Letters to the Editor

November 11, 2013

Letters to the editor on preschool, conscientious objectors, immunization service, Spirit layoffs, NSA spying

As a retired admiral and former chief of naval personnel, I would like to commemorate Veterans Day with a salute to all of the men and women who have served and sacrificed to defend our country – and to express a note of concern over future military readiness.

Preschools help military readiness

As a retired admiral and former chief of naval personnel, I would like to commemorate Veterans Day with a salute to all of the men and women who have served and sacrificed to defend our country – and to express a note of concern over future military readiness.

The Department of Defense estimates that 75 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24 cannot qualify for military service, many because they are academically unprepared. In Kansas, 17 percent of high school students do not graduate on time, and 21 percent of graduates who try to join the military cannot score highly enough on the military’s exam to enlist.

High-quality preschool has been proved to prepare children for long-term academic success. Benefits include lasting academic gains and reductions in special education or being held back in school. Long-term studies of high-quality programs found that participants were far more likely to graduate from high school.

These results are why hundreds of retired admirals and generals who are members of Mission: Readiness strongly support a proposed state-federal partnership to give states the resources to create, strengthen and expand preschool programs. This could lead to 19,000 additional graduates and $1.4 billion in net economic benefits for Kansas over 10 years.

The Kansas congressional delegation should support this proposal as a smart way to prepare more children for academic achievement, higher education and careers, including the military for those who choose to serve.


Vienna, Va.

Other service

I hate to say a discouraging word on Veterans Day, but hasn’t the military already received its share of recognition? What about conscientious objectors? Don’t they deserve a place in the Greatest Generation?

It irritates me when some military person makes disparaging remarks if I say my grandfather and his brothers did alternative service during World War II. Evidently there is more glory in ending life than in preserving it.

I hope there will come a day when we can resolve our conflicts with intelligence.

Many people say we still need to support the troops. They’re probably right, as it’s obvious that George W. Bush and Barack Obama don’t.



Health resource

The Sedgwick County Health Department is a vital and often overlooked resource for many county residents. The department’s goal is to prevent disease, protect the public from health threats and promote healthy behaviors in Sedgwick County through public health. Public health initiatives are credited with adding 25 years to the life expectancy of the U.S. population in this century.

Immunization services are among the department’s most notable public health efforts. The health department provides immunization services to people at every stage of life: children, teens, adults and seniors. About 18,000 visits are made to the immunization clinic annually.

The immunization clinic offers all routinely recommended immunizations – for both the insured and uninsured – including those required for school entry. Special programs are offered to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for the uninsured. The Vaccine for Children Program and a sliding-fee scale are available for uninsured children. In addition, patient assistance programs are available for some adult vaccines. The clinic also offers free flu shots annually for uninsured adults.

Clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, no appointment necessary. Call 316-660-7300 for more information.



Sedgwick County Health Department


IRBs, layoffs

I am not sure exactly how many engineers, designers and managers have gotten their layoff notices since I was walked out of Spirit AeroSystems in July. I believe that there were somewhere around 350 from Wichita and Tulsa; then about two months later, more than that were laid off. I’m sure Spirit has the exact number.

The Eagle reported that Spirit has hired more than 250 factory workers in the past couple of months and is continuing to hire to meet rising demand (“Council approves IRBs for Spirit,” Nov. 6 Local & State). It seems to me that since I was “terminated” from the 787 program that Spirit was using the layoffs to save money. That appears not to be the case. I also believe that the 787 program’s current workforce is not sufficient to keep up with the rate increase that Boeing is looking for in the near future.

The truly funny part of this is that whenever a company hires a new CEO, layoffs will follow soon after.



NSA fuss

What is this NSA fuss about? Catchphrases such as “national security” and “American interests abroad” have justified anything and everything those on Mount Olympus (aka Washington, D.C.) have wanted to do since World War II ended. Too many have forgotten, or never heard of, Sen. Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Or perhaps folks believed such things went away and “covert” was just a movie expression.


Arkansas City

Wrong guy

How odd: Vice President Joe Biden called last night to congratulate me for ending my feud with the Hatfield clan.



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