And why is the Army of the U.S. of A. concerned with civilian games?
"The Army is as much concerned with the moral fiber of society as any other institution is."
And civilians practicing Army-learned sporting skills such as golf, bowling and tennis will beef up the society's moral fiber?
"We feel that way—that an interest in sports is a wholesome, constructive one."
As whiskey drinking, crap shooting, wearing your hair long, carrying picket signs are not?
"I suppose it gets down to basic assumptions about the kind of country we are and should be. Sports have contributed a lot to the traditional American way of life, helped make us an active, competitive, self-confident people. If we can help protect these American traditions by introducing, or reintroducing young men to sports, we feel that this is something worth doing."
The Army (for that matter, armies) has seldom been faulted for not being sporting enough. In fact, someday, if it has not already been said, some division commander is surely going to say: "The post softball championship was won on the battlefields of Vietnam." Certainly it is an American folk belief that the military is overly fond of sports and sportsmen, that being a jockstrap is the next best thing to, and even identical with, being a civilian.
I was in a CIC unit. We trained at Holabird and they told us most of us would go to Korea but a few would stay in Japan, which is where everyone wanted to stay, Japan being a much better place to be than Korea. It turned out that the Colonel in Japan was very big on baseball. I was sort of a weak-hit, weak-field shortstop, but Korea really wasn't all that bad.
Enclosed is a clipping from our local sports page which I would like to bring to your attention. I would like to inquire why the man described in this story, Specialist E. Z. Hooker, has been a member of the Fort Sweaty basketball team for the past two years while my 19-year-old son, Cumbersome Tanglefoot, who though suffering from chronic hangnails was inducted into the Army four months ago, is now serving in Vietnam. As a mother, taxpayer and VOTER, I would like to know....