There’s room for redemption
I was disturbed recently when I read a letter to the editor condemning Stars and Stripes for lauding [Philadelphia Eagles quarterback] Michael Vick by dedicating a full-page article to him on his successful comeback and rehabilitation after prison (“Vick more sick than slick,” Nov. 23). Previously, Stars and Stripes ran an article about a Superior Court judge lauding Chris Brown on the outstanding job that he is doing [performing] community service [after being convicted of] beating [fellow singer] Rihanna (Faces, Nov. 22).
What’s disturbing is more people have condemned or continue to condemn Vick for [running an illegal] dogfighting [ring] than Brown for beating a woman. It seems as if the “people’s court of public opinion” values the life of a dog over the life of a woman, a human being.
For the letter writer to call Vick “a sorry excuse for a human being” is a bit over the line, since we are all made in the same image.
We find the most convenient times to use words like honor, role model and commitment to family. However, most of us do not live up to those words 24 hours a day. I commend Stars and Stripes for running articles on Michael Vick and Chris Brown and I appeal to you to continue to do so. We have a right to know these things, whether we agree with them or not. This is one of the reasons why we serve our great country in various capacities and locations protecting freedom of speech and the press.
If we’re to condemn every person who has done jail or prison time for whatever reason, Congress and the military would be missing a few good people.
Question: Would Michael Vick be facing more criticism than Chris Brown if, instead of beating Rihanna, [Brown’s victim] was Taylor Swift?
Chief Warrant Officer 2 James E. Prioleau II
Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Understand host’s concerns
If I was a German national I would not want an American housing area in my town (“Grafenwöhr housing project scrapped,” article, Nov. 23, Europe edition).
Just drive around Vilseck, Grafenwöhr or any other American housing area in Germany on or off post and see the lazy upkeep on yards and the many who don’t follow the recycling laws, noise laws and other laws of our host nation — and then wonder why they don’t want us there. I avoid showing German friends too much of Vilseck due to the way most of the housing areas look.
Most of the American Forces Network public service announcements are annoying but, if people really thought about the point the PSAs are trying to make and did something about it, things would look so much better. I’m proud to be an American with more than 20 years in the Army (with nearly 12 of them in Germany), and it seems to be getting worse every year.
Due to being deployed I do not have the reference, but every servicemember or civilian authorized housing from the Vilseck housing office has to sign and maintain a copy of a housing agreement outlining all these rules. Maybe if someone would enforce some of the possible ramifications (outlined in this agreement) of not adhering to these very basic and simple standards, people would then see they need to get things fixed or else (if I remember correctly, the worst-case scenario was loss of command sponsorship).
Sgt. 1st Class Noah McConnell
Forward Operating Base Lagman, Afghanistan