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Home : Viewpoints : Letters
9/14/2012 9:27:00 AM
Family's military service is plain for all to see
Pfohman family photo
Murphy Pfohman is flanked during West Point graduation by parents Susan and Bob Pfohman.
Pfohman family photo
Murphy Pfohman is flanked during West Point graduation by parents Susan and Bob Pfohman.

To the Catholic Sentinel:

My daughter Murphy began studies at West Point the same summer that Rob started Marine Corps training.  Before then, no one would describe the Pfohmans as a “military family.”  The process of Murphy applying and Rob enlisting brought out some peculiar biases among our friends.  For example, some of Murphy’s high school teachers were not comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for her to attend West Point. They would gladly write one for her other college applications, however.

It may be that some people have less familiarity or exposure to military service than our family.  Murphy’s dad and my brother served in the army in Vietnam.  My dad and four uncles served in World War II.  Another uncle graduated from West Point and three cousins  graduated from the Naval Academy and West Point. Bob’s father served in France during World War I.  Even with these connections, we are not a military family.

I have my personal views on the morality, necessity and cost of the military-industrial-congressional  complex.  So does Bob.  Murphy and Rob are developing their own views based on their military experiences, including Rob’s deployment to Afghanistan with the Marines.

Patrick’s comments about Bob suggests he decides who is pro-military, who served and who has standing to express an opinion about actions our government takes.  My kids are helping to protect our rights to express any views we have. We should not have to contend with being called disloyal, unpatriotic or cowardly in print, particularly by someone like Patrick who likely never served.

Susan Pfohman, Portland





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