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OUR VIEW: Support the military on more than paper

On November 13, 2012

When USU President Stan Albrecht signed the community covenant with the military during the halftime of the Utah State vs. Texas State game, he did something which was unprecedented by a university president in the entire nation. In fact, it was said to inspire other schools in the state to make similar moves.

He signed a contract vowing USU would continue to provide support to the ROTC. On paper, it sounded wonderful.

Too bad the whole thing was little more than a piece of paper.

Here in the Statesman office, we are all about patriotism, following laws, voting in every applicable election, flying an American flag on federal holidays and most of all supporting our military.

Needless to say, we are grateful to those who take it upon themselves to fight the battles for ordinary citizens like us, who do not want to risk a battle-inflicted injury which could severely affect our very livelihood. The men and women who protect our country are among the strongest people who exist — we owe them a great debt.

Unfortunately, we don’t think it says much to sign a vague statement declaring our “support.” If we want to really back our armed forces, we need a plan that outlines the programs we’re going to implement and the monetary backing behind those programs. We can’t call this a real thing until we see it backed up with dollars.

This new community covenant looks great for the university, the ROTC and all the bureaucrats who campaigned this piece of paper into a drafted document ripe for signing. The problem is, the covenant doesn’t actually do anything.

Utah State has extensions across the state which already do almost everything the new symbolic contract mandates.

One positive element in the covenant is the installment of liaisons for military personnel and families in more extensions throughout the state. This will help members of the military more easily gain access to services and privileges other Americans are already enjoying. For example, if a veteran is having trouble getting accepted to a university, the liaison can help the get all the paperwork sorted and distributed to the proper officials.

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