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The Colonel and the Paperboy

October 09, 1986

After reading your article (Times, Sept. 25) about Lt. Col. Joseph Driscoll not paying a $77 bill to a 16-year-old paperboy, I got so angry that I had to write to you and let you know how I and, I am sure, a lot of other readers, feel about this person who is an officer in the American armed forces.

I think this is a very bad experience for a young teen to have to go through when he is trying so hard to achieve something positive early in his life. It is very discouraging to him and could have a negative effect on his future. Parents are unable to deal with many teens of today and find it hard to encourage many of them to get any kind of job.

I think it is deplorable . . . to take out his pettiness on this young boy, who is trying to earn himself some honest money.

Skimping on a $77 bill to a kid doesn't say much for the colonel's character, let alone suing his family for $150,000. The boy's father should have written to (Driscoll's) employer a lot sooner.

I think the reason the colonel is so enraged is because he knows he is dead wrong and this kid had the nerve to challenge him about it.

I think our (Air Force) could do without officers such as Lt. Col. Joseph Driscoll.

CHARLOTTE E. MARTIN

Los Angeles

Editor's note: The story reported that Driscoll denied owing the $77 bill.

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