A bill expected to be heard at the State House Wednesday that would make it legal for military service members between the ages of 18 and 21 to drink alcohol in Rhode Island. The legislation (H 5603), introduced by Rep. Thomas Winfield (D-Glocester, Smithfield) would apply to active military members with a valid military identification.
Last June, Middetown Police issued several underage drinking summons after they responded to a farewell party for a soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan. A 21-year-old and a 22-year-old, were cited under the social host ordinance.
Writing from Afghanistan on Tuesday, the solider provided the following statement on Patch (corrected for typos), “If I'm getting shipped off to Afghanistan to fulfill my duty as a soldier, willing to lay my life for my friends and other soldiers around me (someone else's daughter, son, dad, cousin) then I think I deserve a drink.”
On the Middletown Patch Facebook page, many agreed:
Don Bosch My 18 year old son, who heads to Afghanistan in May, puts it this way: I'm old enough to fight for my country, but not old enough to have a beer with my dad? Doesn't seem right.
Doug Paquin I'm with Don. My oldest son is in basic training now and i feel the same way.
Chris Jordan Yes. They would die for our country. GIVE THEM A DRINK!!!!!!
Ron Janior yes of course and always felt that way. bottoms up to the brave!
What do you think? Should active members of the military be able to legally drink in Rhode Island?