In the last few weeks two mariners have died in accidents while in service aboard U.S. Navy supply ships. They were civilians “in the fight.” America routinely forgets its fourth Arm of Defense: The Merchant Marine.
Right this second, there are 5000 civilian merchant mariners fully crewing over 40 combat supply and support ships for the US Navy. Those are underway replenishment ships that run with the battle groups, out on the pointy end. And they don’t get to shoot back. Another 8,000 or so deep-sea mariners move the big military cargo ships on short notice. The average mariner working these runs spends 8 to 10 months at sea, every year, for a career; I know as I just finished 39 years of naval and Merchant Marine service.
Please, when you salute and remember the brave young men and women in our Armed Forces, have a soft thought for the busted up old dogs that bring the tools to the fight.
William “Bill” Bushey, Wichita
Although I don’t have children in Wichita Schools, I care about what impacts my community. It’s concerning the district continues to opt out of the Community Eligibility Provision, which would ensure children at high-need schools are provided free and easy access to meals while at school. While this issue may seem irrelevant to someone who doesn’t have children in the district, the long-term impact is substantial. Wichita’s children need the resources to become our future community leaders, caregivers and innovators, which requires focus and energy.
Study after study shows children learn better, retain information easier and perform to a higher degree when they have full stomachs. The Eagle’s July 18 editorial, “More hungry kids could get fed if Wichita schools would get with the program,” states that cities including Topeka, Kansas City, Hutchinson and Derby have all implemented this successfully, so it’s not a utopian concept. There’s nothing to indicate this plan would fail our schools or our children, but it’s vividly clear the real issue is the members of the school district who do not want to put in the work to generate the positive results CEP would provide. Children should not go hungry simply because it will take an extra effort to implement a proven plan.
Victoria Beeson, Wichita
Putting divisions aside, Americans continue to run massive deficits and incur exploding debts with no limits or guardrails in sight. Our leaders, contrary to bold promises, have embraced it all, assuring us there is plenty of time to cut later. Although this bipartisan abandon dooms the future of Americans living and yet-to-be-conceived, few understand and accept the consequences and even fewer dare to speak against the central bank fiat-credit-based madness that enables it all. It feels as if Americans have stopped even trying to be good.
Most Baby Boomers are biding time as they worriedly wait for their incomes or retirements to run out or for death, wondering which will come first. Some middle-agers are living the high life, but most are working heads-down to get by and hoping things will get better. The young are doubtfully scanning the horizon for opportunities to pay down school debts they were told would be good investments. Children are unaware of the looming trouble and grasp only their immediate challenges one at a time.
It is, for me, a sad picture of a once proud people in steep moral decline and deep fiscal decay ... where goodness has been replaced by greed, justice by power, hope by fear, love by hate, truth by lies and righteousness by silence.
Bob Love, Wichita