Festival of Lights Parade (copy)

Santa Claus is always the last to roll by at the Festival of Lights Parade.

What giving is all about

During the holidays, I always make sure to take a break from all of the hustle and bustle and take a moment to be grateful for all that I have. As the recipient of a lifesaving liver transplant, I like to reflect on the second chance at life that I was given and be thankful to my hero whose generous gift made it possible.

In September 2016, I was diagnosed with liver disease and told I would need a transplant. While on the waiting list, I experienced a medical emergency that caused my kidneys to fail.

Thankfully, in just 12 hours, a viable donor match for me was found.

I am now in good health and stay in contact with my donor’s family. There are no words to describe to them how grateful I am, but I do my best by living my life to the fullest and sharing my passions, including photography, with them.

In honor of my heroic donor, and to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation, I will march in the 35th annual Colorado Springs Festival of Lights Parade on Dec. 7. I will walk alongside other recipients, loved ones of donors, transplant candidates, advocates and their families and friends in the parade in support of donation and transplantation.

I invite the Colorado Springs community to attend the parade and see what giving is all about!

Tim Atkinson


Comments on recent AFA coverage

The Sunday, Nov. 24 Gazette contained two noteworthy articles about the USAFA. One praised the academy football team for its convincing win over New Mexico. It highlighted Donald Hammond’s performance in the best passing achievement for an AFA team since the early 1980s option offense with his four TDs and 327 yards gained.

The other article about the academy reported on the firing of the USAF Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Kristen Goodwin and what I consider her disgusting actions of lies, work habits, and misuse of government resources.

As one who has sponsored and learned from many AFA cadets, I believe the Commandant of Cadets position should represent a stellar and dignified example of what cadets can respect, admire, and emulate as an Air Force Officer.

The article shows that Brig. Gen. Goodwin’s performance certainly failed to meet those standards.

Finally, I question the wisdom of Air Force leaders in placing this particular officer upon the Commandant of Cadets pedestal but leave it to readers of the article to form their own opinions.

Philip Hosmer

Black Forest

World needs the ‘good guys

Once upon a time, the United States of America used to be the “Good Guys”. We were the ones who, with only a little exaggeration, rushed in to secure victory for the Allies in both World Wars.

We were the ones who could be depended on to put the world back together; who rescued the weak, punished the criminals, created alliances securing peace and prosperity, and was counted as a trusted and loyal friend. We were the ones who demanded “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”.

Today, those images are becoming a distant memory — and now we’re the ones building walls. We’ve been abandoning our alliances, leaving allies and friends on the battlefield to fend for themselves and allowing crimes against humanity committed by foreign despots and a few of our own people to go without punishment or protest.

I’m not sure when it started. Was it when we withdrew from international agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership, or started complaining about how NATO, was an “unfair deal” for us?

We seem to be headed towards some dark destination marked by presidential statements of admiration and love for the planet’s worst despots, by the abandonment of the Kurds to an uncertain fate at the hands of their enemies, by the cold hearted treatment of people fleeing murder and torture and, most recently, by the casual pardoning of our own war criminals after their convictions by U.S. military courts.

What will be our fate after China and Russia fill the power vacuums left in the Pacific and Middle East and we’ve abandoned the role of the moral, if imperfect, standard for the world?

We seem to be rehearsing for the part of a once grand family; a past respected and admired member of the community reduced to a nation of Scrooges, hiding behind walls and locked gates obsessing over winning some business deal while the waters rise around us.

As we give thanks for the family community dinners that many of us will be privileged to enjoy this holiday season maybe we should spend a bit of time thinking about how to rejoin the world community that so desperately needs the good guys it used to depend on.

Steven Schwartz

Colorado Springs

The defi

nition of courage

As related in the movie “They Shall Not Grow Old,” when the British soldiers returned home after World War I, generally their wives didn’t ask them about their suffering and experiences.

I think of that when women write to The Gazette about the courage of our diplomats testifying in the Impeachment Inquiry. How naïve!

A U.S. Navy Reserve officer I know tells me the U.S. Navy is studying World War II. They study it to learn how to train our men and women on ships to continue fighting and to do their duty despite destruction, fires, and deaths. One concern is, “Does each ship have enough body bags for the entire crew?” The U.S. Navy might plan for a seagoing tug to return a damaged ship for repair where the recovery crew might have put all the original crew in body bags.

To sail knowing you have a body bag on ship for every man and woman on the ship, now that is courage.

Richard R. Allen

Colorado Springs


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