Old enough to die for your country but too young to drink and smoke?
Take heart. Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn is fighting for your right to be self-destructive.
The lawmaker from the Alaska legislature’s Anchorage district has introduced a bill to allow military members in his state under 21 to legally drink and smoke there. Alaska residents can’t legally drinking until they’re 21 and legally smoke until they’re 19.
“It’s outrageous that a member of our military can be subjected to the horrors of war, but can’t legally have a beer or smoke a cigarette,” he said on his blog. “Any soldier who braves military combat and risks their life for our country should be treated like an adult—in every sense of the word. HB 210 does not advocate smoking or drinking as a general practice, nor does the sponsor, but it does advocate equal treatment for adults and the de facto adults in America’s military.”
Earlier this month, a U.S. congressman from Georgia lawmaker asked SecDef point blank why 18-year-olds aren’t allowed to drink alcohol on military bases, but Gates, sagely, did not bite.
“One of the things that we are seeing as a result of repeated tours is not just an increase in suicides, but an increase in risky behavior, particularly by young men … so that would be a concern of mine,” Gates said.
The congressman, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) introduced legislation last year to allow underage troops to drink alcohol on federal military installations, but the bill died.[via Fox News, Army Times]