To the Editor:
There have been more than 90,000 murders and nonnegligent homicides in this country since 9/11 and the onset of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You found “121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one” during that period—just a small fraction of 1 percent of those 90,000 homicides.
It is contemptible to pander to the worldview that American troops are drunken, debt-ridden psycho killers. Articles like yours feed into and perpetuate a negative stereotype of our soldiers, who have in truth shown a level of courage and civic duty far beyond what is asked of the hundreds of millions of their fellow citizens.
As an Iraq war veteran, I can tell you that soldiers need respect, not pity, contempt, hatred or fear.
Robert C. Verdi
Central Islip, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2008
Note from KBJ: A proper study would compare the homicide rates of two groups: (1) veterans; and (2) people of that age group generally. The Times did no such study, so its report is worthless.
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