Why is it OK?

A headline on our local news yesterday was a report that the police broke up a house party and charged 25 people with Underage Possession of Alcohol. Fifteen of those charged were adults over the age of 18 but under the legal drinking age of 21. Commenting on the bust, our local prosecutor explained that “[t]he lesson here is it is illegal for children to drink. The lesson is the one that I don’t want them to ever have to learn is going to the funeral of one of their friends; that’s the lesson I don’t want them to learn.”

Speaking of funerals, a review of U.S. casualties in Iraq as of July 4, 2007 reflects the following:

A 20 year old from Charlottesville, Virginia died as result of enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 19 year old from Grottoes, Virginia was killed by small-arms fire during combat operations against enemy forces in Ar Rutbah, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Coeburn, Virginia was killed by a non-combat weapon discharge in Kuwait.

A 19 year old from Falls Church, Virginia died as a result of hostile action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 19 year old from Richmond, Virginia died of wounds sustained when his dismounted patrol came under enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Hit, Iraq.

A 19 year old from Hampton, Virginia died of wounds suffered when his mounted patrol came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire and a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq.

An 18 year old from Richmond, Virginia was killed when her military vehicle hit a roadside bomb as it was returning to Camp Eagle in Baghdad, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Fairfax Station, Virginia died of injuries sustained during combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Alexandria, Virginia died from injuries received as result of enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Chesterfield, Virginia died of wounds received as result of enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 20 year old from King George, Virginia was killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive inside the mess hall at Camp Marez in Mosul, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Woodbridge, Virginia died as the result of enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 19 year old from Crimora, Virginia died while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Winchester, Virginia died of wounds received in action in central Iraq.

A 19 year old from Stuarts Draft, Virginia died as a result of hostile action in Babil Province, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Stafford, Virginia was killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive inside the mess hall at Camp Marez in Mosul, Iraq.

A 20 year old from Lynchburg, Virginia died of non-combat related injuries in Muqdadiya, Iraq.

An 18 year old from Manassas, Virginia was killed during combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.

Why is it OK for 18, 19 and 20-year old Virginians to fight and die for their country, but illegal for them to have a beer?

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4 Responses to Why is it OK?

  1. Cathy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. Silvia says:

    “[t]he lesson here is it is illegal for children to drink. ”

    So is an 18 yr old a child or an adult?

  3. Rachel says:

    After a decade of counseling and working with college students, you might think I’d be all for RAISING the legal drinking age. Not at all. I read this article a few months ago and found this guy’s approach intriguing:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/02/16/drinking

  4. Jim Anderson says:

    It’s not okay. I used to be one of those “children,” having enlisted at 17. It was insulting to be good enough to be cannon fodder for a bunch of draft-dodging ‘patriots,’ but not good enough to have the right to a nip to console myself when I thought about the crook-in-chief — at that time one Richard Nixon.

    Our whole country and culture just gets alcohol wrong. We make a big deal out of it, when we ought not. One of my favorite memories from overseas was sitting in a Spanish restaurant. where a family with a voluble young boy of six or seven had taken up residence at the table next to me. Apparently the child was taking a wee bit too long, hence the comment from his Mama: “hush up and drink your wine.”

    I recall plenty of my sailors getting into alcohol-related trouble during my years there, but I don’t remember young Spaniards having such issues.

    Just my two pesetas’ worth..

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