Saturday, May 19, 2007
Semper Fidelis: Marines Allowed to Have Drinks on Base
One of the true ironies of the 21-year-old drinking age is that we have young men and women fighting for this country that cannot legally walk into a tavern and have a drink. They are old enough to pay the ultimate price in the eyes of our government, but not old enough to buy a drink.
The Marine Corps has recognized that someone mature enough to storm a building occupied by al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters surely can have a glass of beer, wine or spirits. The Marines have ruled that service members as young as 18 can have a drink of alcohol on Marine bases on special occasions.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway signed the order, which allows local commanders to designate Marine Corps birthday celebrations and home coming parties after combat deployments as special occasions where drinking will be allowed.
In 1995 the U.S. Defense Department told each branch of the service that drinking ages on bases should conform to local laws. Some are protesting the move, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
It's too bad that the anti-alcohol groups in this country don't realize they owe their ability to criticize the government to the very Marines they would like to deny an adult beverage.