Regarding Ray Shelton's Community Commentary, "Another perspective on duty and service," on July 28: This commentary was so vitriolic I thought I was reading the Daily Worker of about 1950 ? and just as slanderous.
As Shelton seems very confused over the status of a nation at war, let us go over the basics. There is all the political difference in the world between a "nation in arms" of citizen soldiers conscripted by the state and a professional fighting force that consists of paid warriors who choose to be so. The policy of a democracy is immediately hemmed in when it has conscripted its citizens and sent them into battle.
No such limitation of policy applies when the force is one of professional warriors. If you take the king's shilling, then you fight the king's enemies. Who they are and why they are your enemy is not for you to worry about; being the province of your political bosses. Your job is to fight cleanly and defeat them. You are an extension of the state's foreign policy, its enforcer, and the protector of its interests. Anyone like Col. Mark MacCarley who has done that can say as a bare minimum, "I have done my duty," and be proud that he served his country. We are blessed to have men such as he today.