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It saddens me to see these types of games continue through decades (" ‘Do you trust me?’ Marines playing deadly game to build confidence within ranks," article, Sept. 14).

In 1981, as a Marine Corps Junior ROTC cadet, a classmate returned to our high school in Albuquerque, N.M., after being the unfortunate victim of a "game" where Marines on guard duty would attempt to see who was quickest on the draw with their service pistol. An accidental discharge made our classmate a paraplegic, sentenced to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Nothing justifies this kind of risk. This "game" is not an attempt to build confidence in your comrades. It is reckless and unprofessional at its core.

This is not just a lesson for Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a call for all leaders in the armed forces to watch their soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and enforce standards of conduct and discipline that are lacking in any organization where activities such as this take place.

Maj. John DeanJoint Base Balad, Iraq


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