Proud to back those who wage war on terror I'm...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

May 04, 2002

Proud to back those who wage war on terror

I'm generally not the type of person who writes letters to the editor, but the article "Bank, war protests in D.C. go peacefully" (April 22) and accompanying photo compel me to comment.

Next to the article about a peaceful protest in Washington was a photo of a young woman holding a sign reading: "Open your eyes, America. The `war on terrorism' is a war against the poor."

I realize this was the work of an idealistic young person who means well. I recall being against the war in Vietnam when I was her age. I've always thought that war was ugly, nasty, brutal and without any glory whatever. It is also, sadly, sometimes quite unavoidable.

That is something my father understood when he enlisted in the Army and volunteered to serve in the 101st Airborne Division in 1942.

I'm sure he did not relish parachuting into Normandy, or fighting for his life at Bastogne, but he understood the nature of what America was up against, and was willing to sacrifice his life if necessary to combat it. He was only 19 at the time.

Some have argued that America was attacked because of its power and arrogance. But if the words of Osama bin Laden himself are to be believed, he ordered the attacks on Sept. 11 because he perceived this country to be weak.

He did not believe its people would have the stomach or will to fight back effectively.

I believe with all my heart that he was dead wrong, and that we have just begun to demonstrate our national resolve.

Rather than standing on the street with a sign denouncing war, many young Americans have deployed to places of hardship and danger to carry on a fight in our name against our sworn enemies.

There is no draft, as there was at the time of the Vietnam War, so they have agreed to do this voluntarily.

That is an admirable thing. And I, for one, am proud I serve the U.S. Army as an employee, and can in my own small capacity help give them the support they need to fight and win.

Michael Cast

Edgewood

The writer is a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Developmental Test Command.

Church must report all charges of abuse

Virtually every local Roman Catholic official quoted in media accounts pertaining to the sexual molestation of children by priests uses the same phrase: "Every credible allegation of abuse is reported to civil authorities."

But for decades, Maryland's child abuse statute has mandated that the suspicion of abuse be immediately reported to law enforcement or child protective services.

It is not up to church authorities to evaluate the credibility of a child's allegations before reporting them -- any more than local schools are at liberty to pick and choose which complaints about teachers they disclose.

There are, in every Maryland jurisdiction, trained law enforcement and child protective services investigators who can thoroughly and impartially evaluate a child's allegations (which many times seem incredible at first) and take immediate steps to protect the child from further abuse.

Church officials need not duplicate the effort by conducting an investigation to determine the credibility of a charge before deciding whether to report it.

Children's unique vulnerability precludes an evaluation of their credibility by anyone other than trained professionals and demands that such an evaluation be conducted without delay.

It is incumbent upon us all, but particularly upon our spiritual leaders, to afford youngsters the protection they cannot provide for themselves.

Richard E. Saylor Jr.

Lutherville

Training provides interns better future

I am shocked that a newspaper of The Sun's caliber would print an article as biased and one-sided as "For foreign interns, hopes are dashed in servile jobs" (April 26).

The American Hospitality Academy and I have created an academic syllabus that covers 52 weeks of training classes for all participants in the program.

These classes teach realistic topics and situations students will need to know when they are in supervisory positions later in their careers.

AHA trains participants to be prepared and qualified for the workforce -- and that also includes time management and work ethics.

The article states that "training was a once-a-week class on topics including the importance of keys and locks, what suspicious people look like and how restaurant service staff must observe standards of personal hygiene."

This presents only three small points that make up one week's section of the month's topic -- security awareness for everyone. Safety and security makes up one of 12 topics taught to all trainees in the 12-month program. Those students who meet the set criteria of learning are eligible for a certificate from AHA.

AHA is not claiming to be perfect -- no company or person is -- but that we offer realistic training to the world of hospitality.

The article portrays the hospitality industry as unskilled and menial, where to manage effectively in any business, managers need to know how to do every task.

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