letter writer is correct that the number of [left-leaning] commentaries is not equal [to right-leaning commentaries], I agree with him; it’s not fair. I lean right, but I do enjoy reading what the left has to say; I’m better informed.

I fail to see why the letter writer targets Sarah Palin, but will guess it’s because this is typical liberalspeak when they fear a viable ”opponent.” That’s what Democrats/liberals/progressives do best: strike out at and demonize any and all opponents.

Likewise taking a pot shot at Rush Limbaugh is hollow, as there’s no difference with his counterbalance on American Forces Network, Ed Schultz; I listen to both, both who are airing their opinion.

Finally, the typical Glenn Beck bashing is the same. The content of every single Beck episode is backed by facts presented during the show. There’s video, quotes, papers, books and other things by the person he’s talking about. If one misses the presented facts, I must wonder what one is doing watching the program in the first place.

Senior Master Sgt. Mike Goff (retired)

Kaiserslautern, Germany

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