Mothers shouldn't have to do menial work after pregnancy

Regarding the July 31 article, "The problem of a pregnant pause": What the workplace today needs is an attitude of flexibility for both men and women.

When I went back to work part time, I was told that I wasn't available enough. My business partner praised the availability of a young, inexperienced man who was on-call 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It didn't matter to him that I had worked for the company all around the globe, had run major projects, and knew our systems and customers inside and out.

I would like to see opportunities for men and women to have balanced working lives – where men and women can take responsibility for others without severely limiting their careers. No one wants to be relegated to humdrum work just because they need to work fewer hours.
Susie Billings

Pakistan's efforts should be praised

Regarding the Aug. 1 article, "Where the bin Laden trail goes cold": While criticism of Pakistan is certainly legitimate, the charge that it is not doing enough to locate and apprehend terrorists within its midst is both misguided and unfair. As the article suggests, the geographical territory in which Al Qaeda's minions operate is vast (Pakistan shares a 1,400-mile border with Afghanistan) and mountainous. It can neither be easily accessed by foot nor accurately monitored by air. Notwithstanding the challenges that this terrain poses, Pakistan has captured a number of key terrorist figures – including the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – losing 650 of its soldiers in the process. Critics of the United States' embattled ally should think closely before rendering their judgments of its performance.
Ali Suhail Wyne
Fredericksburg, Va.

Good military men are taking a stand

Erin Solaro's July 31 Opinion piece, "Abuse of women GIs: Good men must check bad ones," is well written and hits the point dead on. I am a military man and consider myself a "good one." Women have definitely made their place known in the military today by performing superbly in harm's way and in the defense of their nation.

While deployed, I made it a point to make sure my female soldiers could execute their mission without worrying about male predators within the ranks bothering them. The good ones made an example of a few bad ones by giving the "good" commanders assistance with imposing actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Jimmy Russell
Chancellor, Ala.

Change military age restrictions

Regarding Kevin Ryan's July 31 Opinion piece, "Enhance force levels? Look to immigrants": Using immigrants is not the only way to get more people back into the Army. There are many former military people ages 40 to 45 who want to join the reserves in an officer capacity but cannot because of age restrictions. But the Army offers us enlisted positions at the pay grade that we had 10 to 15 years ago. Many of us have gone to college and have graduate degrees, greater work experiences, etc. We want to serve but in a capacity that is higher than when we left the military. As someone in federal government whose civilian pay is equivalent to that of a lieutenant colonel, I don't want to go back as an E4 when I have so much to offer. The Army should get Congress to lift the age restriction for officers with prior service, giving them a one-year waiver for each year of active duty service up to age 45. This means that individuals could still give 20 years of service, up to age 65.
Larry Singh
Stockbridge, Ga.

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