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Letters to the editor — Friday (3-14-2014)

The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) is proud to join advocates across the country in recognizing March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This month commemorates the progress in improving the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and highlights the challenges that remain in achieving their full inclusion in all aspects of life.
The 2014 national theme “Ability at Work” encourages people across the state and the nation to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, houses of worship, schools, and are expected to work and have careers, everyone wins.
The NCCDD encourages everyone to get to know someone with a developmental disability and learn that he or she has a lot to offer their community. Recognize ability, not the disability, and picture the potential!
— Ron Reeve
Charlotte
Ron Reeeve is chairman of the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities.

It saddens me to read or hear of the break-ins, shootings and murders involving young people. There are many good and outstanding youth who are recognized for their accomplishments and many others who should be. On Saturday, March 8, my yard was blessed with neighbors who worked really hard clearing the ice-storm damage, not only in my yard but another neighbor’s as well.
A special thanks to these young and young-at-heart neighbors for their hard work. I am so blessed and happy to be your neighbor. May God bless each and every one of you.
— Martha Fink
Salisbury
In a March 7 letter, a gentleman, who incidently is a veteran, went on and on about “tobacco” “military cuts” and “mopeds.” He finished by thanking the VA for everything they do for vets. Thanks for what? For taking up to two years to review vet benefit cases? For waiting two months to see a specialist? For being relegated to charity through homes built with amenities for amputees? How about the thousands of track wheelchairs Bill O‘Reilly crusades for?
Still think the VA cares?
We spend billions on foreign aid to countries that hate us, most of which goes into Swiss accounts. We give about $54.5 billion dollars per year (economic and military assistance) for the likes of Hamid Karsai of Afghanistan, Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan and a new one, Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine.
A thought to dwell on: 2,000 homes expressly designed for disabled vets could easily be built for $1 billion. Another billion would cover their income, property and sales taxes and utility bills for life. Add to that monthly retirement benefits that will allow them to live decently. One more thing. A paid for vehicle specifically outfitted for operation by a double amputee.
All this can be accomplished with less than one tenth of the U.S. foreign aid program. Think of this the next time you see a disabled vet in a wheelchair holding a sign begging for assistance.
— Philip DeBenedictis
Salisbury

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