Re: Tori Marlan’s “How I Learned to Hate the War,” [September 30].
You cite safety concerns to change the names of Jake (main character in the tale) and his wife; you also didn’t provide their last names or ethnic backgrounds. Strange that the same safety concerns were not addressed for Nhu Tran, a Vietnamese from Carol Stream, and Mike Komorowski, a Polish linguist from Schaumburg; in fact their full names and ethnic backgrounds were mentioned at least twice in the tale. Why? We predict Jake, whatever his real name is, will probably have similar problems with the Chicago Police Department, disobeying orders and trying to develop his own MOP that runs contrary to the CPD’s policies, often established to ensure the safety of fellow officers. Will Jake consider a Chicago gangbanger having an unlicensed AK-47 and a couple kilos of cocaine, for pain problems of course, an excusable offense, contrary to CPD regulations? War is hell, someone once said, and we owe our military–as we owe our CPD and Chicago Fire Department personnel–our debts of gratitude for the sacrifices they are making. In spite of the few wayward, as in any organization, including politicians/news media/religious groups, we are impressed by the dedication to duty, to serve and protect, done by these heroes. How about some stories showing our respect and gratitude for their good work?
Tori Marlan replies:
Jake spoke with me on the condition that I change his name. The other linguists in his national guard unit spoke without such a condition. Also, I did not mention the ethnic backgrounds of Tran and Komorowski; I noted their language specialties.