better than inmates
Letter to the Editor
It is unfortunate that jails are needed in our society, but they are. As our elected officials consider the need for new jails in our country and the specifications for those new jails, I would like to offer some perspective.
The residents of any jail or prison are there because they have disrupted lives and broken the law. They have made choices of their own free will that resulted in their jail sentences. This is a natural cause and effect situation; allowing them to reap the results of the deeds they have sown is a good thing.
There is, however, a group of fellow Americans who live in far more uncomfortable conditions than any jail or prison today. I'm referring to the young men who have volunteered to serve and protect our country and whose living quarters are found on U.S. Navy submarines.
These friends of America don't even have their own beds! Each sailor has a reservation for one six- or eight-hour period in each 24-hour period. A typical Navy sub has about 130 sailors sharing two showers, four toilets and two TVs. There are no steak dinners; rather they eat dehydrated meals that have little taste. They get no fresh fruits or vegetales. They don't see the light of day for weeks at a time.
They work hard under these conditions, too. No sitting around watching TV all day! All this because they are working hard to preserve our peaceful, distinctly American way of life.
Where did we get the idea that the folks who work hard to tear down our society should have better living conditions than those who work hard to protect our freedoms?
October 12, 1999
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, January 19, 19100