That was the way it was
With reference to Representative Mike Coffman's comments concerning "The military is wrongly discharging wounded troops without benefits", and "So far he hasn't found it in Colorado." Where has Rep. Coffman been?
The Gazette ran four feature articles about soldiers at Fort Carson being discharged under "other than honorable conditions", which automatically deprives them of any medical aid from the Army, or from the Veterans Administration.
I'm sure there were many more processed similarly. I spent 30 years of my life, willingly, in military service for my country. I served two years in the U.S. Navy during WWII. I subsequently enlisted in the U.S. Army, where I served an additional 28 years.
I never saw, nor heard of anything like this going on in my Army. One thing that caught my attention was that commanders are not taking care of their troops as they should. His troops serve him - doing what he orders them to do. The troops are loyal to their commanders and their successes in carrying his orders is one of the primary reasons that the commander achieves promotions. On the other hand, because of their loyalty to their commander, the commander is responsible for his troops. If they are wounded, it is his responsibility to see that they get proper medical attention.
That is the way it was in the Army I served in. What has happened to today's Army?
Jim Vaughn, CW4 USA (Ret), Colorado Springs
Couple's kindness will be missed
This is in response to Bill Vogrin's "Vets find new home to meet, share tales," thank you for capturing the generosity and commitment Nancy and Randy Bolen have made to our Greatest Generation in your article.
I would like also to highlight that Nancy and Randy Bolen have assisted and mentored our younger generation. Over the years, Nancy and Randy have hired, trained and befriended dozens of high school and college-aged individuals by giving some of them their very first real jobs. This opportunity has helped many of our young people pay their way through college.
Nancy and Randy's thoughtful letters of recommendation have helped opened doors for these young men and women to pursue career opportunities. And, let's not forget, their commitment to Southern Colorado's Special Olympics. Their kindness, and devotion to our community will be sorely missed.
Joe Matiatos, Colorado Springs
Consequences of intervention
Regarding this issue of the civil war in Syria, I can only think of that of our own country during our Civil War in 1861-1865.
At that time, both Britain and France very seriously considered intervening on behalf of the Confederacy. If they had, with the military might of what were then the most powerful countries on earth, that may have resulted in conditions that, by this present day and age, would have resulted in such a situation where our beloved president might now be picking cotton.
Joseph A. Godec, Colorado Springs
Conflicted about action on Syria
I am conflicted about the situation in Syria. Our nation has lost credibility because of President Barack Obama's threat without follow-up. If we had a responsible president I would support a no-fly zone as we have bases or access to bases all around Syria and most of their population centers are near their borders. Make it clear that we will stay clear of the Syrian land mass but down any warplanes or rockets within range of our weapons. This would specifically be to punish President Bashar Assad for his use of chemical weapons and then let them resume their civil war without Assad's air power. On the other hand I fear that inaction makes us look even less credible and a few cruise missiles make us look ineffective in action. Why should Congress support this? Obama is simply looking for domestic political cover. We look weak and I am afraid the damage will take years to repair.
Samuel Gerrish, Colorado Springs
No plan for the 'day after'
I've heard from the president and I've heard from John Kerry; now I want to hear from Benjamin Netanyahu. Syria has vowed to attack Israel with chemical weapon-filled rockets if we attack them, even on a "limited basis", and they have that capability. Most importantly, what does Israel think?
I suspect that they have been kept fully apprised of our intelligence results and plan of action, but told to "keep quiet" until after the congressional debate/vote. If the vote doesn't turn out the way Israel wants, they will be very vocal about the issue. Their concern for their survival as a nation is far greater than their fear of our waffling, "rudderless" leader.
I condemn Syria's unconscionable use of chemical weapons; however, I condemn any U.S. attack, however limited, because we have no announced plan for the "day after", and absolutely no idea what may happen next.
Russell Sanderson, Colorado Springs
The personal touch still remains
Regarding the Side Streets column pertaining to "Benny the Barber" in Sunday's paper, it was a very nice story.
We, here in Manitou Springs have a mirror version of Benny Vallejo, and his name is Wil Gamez. All Bill Vogrin has to do is replace Benny's name with Wil's name and the column could remain the same. The similarity is uncanny, but maybe that's what real barbers do. It is nice to know that the personal touch still remains and will not go away as did hardware stores, grocery stores and the like.
Bill James, Manitou Springs