If Mary McGrory must write columns denigrating the men and women who volunteered to serve their country {Jan. 22}, she should strive for accuracy. The "Warthog" is not a ''missile that knocks tank silly.'' Rather it is an affectionate nickname given to the A-10 antitank aircraft.

From the very start of this crisis, McGrory has made it clear that she stands with those who would never advocate the use of force to combat a great evil. McGrory's pious cries for peace and wringing of hands over the sacrifice necessary to ensure that aggression is halted are hauntingly familiar of France's Daladier and Britain's Chamberlain, leaders who nearly destroyed their countries rather than confront the absolute evil embodied in Hitler and Nazi Germany.

As a naval officer, I am personally offended by her sanctimonious assumption that the United States ''will almost surely come out as Sparta -- armed to the teeth and spoiling to fight.'' Those of us who serve in our country's volunteer armed forces joined to defend our country and our allies, not to impose a Spartan tyranny upon other nations. We are proud to serve our country and love it dearly, but that does not make us wantonly martial, as McGrory depicts us.

-- Christopher B. Tharrington