I am in general agreement with Raphael Sassower’s recent opinion piece on “looking outside the military for a brand,” but his gratuitous comments about retired military people demand a response. He said (without any substantiation) that retired military people in our community “don’t like taxes because their kids are no longer of school age.”
A college professor like Mr. Sassower should have more respect for facts. If he has a survey or other evidence of some kind demonstrating that his statement is true for some large proportion of retired military people, then let’s hear it. Based on my anecdotal experience (30 years in the U.S. Navy, seven years’ residence in the wonderful city of Colorado Springs), he is seriously mistaken.
Not one of the many retired military people I regularly interact with has ever expressed this opinion about taxes. For myself, although I have never had children in Colorado Springs schools, I have voted for every school tax increase in my district, and since 2006 I have volunteered two days a week in District 11 classrooms, in addition to serving as a volunteer tutor for Peak Education, serving on District 11’s Senior Sounding Board, and encouraging my friends and acquaintances to volunteer in the local schools.
Notwithstanding his experience in the Israeli military, Mr. Sassower seems to have a very superficial knowledge of the U.S. military. His comments a couple of months ago about closing military golf courses to save money on the defense budget betrayed his total ignorance of the difference between appropriated and non-appropriated funds, for instance. I hope in future opinion pieces that he will do a better job of checking his facts and sharing his evidence, as well as his opinions.