The News Journal - www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com - Mansfield, OH
A dispute currently pits the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, California, against MADD. The Corps wants Marines serving under the age of 21 to have the right to consume alcoholic beverages. MADD is steadfastly opposed, and is spear-heading efforts to block the Corps from accomplishing this feat. The issue at the heart of this confrontation extends far beyond the base limits of Camp Pendleton and the borders of California. It needs to be addressed nationally, and as soon as possible for the benefit of the men and women serving in all the U.S. Armed Forces. MADD is misguided. Military men and women of any age have earned the right to assume the privileges of adulthood by their demonstrated levels of courage, commitment, sacrifice and responsibility. Denial of the legal consumption of alcohol to those in uniform under the age of 21 is preposterous and disrespectful, especially because a large share of those in the U.S. Armed Forces are between the ages of 18 and 21. It is time for the hypocrisy of the current system to end. It is time for federal -- not state and local -- legislation to be enacted to permit present and former military service members -- including active duty, Reserve and National Guard members under the age of 21 -- to be able to show a valid military ID to be served or to purchase alcohol.
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