Letters to the Editor

Cost of war?

May 24, 2008


To the editor:

A recent article in the Journal-World contained the following statements in regard to GI benefits:

"Democrats, with their proposal, plan to put Republicans on the spot - forcing them to either accept their domestic spending plan or go on record as opposing an effort widely endorsed by the nation's major veterans' organizations."

"Meeting the needs of our veterans is a cost of war," said House Speaker Pelosi, who described the bill as a "thank you" to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

How long will Americans tolerate veterans and their families being used to posture a political party's agenda?

My father served in two branches in World War II and Korea and was in the first graduating NROTC class at Kansas University. He will be 81 in June. He and the estimated 2,800 surviving members of the Merchant Marines have never received government benefits. He has never complained. I know that the honor of preserving freedom for his son to write this letter is his thank you. I resent Pelosi for referring to my father as a "cost of war."

A cost of war is the loss of freedom. Veterans should be taken care of regardless of war or an election cycle. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. Let's preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, as my father and other vets have done.

This Memorial Day remember to fly your flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it rapidly. It should always be illuminated at night. God bless America.

Dean W. Penny,


Speakout 9 years, 12 months ago

I am a veteran and with the benefits I received I was able to graduate from College and get a Master's Degree. I served during Viet Nam as an enlistee. I think the benefits I received and am elegible for is earned, needed and appreciated. It is the least our government can do for me and others who served as I did. We should support every veteran. Every one who didn't serve but enjoys the freedom that service to our country guarantees, should be happy to ensure that those benefits continue.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 years, 12 months ago

"My father served in two branches in World War II and Korea and was in the first graduating NROTC class at Kansas University. He will be 81 in June. He and the estimated 2,800 surviving members of the Merchant Marines have never received government benefits." I thought NROTC helped pay for college. Isn't this a benefit? And because he went to college he probably didn't need to apply for a GI loan. And because he came back with all his limbs and a sound mind he didn't need any health care. I thank your father for his service, and I'm glad he came back whole and sound, but not all veterans are so lucky. There have been some horror stories about the way returning veterans in this war and in the VietNam war have been treated, and not by war protesters. I'm talking about how our government has dropped the ball. The Republicans use veterans and flag waving all the time for political gain, so it's not just a Democrat thing; it's a politician thing. And yes, I agree that taking care of veterans shouldn't be used politically, but this letter contradicts itself. Her dad didn't need veteran's benefits, so I get the impression that she thinks veterans should suck it up. Then she says veterans should be taken care of. Not a clear letter at all.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 12 months ago

All active duty and veterans should have National Health Insurance that allows treatment anywhere of their choice. Veterans receive care immediately for whatever symptoms war has imposed on their physical or mental health. No more waiting on the Dept. of Defense,presidential approval or congressional approval. No longer would veterans be political pawns for either side of the aisle.Why National Health Insurance? All receive identical healthcare instead of discriminating healthcare Provides extraordinary leverage against suppliers Protects families and business alike from being gouged by the healthcare industry Treatment for serious illness such as cancer will not be cut off because a patient has reached the point insurance companies will pay no more:happens everyday 60% of healthcare today is paid with tax dollars so why not 100% that covers all who need treatment. Citizens will not be forced to lose all of their assets or file bankruptcy due to serious illness as does happen somewhere everyday as we speak Eliminates healthcare dollars going into special interest campaign cookie jars Eliminates healthcare dollars from financing golden parachutes National Healthcare eliminates 314 different policies thus eliminating tons of wasteful administrative costs. That money could be included towards 100% coverage. It is estimated todays administrative costs runs at 33%:that is a lotOrganizations endorsing : * American Association of Community Psychiatrists * American Medical Women's Association * American Medical Student's Association * National Medical Association * American Nurses Association * American Public Health Association * Islamic Medical Association * Americans for Democratic Action * California Nurses Assocation/National Nurses Organizing Committee * Church Women United * Consumer Federation of America * Consumers Union * Just Health Care * National Association of Social Workers * National Council of Senior Citizens * National Family Farm Coalition * National Health Care for the Homeless Council * Neighbor to Neighbor * Older Women's League * Screen Actor's Guild * US Public Interest Research Group * United Steelworkers Union

dirkleisure 9 years, 12 months ago

How fortunate for Mr. Penny's position that his father was a Merchant Marine and ineligible under wrongheaded guidelines for certain benefits.How unfortunate for Mr. Penny's position that millions of other men and women served in the other branches of the armed services and took, and are taking, great advantage of those benefits. By taking advantage, they were able to give back to our nation at a level higher than they likely would have without.It is a heart warming story, but it is as wrongheaded as the guidelines which exempt his father and his father's fellow surviving Merchant Marines.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 12 months ago

Dean, outstanding letter. You are representative of much of what Lawrence used to be.

JHOK32 9 years, 11 months ago

Bush has no problem sending our kids into battle & losing their lives and limbs......all in the clear interest of making his millionaire big oil buddies into billionaires. I'd like to see his pathetic butt on the front lines getting his arms & legs blown off & then come back to a country that won't take care of him or his family. A recent Iraq vet in KC who lost his legs was helped out by a TV show to provide him & his 4 kids a decent house to live in. Prior to that he was raising his 4 kids in a shack. I didn't see Bush anywhere lending a finger to help him out. All of Bush's lies are finally coming out in the light of day after one of his own, Scott McClelland, is finally telling the world the truth that many of us have known for years.....BUSH IS A LIAR!!!! He has killed & maimed thousands of Iraqies & U.S. kids to profit his big oil buddies. Think I'm lying.....check out the price of gas & the big oil profits! Yet there are still idiots who believe him.......WAKE UP!!!

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