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Two Opinions on Navy's SEAL Training

October 12, 1990

I am deeply disturbed by the recent articles presented in The Times about the cruel and extremely abusive treatment of the Navy SEAL recruits ("True Grit," Oct. 2; "It's Sink or Swim," Oct. 3). What possible positive result can come from the mental and physical assault these men endure? One hour of sleep in three days resulting in common hallucinations? Brutal exercise to the point of vomiting from exhaustion? This program erupts from the bowels of hell. Only a fundamentally sadistic person could officiate such a program.

I can't help but view this regime as an insane extention of the prevailing mentality in high school and college sports. It's "sacrifice your mind and body, kids, as long as we win, win, win."

What miracle will it take to have coaches/officers out there who teach sensible body conditioning, team spirit, camaraderie and a healthy sense of competition? How many of the tragic, permanent injuries we read about almost daily in magazines and newspapers could have been avoided by compassionate common sense?

The demeaning training of the SEALs is a depressing step backward for civilization. When will we learn that cruelty and pain do not lead men to a positive, constructive mentality nor to a strong, healthy body? Is this the way to the inner and global peace mankind so desperately needs?

My heart aches that this type of program even exists, and that these fine young men feel compelled to prove their self-worth in the completion (i.e. survival) of such sadistic nonsense.

JENNIFER CRANE HAHN

Harbor City

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