Regarding the Dec. 5 letters [“What all can do for their country”] in response to Dana Milbank’s Dec. 1 Sunday Opinion column, “How to save America”:

Service to the country is a two-way street. I think I speak for many when I say that, at least with regard to the military, a great service is also provided to the individuals who enlist.

I spent more than six years in college without obtaining a degree. I was about the most immature, irresponsible young adult one could possibly imagine. They finally tossed me out.

Then I enlisted in the Army and entered a tough, no-nonsense program requiring great discipline. Within a few months, I gained five years of maturity. I was promoted rapidly and almost reenlisted after my initial commitment. Instead, I got a job, enrolled in night school, finished my degree, married a wonderful woman, had great kids, built a company, sold it to a public company and have lived happily ever after.

So who provided a service to whom here? Easy answer: I was the clear-cut recipient, and I can only hope the military got enough out of me to repay a small fraction of what it did on my behalf.

Peter Kaminsky, Rockville