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May 13, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-13

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Page 4-Tuesday, May 13, 1980-The Michigan Daily


ERA may die
without Illinois
TOMORROW, the day the Equal Rights Amend
ment goes before the Illinois House of
Representatives, is crucial to the ultimate passage
of the ERA. If passed by the house the amendmeni
will have one more hurdle-the Illinois Senate-to
cross before Illinois can be added to the list of 35
states that have already approved the ERA.
Ratification in Illinois is essential. Whatever
happens in this major state is likely to have a
tremendous impact on those states that have not
yet ratified the amendment. If Illinois should agair
refuse to approve the amendment, the amendment
could die.
It is ironic that there should be concern about the
passage of the amendment in Illinois. As a larger,
northern industrial state, Illinois should have beer
one of the first to realize that the ERA is a basic
economic issue, one that will mean the difference
in actual dollars and cents for female wage ear-
In times of spiralling inflation and rising unem
ployment, the ERA is especially necessary to in-
sure that women will not be the ones who suffer
Current laws are not enough to prevent sex
discrimination. Women still earn 60 per cent less
than men, and minority women earn even less than
that. A constitutional amendment is vital to
guarantee comprehensive protection for women
against sex discrimination.
A significant number of men were present at
Saturday's rally in Chicago. Most ERA talk has
centered on the amendment's effect on women, but
the ERA will also help erase attitudes and
stereotypes that are harmful to men as well.
Recent polls show the majority of Americans
favor the ERA nearly two-to-one. The people need
to translate this percentage into legislative votes in
favor of ERA ratification.
Three more states must ratify the amendment
by June, 1982 before the ERA becomes law.
K- rL
r ~


THE LIFE OF a soldier is often idealistically portrayed as heroic, fearsome; and exciting. In
reality, however, soldiers are subjected to a number of horrors and conditions that may alter
their character for life.
Think hard before you
register for the. draft
"I'm getting sick of these bugs, terrogated them.
damn it." . By Lorenzo Benet It was frightening to see what
We've been in Vietnam over six , modern weapons could do to the
months, I thought to myself. human body. An M-16 bullet
10,000 miles from home, tem- on the other. Our patrol leader always madea nice small hole at
peratures of 110 degrees, haven't once tripped over one. When the the entrance point. You could
seen the enemy once. dust cleared, all that was left usually put your hand into the
"SIMPSON, YOU smell like could have been put into a plastic exit hole.
shit," I told him. He hadn't bag. Snipers took their toll too. AFTER BEING in Nam for six
bathed in over a week; none of us But most of them were lousy months, you began to have little
had. We've been confined to these shots. They slowed us down, regard for human life. At 21, you
swampy fox holes on the edge of though. would think you were immortal,
this airstrip. We saw some action The Viet Cong always attacked it was not so. You aged rather
a couple of weeks ago. We went at night. No one ever got any quickly over here. There were
out into that black mess of a sleep. They'd shell the base with times when you didn't give a
jungle to ferret out some mortar and small rockets. Some damn about whether you lived or
guerrillas. would come up close to the died.
"You have cigarette G.I.?" one perimeter and lob grenades. Amidst these feelings of
of the South Vietnamese soldiers Others would sit back in the frustration and depression, it was
asked. I tossed him one of my jungle and spray us with hard to figure why you were sent
Lucky Strikes. Sarge had told us automatic weapons. over here in the first place. In the
that some of these guys were in- DURING THE DAY they never end you weren't fighting for any
formants. We had to keep an eye traveled in [arge groups: Well, ideology, you were fighting,
on them. that wasn't always true. One time literally, for your life and your
The worst part about Nam was a patrol of 30 Marines was am- buddy's life. That's all there was
the sitting. It drove everybody bushed by 200 Viet Cong. The to it.
crazy. The dust, heat, and squad-was nearly wiped out. The
mosquitoes made it unbearable. four marines that did survive Lorenzo Benet is the co-
You almost looked forward to faked death. There would have editor of the Daily's New
going on patrol, even though you been a few more survivors, but edt o
were risking your life, the enemy made a point to pump
I COULD HEAR the copters a few extra bullets into anything has never been to Vietnam, he
coming in the distance. More that lookedalive. has seen a number of movies
wounded, I figured. Most We paid them back though. and has read several books
casualties resulted from booby Most platoons rarely took about the war.' He wrote this
traps or land mines. They had a prisoners. The ones that were
habit of maiming your leg on one taken were usually shgt by- the piece for a creative writig
extreme, or distintegratin-yoet -rsoutyvietnmeseafter w as


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