Letters to the Editor

July 14, 2014

Letters to the editor on VA centers, Pompeo‘s foreign policy, dedicated teachers

There are thousands of good people at Department of Veterans Affairs centers working hard to “serve America’s heroes,” as their motto says.

VA centers filled with good people

There are thousands of good people at Department of Veterans Affairs centers working hard to “serve America’s heroes,” as their motto says.

I am one of America’s heroes who has been treated in VA hospitals in New York City, Miami, Oklahoma City and Wichita, and I have received excellent medical care in every instance with a minimum of waiting in the doctor’s office – no longer than I would have waited in a civilian doctor’s office. It stands to reason that it would take longer to get an appointment when the patient load is high and the budget is low, but at no time have I been refused immediate treatment when I was in pain or apt to suffer serious injury if I wasn’t treated promptly.

Even while working under low budgets and time constraints and with outdated equipment, the good people at the VA have always given me professional care and have done it with a smile. I have always been treated with courtesy and respect. In my 35 years under VA care, it has never failed that as I walk down the halls the workers smile and say “hello.”

So I say to all the good people at the VA: You deserve a lot better than what you’re getting. Keep up the good work and keep smiling.



Pompeo gets it

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is right about our cascading problems in the Middle East. I am a veteran of Iraq, and if there is one thing I learned in the service it is that the right thing to do is very rarely the easiest.

But for the Obama administration and politicians who support its foreign policy, it’s just easier to act as if everything is fine and avoid doing what it takes to stop countries like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan from spiraling once more into terrorist havens. The dangerous rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq was enabled by the inaction and abandonment of the current administration policy – wasting the years of sacrifice paid in blood by my brothers in arms.

The only dialogue these countries understand is strength. False threats and hollow words mean nothing to them. Pompeo gets it. If America fails to stand as a pillar of strength in the region, the vacuum will be filled by the likes of Iran and extremist groups.

I am glad that we have one member of Congress who knows that if we don’t address these overseas terrorist breeding grounds now, we are only leaving a larger danger for our children to address on American soil in the future.



Teachers dedicated

I am concerned (annoyed, really) about the article “Union: Teachers’ summer reading optional” (July 4 Local & State). Publishing the e-mail from the United Teachers of Wichita created an image that, as a group, USD 259 teachers are opposed to working in the summer. We are not. A vast majority of us welcome any opportunity to improve in our careers for our own good and the good of all.

I work at a school where a principal asked (never directed) teachers to read a book over the summer that he felt would help us improve our classroom management. The overwhelming reaction among my colleagues was not: “How dare he? I am on vacation.” Rather, most of us discussed what we thought we would get out of the material.

When The Eagle publishes e-mails in response to the oversensitive complaints of one or two teachers, it makes the lot of us look lazy and detached. Certainly in Kansas, there is enough misguided “the teacher is a lazy bogeyman” sentiment and no need for The Eagle to perpetuate it.

I work on development of my curriculum and read a great deal over the summer for my job, and I am hardly the exception. Good teachers do not “take the summer off,” and I can tell you firsthand that Wichita public schools are overrun with dedicated, hardworking educators determined to put in extra time to become as proficient at their jobs as possible.



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