Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

LETTERS: Commenting on soldier's 'selfie'

Letters Published: March 2, 2014

Admit mistakes, learn from them

No doubt The Gazette will receive countless comments regarding Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey's recent actions, and in a military town like Colorado Springs, I imagine most will not be very supportive to say the least. However, I don't think the point is so much that this soldier disrespected the flag; rather, I think it was her very poor judgment in posting a "selfie" on social media.

For those of us who have served, let's be honest; is there a military installation, where, at 1700 we won't see soldiers, sailors or airmen ducking back into a building to avoid rendering honors to the flag? Or, if we look just past the exit doors won't there be someone standing there waiting until the ceremony is over? And unfortunately, there's no discrimination. It's a fact of life. So that's something those individuals have to deal with themselves or, hopefully, someone will administer an on-the-spot correction!

No, I think one must look at this soldier's actions after the incident and ask "why did she do that?" Because it was cool and she'd get all sorts of support from her friends? Was that her 15 minutes of fame? Will she be basking in some temporary attention in her social group?

Pfc. Sheffey, would it not be better to simply admit that you made a mistake . well, actually two mistakes and learn from them? You said, "I am not a disrespectful soldier" well, here's your chance to prove it. I recently returned from three years in Afghanistan and saw a lot of great young soldiers. Are you one of them?

Perry Broxton, master sergeant U.S. Army, retired, Colorado Springs

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Shouldn't be in the military

Except for the bad publicity for Fort Carson, Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey did her superiors a favor through self-selection. We are constantly hearing of the need to cut qualified enlisted and officer personnel due to budgetary requirements. Sheffey and the Wisconsin National Guardsmen should go to the top of the list when it comes time for the reduction in force. I know of good, young, competent military personnel who lost the numbers game in their career fields and were cut when they didn't want to be cut. Let's save some of those and put the ones who, through their actions, show they don't want to be, or shouldn't be, in the military. They chose to be in the military and the rules, customs, and common sense did not change after they enlisted.

Rod Alexander, Colorado Springs

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Accountable for her behavior

After reading about Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey in Thursday's Gazette, I certainly hope that she is held accountable for her disrespectful behavior. At the very least she should be made to participate in every reveille and retreat ceremony for at least a month. I also would make it mandatory that she be present for all military members' funerals so that she might change her attitude about what our flag represents. Lastly, I would order her to stand in front of the post and read aloud the customs and courtesy regulations.

Robert Jamin, USAF, retired, Colorado Springs

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More money and more time

The judge that made the decision regarding the city owing money to PERA had been selected and agreed upon by both parties to make a decision on behalf of both parties.

When he made the announcement that the city of Colorado Springs didn't follow the rules of separation that had been spelled out prior to the city's giving up Memorial Hospital to another entity, his decision meant the city owed the money to PERA it had already put into escrow. Maybe the leaders who didn't follow the rules were hoping that PERA wouldn't notice or file suit.

Now the city appeals to higher courts, which will take more time for the interest to accrue on the money owed, and will cost the city and we the citizens, more money and more time.

Maybe the city should just pay the money owed to PERA and follow the rules in the future.

John C. Orsborn, Colorado Springs

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