A letter from a reader: Pride in Princeton's military leadership

March 19, 2008:

As a Princeton parent for eight years, I look forward to reading PAW. I particularly enjoyed "Lessons from a war" (feature, Nov. 7). I have been impressed by Princeton's willingness to publicize enthusiastically her graduates' dedication and commitment to service at a time when many elite universities are minimizing the importance and, in fact, banning military presence and recruiters from campus.

Two years ago my son Mike, a college sophomore in Boston, stopped in at our local Army recruiter's office and enlisted as a private first class. Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, Mike spent two years at Fort Stewart, Ga.; he deployed in October to Iskandiriyah, 25 miles south of Baghdad. He most likely will be there until early 2009. He works with a broad range of enlisted soldiers; some of them are young, crazy kids, many with wives and children of their own, and some are seasoned with advanced degrees, serving their second or third tours in Iraq. They work seven days a week, obey orders, and have learned the consequence of failure to do so. In a broader context, Mike has the opportunity daily to practice strength of character, bravery, and discipline; he understands firsthand what it means to voluntarily shoulder the burden of defending our country.

My hope is that he has the good fortune to serve under the leadership of officers like the fine men and women from Princeton who have taken the motto "in the nation's service, and in the service of all nations" to heart. I am fiercely proud of Mike, proud of our armed forces, and proud of Princeton.

JEAN DAY KOFOL p'04 p'08
Boston, Mass.

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