1. Opinion

Too few are ready for the military

Here’s what readers had to say in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
An ROTC drill team participates in competition.
An ROTC drill team participates in competition.
Published Oct. 22, 2019

Too few are ready for the military

Adjust, don’t replace, academic standards | Column, Oct. 19

I agree that “no graduate should be unable to secure employment because they don’t have the educational foundation to learn the job.” This also applies to military service.

As a retired general officer, I am very concerned that 72 percent of young adults ages 17 to 24 in Florida are unable to join the military. Many of our high school graduates cannot pass the military entry exam that assesses their math, literacy and problem-solving skills. This contributes to recruiting challenges that threaten the strength of our military and closes a potential career path for young Floridians.

I’m glad that Florida fourth- and eighth-graders have recently done better on national math and reading exams, as Brian Dean points out in his column. This is a good start that reinforces the importance of rigorous academic standards so Florida students graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education, civilian careers or military service for those who choose that path.

George Trautman, Tampa

The writer is a retired Marine lieutenant general.

Keep system off the internet

Election hacks cloaked | Oct. 22

It’s easy to prevent our electoral system from being hacked. Don’t connect to the internet! Physically and totally disconnect all election devices and communication from the internet. Individual election buildings or compounds can use an intranet (as opposed to the internet) for internal communications.

David Anderson, St. Petersburg

Medal of Honor winners

A gathering for heroes | Oct. 22

Medal of Honor recipient Robert Ingram [Navy Medical History; Photo by Nick Del Calzo]

I hail from Pickens County, a small county in upstate South Carolina. It’s the home county of Clemson University, but it has another distinction less well known. Pickens has provided to the service of this country the greatest number of Medal of Honor recipients on a per capita basis of any county in these United States. They are William A. McWhorter, Ferman L. Smith, Charles H. Barker and Donnie Howe. I appreciate the articles in the paper very much.

Syd Comer, Brandon

An uplifting love story

A Florida love story | Oct. 21

Jorge Zambrana, 96, and Fabiola Montealegre, 85, hold hands while listening to the band play at the Town 'N Country Senior Center. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times]

My mornings begin with the Tampa Bay Times and a cup of coffee and usually with a feeling of despair and sadness as I read what is happening in our country and the world. But on Monday I was smiling as I read the beautiful front page story of the love affair of Fabiola and Jorge! The tender photos of them holding hands and dancing remind us that love knows no age limit and that every moment we have is so precious. Thank you for this uplifting story.

Jan Kokernot, St. Petersburg

Act with this speed on guns

Shields added for bus safety | Oct. 11

One stabbing and killing of a bus driver and the Tampa Bay area acted quickly by installing safety shields on public buses. Yet, after the frequent mass shootings across America, what changes have been made to ensure people’s safety? Maybe let the authorities who acted so swiftly to protect bus drivers’ safety have a chance to propose a solution?

Gail Howell, St. Petersburg


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