Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Old enough to die, too young to drink

One of the local police departments proudly announced last week that its sturdy men in blue had broken up a ring of lawbreakers and hauled the culprits off to the hoosegow.
Who were these vicious people? A wild bunch of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who got together to party and had the gall to drink alcoholic beverages. The shame of it all.
No matter that a high percentage of men getting shot at and blown up in Afghanistan and Iraq are that age. No matter that an equally high percentage of men and women on our navel ships are that age. Trust them to do those jobs, send them off knowing that some will die, but heaven forbid that they drink a glass of beer or a shot of Jack Daniel's finest.
There is something badly flawed with the mindset of a society that allows that. If someone is too young to drink, what sort of person would say he or she is old enough to die in the service of the country? You can't have it both ways. If they are too young for one they are too young for the other.
But they aren't too young. That is the age of countless men who have fought the battles down through the ages. My friend Harry McKitrick was a sergeant, a rifle squad leader, when he was killed in Germany at the age of 19. My friend Lewis Gorkowski was an infantryman of 18 when he died in Italy. The list would fill volumes of those that age killed in every war from the American Revolution to those of today. Include those from all nations and you'd fill a library.
But many do-gooders with twisted thinking say some of those 18, 19, and 20 are immature and irresponsible. True. So are many at the ripe old age of 21, 31 or even 81.
It's a farce and anyone who says otherwise needs to give it some serious thought. Either bring everyone under the age of 21 home or welcome them back with, "Let me buy you a beer."
I was months short of my 20th birthday after having survived some of history's bloodiest battles. Had someone said, "That's nice, but you aren't old enough to take a drink," I would have handed them my rifle and said, "Here, you do it."


Blogger STAG said...

here, you do it!!

yeah,I can see you saying that.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Dick Stodghill said...

STAG had a second comment that was sent here but seems to have been lost somewhere in cyberspace. In effect it said:
"Tylenol is bad for my liver but has its uses. The same is true of single malt scotch."

But I'll bet the single malt is more enjoyable.

6:32 PM  

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