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John Wheelock, Cambridge, Minn.
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Medical amnesty bill would reward abuse
Back in the 1980s and ’90s, Minnesota legislators raised the drinking age from 18 to 21. Now today’s legislators have discovered, to their surprise, that young adults in this age group drink. Some are even drinking too much. So legislators propose to grant amnesty to these adults who are underage and overintoxicated and in need of medical services.
I don’t understand this thinking. If someone is overintoxicated and is under 21, or if someone of legal age “drinks responsibly,” they will not face legal penalties. On the other hand, if someone who is under 21 years old “drinks responsibly,” or if someone of legal age is overintoxicated, they may face legal penalties.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce the age to 19 and encourage responsible drinking in general?
Jim Reinitz, Minnetonka
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Volunteers on Rifle Squad bear own costs
I commend the Star Tribune on a timely and well-written article regarding the governor’s proposed funding for veterans’ organizations that perform military honors for deceased veterans at cemeteries in Minnesota (“Who pays for a veteran’s final wish?” April 2).
As a point of clarification, please recognize that the Memorial Rifle Squad at Fort Snelling National Cemetery is totally composed of volunteers from all veterans groups and that all squad activity is supported by private donations of individuals or groups.
No volunteer is reimbursed for personal expenses or receives a monetary stipend or other compensation from municipal, federal or state agencies. Bear in mind that the 130 volunteers drive approximately 150,000 miles, annually, at their own expense, to and from the cemetery.
Between June 19, 1979, and March 28, 2013, the Rifle Squad provided final honors for 62,676 veterans and never missed a duty day, during regular cemetery hours, regardless of weather. That constitutes more than 30,000 volunteer hours contributed to Veterans Affairs each year. The total tax dollar savings to the federal government are quite substantial.
Daniel Fisher, commander; Memorial Rifle Squad
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.