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Sgt. York

August 16, 1985

Your editorial (Aug. 2), "Sgt. York Is a Lousy Shot," revealing the disgraceful waste of money paid by the Pentagon for the poor-performing, Ford-built air defense weapon should open yet another can of worms for Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger to chew on.

In that one item alone you show how $2.7 billion could be cut from the deficit, and you leave us wondering how many more billions do not belong in our huge national debt.

Let us hope your remarks will be read by our watchdog congressmen and senators, and move them to land hard on those responsible for such abuses.

Until that is done, however, we should insist that the name of the weapon be changed.

Sgt. Alvin York, an American hero of World War I, killed 25 German soldiers, captured 132 others and destroyed 30 enemy machine guns in a skirmish in the Argonne Forest, Oct. 18, 1918. Strong evidence that he was a sharpshooter, not a lousy shot as your editorial headline says.

We all know you meant the astigmatic machine Ford builds, which is the crux of the matter. Names should reflect performance, not what the manufacturer hopes they will live up to. Ford's Sgt. York should be called something like "The Blind Boomer."

GILBERT R. BODET

Mission Viejo

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