Regarding the four U.S. Marines who desecrated the corpses of Taliban fighters, yes, what they did was vile and reprehensible ("Video of Marines defiling Taliban bodies stirs rage," Jan. 13). War seldom ensures that soldiers will act nobly.

Just because they see brutality all around them, soldiers can become ignoble brutes themselves. When my brother was in Vietnam, he told me that some units that had suffered heavy casualties draped the bodies of dead Viet Cong fighters over the barrels of their tanks' guns until the corpses turned green.

Horror piled upon horror begets what the video showed us.

Barbara Smith, Churchville