I wholeheartedly agree with Earnest W. Erdman's June 18 letter pointing out that military awards are achieved by merit and are not prizes.
A prize is pulled from a Cracker Jack box or scratched off a lottery ticket that puts some change in my pocket. Was it earned? Not really, just a little luck is needed.
A prize, to me, is getting a check from the IRS because they made a mistake, and I didn't this time. A prize is getting two gum-balls from a gum-ball machine when you're supposed to only get one, or it's a trophy for playing ping-pong better than someone else.
A military medal, though? Yes, just some cloth and metal to some, yet so meaningful to those who have earned them because of merit and valor in battle ...
Everybody walks by somebody who has been given a prize in Augusta every day. Most of you also walk past a warrior or even a war hero every day and do not know it. I like and care for my piece of cloth and the medals that go with them. But medals are not prizes. They are earned, and they are never something that was given.
I ask anyone to contact a family member of the New York police or fire department or any family member that has lost someone in war or if they came back paralyzed. Please, if you don't agree with me, please call these wives and their daughters, mothers and fathers, and congratulate them on the "prize" they received.
Craig D. Bobbitt, Augusta, Ga.