January 18, 2013

I could see where Lee Ann Candor was coming from [“ ‘Beetle Bailey’ beatings lack any humor,” Free For All, Jan. 12], but if you were to poll members of the military from the first time that “Beetle Bailey” was published until today, I would be surprised if you could find many who did not enjoy the comic strip. It is metaphoric and serves as a great release for the military.

As in every profession, but even more so in the military, stuff rolls downhill and ends up at the feet of the lowest-ranking members to clean up. In spite of the efforts of those at the top to keep heaping stuff on the junior members, those at the bottom take it, complain, get it done and carry on.

Having served for 30 years, at both ends of the spectrum, I still enjoy “Beetle Bailey.” It is a great depiction of how the junior ranks sometime perceive the military. Sarge, representing the guys at the top, may win the fight. Beetle, representing the guys and gals at the bottom, always win the battle — their resilience carrying them out of the dreariest and worst tasks with their spirits up. The cartoon also reminds those at the top to treat their troops with dignity and respect.

David Burns, Fairfax

Those of us who are veterans of the military from World War II through Vietnam understand and enjoy “Beetle Bailey.” If anyone who’s more in tune with the current “politically correct” Army doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it!

Paul Belschner, Kensington