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Letters to the editor – Monday (12-15-08)

Veterans win reprieve on medical changes
Regarding the decision to put changes at the VA on hold until 2013:
I fully believe that justice has been served for the time being. The current VA Medical Center officials tried to take our VA away from us under the guise of “excellence in mental health and longterm care.” Suppose we veterans refused to fight for our country or waited four years to join the military service to give our lives to make our country free. Having kept America free, we simply feel entitled to a health-care facility to address our war-related injuries. Instead, they want to close our VA for political and monetary reasons.
If it were not for veterans, there would be no free America. I feel that they should close the case and leave open VA hospital care for the veterans who chose to keep America free.
I cannot agree with the local VA taking away our veterans’ right to health care. It would have been disastrous if the proposed changes had taken place and we had to try to obtain health care at Rowan Regional Medical Center’s emergency room, which has a waiting list and has no idea about war-related illnesses such as PTSD or exposure to Agent Orange. Just as we fought for our country, we’ll continue to fight to keep our hospital. Even the county commission and city council agree with veterans about the VA changes and their negative ramifications.
Thanks to our representatives in Congress and dedicated veterans, we have four years to develop strategies to overcome the proposed changes. We hope that the delay until 2013 is not just an appeasement but recognition that veterans are entitled to health care at our VA Medical Center in Salisbury.
We’re sure that President-elect Obama will listen to the facts surrounding our dilemma.
ó Mae Carroll
Salisbury
Carroll is commander, Post 107, American Legion.
Gift reflects party’s spirit
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the outgoing and incoming executive committee of the Rowan County Senior Democrats met and agreed to give $200 to the Christmas Happiness Fund in memory of Neal Addison Smith, whose last major service to our community was chair of the Rowan County Democratic Party. He served in far too many other ways to recount here. He and his wife, Elizabeth, helped so much in getting our senior chapter organized. He is probably best known for his strong and valuable leadership as a Rowan County representative in the North Carolina General Assembly.
When the gift to the Christmas Happiness Fund was noted in the Salisbury Post, I was greatly surprised that, unbeknownst to me, my name had been added as an honoree. I want to express my appreciation to all my fellow senior Democrats for their help in starting our chapter in 2005 and for working together these last four years to build a better county, state and national government.
This gift to the Christmas Happiness Fund is but a small expression of what Democrats are all about. Democrats feel that it is most important to do our best to serve all the people, not just the wealthy and powerful. We try to give special attention to the poor and needy, the outcast and marginalized, and to the hungry and those who are homeless, sick, in prison and who need clothing as well as Christmas gifts.
It may be that God has again led our nation to select Democrats to lead us out of the 2008 “stock market crash” (I grew up during the administration of FDR, following the 1929 “stock market crash.”) Let us all pray that our leaders and all of us will seek to follow God’s guidance and pledge that we will all work together as caring citizens for the good of our nation.
ó Rev. Robert O. Freeman
Salisbury

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