Dear Editor:
I’m responding to the recent letter dated February 15, 2017, you state you have no experience with either prison or military life, but still try to compare the two just as the inmate did in a letter to the Progress Review January 11, 2017. The inmate stated he has no military experience either, but still used it as a comparison to his life as a inmate. I can safely say no matter how you twist it, it is still like comparing apples and oranges and in reality, the two are nothing alike, so why try? What I can’t understand is why would anyone even attempt to compare the two experiences?
I first responded to the January 11 letter from the inmate who asked us not to forget them (inmates) because they are just as important as those serving our country or have passed away. The inmate also said it wasn’t empathy he was looking for. If not empathy, then why write a letter to the public comparing your life as an inmate to someone in the military, claiming to be just as important so don’t forget us? I call that empathy!
The February letter used positive and negative comparisons of the two, but again, I’m not sure why someone is comparing the two. Yes, there are positive and negative comparisons with almost everything in life, but there are also good and bad choices in life. When you make good choices you normally have lots of positive things to choose from. But, when you make bad choices, there normally aren’t many positive things to choose from, especially if the bad choices result in being incarcerated. Trying to compare an inmate’s life to a military member’s life is just not possible.
If you weren’t looking for empathy and your wish was to get family and friends attention, you should have contacted them directly, rather than going public. No matter what you say your intentions were, by going public it came across as a plea for empathy.
The truth is friends, family and others keep in touch with military members simply because they are proud of them and are thankful for what they represent and are doing. Unlike inmates, who have broken the laws of society, most friends and some family members normally want to separate themselves because they aren’t proud.
What I want to ask of both writers is please stop trying to compare the two, because someone serving their country shouldn’t be compared to someone that is incarcerated. It just isn’t right, so please find something new to compare your situation to. I sincerely wish you all the best in the future. I always say nothing positive comes from negative thinking. Good luck!

David Nelsestuen, La Porte City