Re "A call to mandatory national service" (Forum, July 20): Gerald Haslam's article is timely and, in my opinion, addresses many issues currently facing our great nation.
"From the sons and daughters of truck drivers and tycoons, all would serve. We would all benefit both personally and as a country," according to Karen Whitney, Ph.D., and president of Clarion University. Whitney's observation as an educator includes the idea that a program of national service would instill the American ethic of service to country as a ritual of attaining adulthood. We benefit as a society and I have to wonder how many high school hard cases would find new directions away from drugs and street violence.
For me, serving in the military for six years during Vietnam gave me a stronger love for my country and an appreciation for the freedoms we share. Freedom is not free. It's time for all high school grads to serve.
-- David Payne, Sutter Creek