Letter to the Editor

The article about Matt Tumbleson, who is protesting a military order to attend training camp, disgusts me. The author was grossly uninformed and Tumbleson fudged facts to sensationalize his perceived victimization by the U.S. military, resulting in a biased, misleading article.
Tumbleson, enrolled in the Navy’s CASH program, claims naval officers misled him into thinking he was signing up for a different program. Section 1. c of the CASH Program Service Agreement states: “Upon enlistment, I will be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and to all orders, instructions ad directives issued by competent authority…” Presumably, this includes orders to attend recruitment camp. If Tumbleson didn’t read this agreement before “signing away” his life, as he so dramatically lamented, whom can he blame beside himself? No matter how coercive, ambiguous or downright deceptive the officer was, Tumbleson could have read the paper and decided against joining the Navy.
The article further dramatizes Tumbleson’s plight by citing the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which lists death as one penalty for desertion. Someone either didn’t do their homework before writing the article or intentionally excluded pertinent information about UCMJ penalty codes. The UCMJ clearly states that penalties cannot exceed limits set by the President. I’ll build a snowman on the UC patio before Tumbleson is executed for desertion!
The article makes Tumbleson out to be a pawn in the military’s evil scheme of war and destruction: “… these heathens want me to do math for bomb builders.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but if any organization in the country is building bombs, it’s the U.S. military. Tumbleson conveniently ignores the fact that HE signed up for a military program and instead appeals to the antiwar attitude of the liberal student newspaper.
Tumbleson signed an agreement; he has obligations resulting from that agreement. Now he wants to weasel out. Suck it up and quit whining. Stop blaming everyone else. Live up to the terms of the agreement YOU signed. And next time, read the fine print.

Liz Merkle
Freshman, Neurobiology