Leave the draft in the past

Robert Patton admits his military service was during peacetime, but fails to realize what a difference being drafted during the lulls between conflicts can mean [``It's time to bring back the draft,'' Nov. 10]. What provided ``adventure'' for him in 1956 gave agonizing choices and permanent mental and physical scarring to the next generation of young men. Joe DeCecco McFarland, Wis.

By calling today's soldiers mercenaries simply because they are not serving involuntarily, Mr. Patton shows at least a hostility toward, and perhaps an ignorance of, how a free society functions. That the government provides for national defense by offering remuneration to volunteers is no worse than doctors expecting to be paid for their services in keeping people healthy and alive. Paul Becker New York

There is not a glimmer of similarity between what is written by Mr. Patton and the 13 years I have served since commissioning and the end of the draft. At my last command, I had 10 superb enlisted men for whose performance and welfare I was directly responsible. Three of these had college credits, only two came from disadvantaged backgrounds, and just one was under 19. Mr. Patton shows an amazing lack of awareness by casting US volunteer forces as ... ``for the most part ... the poorest and least-educated among us, the ones with the fewest possibilities of success in civilian society....'' Lt. Comdr. D. J. Maresh USN Newport, R.I.

Revolution isn't over The editorial ``The Democratic comeback'' [Nov. 6] interpreted the Nov. 4 elections in a very different way than I did. Many of the newly elected Democratic senators have more conservative voting patterns than liberal Republicans and may well support President Reagan in various legislative battles. The election affirmed that the American electorate is more conservative - in a large part because of Ronald Reagan. And because of this, the Reagan revolution, with its spirit of individual achievement, will go forward and will be felt for years to come. Judy Dillabough Chestnut Hill, Pa.

One is enough Isn't one complete memorial enough to show our mistake? [``Vietnam: Separating warrior from war,'' Nov. 10].

It is regrettable that $20 million has been spent in other park areas when it could have helped Vietnam veterans or could have established a fund toward educational scholarships for their children. Margaret P. Symonds Rockland, Maine

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