If a soldier is old enough to go to Iraq and shoot bad guys, should he/she be allowed to drink? That's the question right now in Wisconsin, where a state lawmaker is lobbying to get the drinking age for local soldiers lowered from 21 to 19.
State Rep. Mark Pettis (search) argues that we should allow these soldiers to have a beer if we're asking them to die for their country. According to the legislation he's proposing, soldiers would have to present a valid military ID and a valid Wisconsin driver's license in order to be able buy alcohol. But Wendy Hamilton, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (search), says if this about showing respect for our young men and women in uniform, surely there's a better way to show our respect for them than selling them a beer. Where do you stand? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for today's show, I'll keep you posted on the case of Tamara Schmidt (search), the Nevada mom who has just won back custody of her 13-year-old daughter, despite being charged with criminal neglect and abuse of her. The daughter, Brittney, has told authorities she loves her mom but does not want to go back to her because she thinks she is not a fit mother. Brittney is paralyzed after she was shot at her mom's trailer one night in 2003: Brittney, age 11 at the time, had been left home alone to watch her 3-year-old half-sister while her mom went out to a casino. Intruders broke into the trailer, enraged over a drug deal allegedly involving Schmidt. They shot both girls, killing the 3 year old.
So far your e-mails on this controversy are 90 percent against letting the mom regain custody of Brittney:
The easy answer to this question is 'no', she doesn't deserve her child back. She has made her bad choices and now she must live with her consequences....
—Rodney Scott, Machesney Park, Illinois
Are you serious? Give me a break... did the judge read the case files on these people? At best they are self-involved, irresponsible idiots...Giving the mother a second chance, I don't think so! What's changed? Has she gone to parenting classes... or gotten any type of psychiatric help (which she obviously needs)?
—An abused adult-child, Lompoc, California
Whoa! How many chances does this dummy deserve? Her children got stabbed because of owing a drug dealer! …
—Lisa Hock, Glen Burnie, Maryland
Would the judge let Tamara Schmidt watch HIS kids?
Good question. I sure as heck wouldn't let her watch mine. Sorry. That's my opinion. Children are born innocent — they do not deserve to be their parents' science experiments. The prosecutor is appealing the judge's decision to return Brittney to her mom; meanwhile, her foster family has offered to adopt her. Now, a comment from the other side.
The state failed for one and we cannot take every child away from every parent that makes a mistake. That woman will live with her mistake for the rest of her life but it is not fair to break that mother and child bond because of it. We have got to keep families together and help them, not tear them apart.
To be continued...
See you Friday,
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
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