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The previous year, fresh out of graduate school and drafted into the Army at age 22, I was in such a parade at the conclusion of basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Two brigades of young men who had answered Uncle Sam’s call — draftees and enlistees alike, all of us wearing Class A uniforms and with M1 rifles at right shoulder arms — marched in formation past the reviewing stand. It was an impressive display of military precision.

Trump instead sought and received a medical deferment. So he missed out on a training center parade and the subsequent possibility of serving his country in a place like Korea, Germany or even Vietnam.

Had he proved tough enough to complete the eight grueling weeks of basic training, his yearning for a military parade might have been satisfied for a lifetime. What’s more, as a candidate and as president, he could truthfully boast, “I know as much about the Army as the privates do.”

MAURICE FLIESS

Santa Rosa

Buying electric cars

EDITOR: Regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to offer incentives to purchase electric vehicles, why not mandate that all city, county and state automobiles and light trucks purchased in the future be electric or hybrid (“Brown’s $2.5B plan for electric vehicles,” Jan 27)?

If the state invested in a gradual transition, it would provide thousands of low-tech jobs, reduce pollution and create business opportunities for automobile manufacturers and the parts manufacturers related to the industry. The widespread infusion of dollars into the state economy would be a boon for us all.

In the long run, if thousands of governmental employees drove hybrids and electric vehicles, many would realize they aren’t so different — they aren’t that “weird” — and would be more inclined to purchase them for personal use. And, in so doing, parents would be introducing them to the next generations of young drivers.

PAT CORCORAN

Occidental

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