Remember the veterans who preserved our freedom



To the Editor:

Recently I found myself having lunch at the Grandy’s at 36th and Lincoln. There were a great number, possibly as many as 40 young men and women all dressed in Army warm-up suits there. As I ate my lunch, I was compelled to speak out to these young people. I hesitated, not wanting to make a public spectacle until many had already left. When I finished eating I walked over to one table where four young men were sitting and said, “I wish I had done this sooner while more of you were here, but please pass this message along to your comrades.

My husband served in Vietnam as a Navy SEAL. Most of the 22 months he spent there was literally in the jungle, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, always wet and hungry, sprayed countless times with ‘Agent Orange.’ His team was mostly doing raids on POW camps in North Vietnam bringing out all the prisoners they could. When he came home the Navy brought them back on a commercial airplane. He landed in California and as he waited on the bus to come take him to the base, a woman filled as he describes her ‘with rage and absolute hate in her face,’ came running up to him and spit in his face and screamed at him how he would burn in hell for killing women and babies. He has never gotten over the shock or dismay he felt that day.

I just want you to know some of us appreciate what you’re doing.” I was overcome with emotion and couldn’t say anymore.

My father and first husband both served in World War II and both came home to ticker-tape parades, flags and banners waving. They were all heroes. They had saved the world. Most of the men and women that went to Vietnam went to a place they didn’t want to be and mostly did a job they didn’t want to do and came home to such as this.

I listened with dismay to a story on the news recently of people that call themselves Christians that went to a soldier’s funeral to protest the war in Iraq. In my opinion, there is no excuse for such disrespect to a soldier or his family that has paid the ultimate price for our right to express our disagreement with what our government does. I urge those of you who appreciate the sacrifices these young men and women make, to take a moment to thank them when you see one on the street, (or in a restaurant). Remember as Veteran’s Day approaches to thank a vet for his service to our country. Freedom is not free, it is born by the sacrifices a few are willing to make for the rest of us. God has abundantly blessed America. We have 6 percent of the world’s population and 60 percent of the world’s wealth. He will not continue to do so, if we neglect the least among us. We are our brother’s keeper. I thank God everyday for those willing to lay their lives on the line to make this world a better place. I ask for His protection on all those who “Serve and Protect.” I pray that you will too.

— Angel Baker



Parents unaware teens being recruited by military at school



To the Editor:

Do parents want to know if their child is being recruited by the military? Does a parent want to suddenly find that his/her child is leaving to fight in a war instead of finishing school?

Local schools are now, because of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, required to provide the student’s name, address and telephone listing to military recruiters, when requested.

The only notice that the schools must give to parents can be through the student handbook, a mailing or other method that is reasonably calculated to inform parents. This is considered sufficient to satisfy the parental notification requirements of both FERPA and 9528.

The only way that a parent can opt out and thus prevent his child from being contacted by military recruiters is to ask that his child’s name and other information be removed from the student directory and that this information not be released to others without the parent’s written consent.

Parents should notify the schools to remove their child’s name and personal information from the school directory and from release to outside forces. If the parent wants to allow or to accompany his child to the military recruitment office, that is fine. But military recruitment is not something that should be done with the parent unaware.

— Erma Stewart

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