July 18, 2013

Military recruiters' bill shouldn't have failed

Letter to the editor

I was deeply upset to find out that my state representative, Ann Dorney, D-Norridgewock, led the charge against the bill to help military recruiters that was recently killed by a narrow vote in the Maine Legislature.

The bill was inspired by recruiters who said they were experiencing restricted access at some schools. For example, Noble High School in North Berwick allowed recruiters only one visit per year, and that could be only to restock the brochure rack. Recruiters claimed that Portland and Yarmouth High Schools prohibited them from wearing their uniforms on school grounds.

That treatment of our troops is shameful. Not only is it a slap in the face to the military, it deprives our young people of some of the best opportunities to gain career training and life skills.

Many Democrats voted against the bill because they didn't believe the recruiters that this was going on. As if that wasn't bad enough, Dorney stood up on the House floor on June 4 and even said that schools should be allowed to prohibit military uniforms on school grounds if they want to.

This shouldn't even have been a controversial issue. The bill should have been passed unanimously, and hopefully it will get another chance someday.

Ed Goff


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