They Risk Their Lives But They Can’t Drink?

Not according to Jack Kingston who has legislation that would allow 18-year-old members of the U.S. military to purchase and consume wine and beer while on base.

From the Beaufort, South Carolina’s Gazette:

Purchases of beer and wine at base exchanges and convenience stores still would be prohibited, according to the bill.

Kingston, whose congressional district includes Savannah, believes someone mature enough to fight for the country in a time of war is mature enough to have a beer, said his spokesman, Chris Crawford.

“If we’re asking someone to risk their lives in defense of this country and they’re responsible enough for that, we ought to have enough faith in them to have a beer,” Crawford said. “By restricting it to on-post establishments and not allowing them to purchase alcohol intended to be consumed elsewhere, the bill would not impact local and state regulations. It also keeps the alcohol consumption from getting out of control as they would be in establishments with superior officers.”

The bill doesn’t call for hard liquor being sold to 18 year olds; my guess is to help push it through Congress. Our soldiers fight for our country and, in some cases, die for it; I really believe we should allow them to have a cold one when they so desire.


  1. mountainpass says:

    Good for Jack. I also believe that they are mature enough to carry arms while on base.
    Remember Fort Hood.

  2. v says:

    Why not lower the drinking age for everyone? Why are we saying that someone in the military is mature enough to handle alcohol when there are 18-20 year old firefighters, police officers, and EMTs risking their lives each day? Are they not mature enough to handle beer and wine? Why shouldn’t this privilege be extended to them? And, for that matter, what about those in the National Guard who will likely not live on base but could end up risking their lives?

    This idea stinks. Either lower the drinking age for everyone, or open a bottomless can of worms by making the exception for one group of men and women.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Police officers have to be within two or less months away from their 21st birthday to be sworn in, as no one under age 21, outside of military, can carry a handgun. A non-sworn peace officer can work at age 18 in a 911 call center, or a jail, or any other capacity that does not require a handgun for job performance. A police officer and a peace officer are not the same thing.

      • v says:

        Thank you for pointing that out. I was unaware of this, as I had several high school classmates who became highway patrol men well under the age of 21. I’m from North Dakota, where the requirement to be HP is a 2 year degree and six weeks of training. I had incorrectly assumed this must be the case for all law enforcement.

        • Lady Thinker says:

          It is confusing all over. In some of the mid-west states, and correct me if I am wrong, and the Dakotas, the driver’s permit age is 14, in New England, it is 16.5, in New Jersey, one does not have to get a permit to learn to drive, and in Georgia, the permit age is 15.

          I teach Criminal Justice and I personally believe all police cadets should have a bachelor’s before hiring or at the very least, an associate’s degree. That is a great deal of power to give to anyone without formal education.

          What say you?

    • I totally agree that it should be lowered for everyone, but without a total overthrow of government we’ve got to convince our politicians to give us back our liberties in little pieces at a time.

  3. joe says:

    Whether or not an 18 year old soldier can buy alcohol on post is a federal law. Buying off post is controlled by the state/county. I can buy a six pack on post on Sunday, but cannot buy it off post.

    When I was in the Army, one of our toughest problems was controlling alcohol abuse, but just because something is hard to control does not mean it should be illegal. I believe that a soldier we trust to train and assist Iraqis in Operation New Dawn has earned the trust/right to drink responsibly.

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Old enough for church, old enough to drink….

    I’m Catholic, of course 😉


    Oh wait, I still can’t buy in this caveman state 🙁

  5. chefdavid says:

    I say if they are old enough to die they are old enough to buy. As a soldier who came through after all this 21 came about I can assure you the soldiers are drinking. Most on the military believe this way. I applaud the bill. The funny part is the liquor part. So beer and wine = ok but liquor is not.What is the thought philosphy on this?

  6. Dave says:

    Let 18 year olds drink whatever the hell they want. Old enough to enter contracts, vote and all other things “adult”, drinking should not be limited. The drinking age was 18 when I was growing up. It should never, ever have been changed. To heck with MADD.

  7. Jace Walden says:

    Que Peach Pundit’s local prohibitionist birther, Harry, to lecture us on why troops (or anyone for that matter) shouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol.

    Harry, the floor is yours.

  8. ZazaPachulia says:

    it will be interesting to see who comes out of the woodwork to oppose this… my guess is the Pentagon will split on this one. I can’t imagine the service academies (where Midshipmen and Cadets are active duty — ROTC cadets are in the reserves) getting on board with this. They’ve had major alcohol troubles at West Point, Colorado Springs and Annapolis in recent years…

  9. ZazaPachulia says:

    Oh, and just about every 18-20 year old in the military is already drinking — might be smart to encourage on-base drinking, where you have less worries about DUIs and binging. And before I get accused of talking out of my rear end, I was in the Navy for the better part of the past decade.

  10. Lady Thinker says:

    I think we should teach responsible drinking, like with a meal, and not this drinking to the passing out point, then getting behind the wheel of a car. I grew up with 18 being the drinking and as I recall, the drinking age went up at about the same time the Interstate speed was lowered from 70 to 55.

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