Veterans may get better services | Feb. 16, article
Veterans group's plan not feasible
I'd like to present my comments on the proposal for the Disabled American Veterans to assume the duties of county Veteran Services. I have thoroughly read the proposal of the DAV Chapter 67 and Barbara Behrendt's article.
I congratulate the members of DAV Chapter 67 for proposing to replace an essential department of our county, the Veterans Services office. Chapter 67 has several capable members who are now providing valuable services to veterans. But, is the continuity there for the next 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years? I doubt it. All of our veteran organizations have less members today than they had 10 years ago. The office of Veteran Services in our county will be here for many years to come.
The current group of accredited service officers, ASOs, in the chapter are going to pass on. How strong is their upward mobility program to replace these ASOs in the future? No one knows. One DAV member is quoted saying they are struggling. This means membership is down as it is in the Military Officers Association, the Reserve Officers Association, the Association of the U.S. Army and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. These organizations are having a tough time getting members to step forward to run for office in these organizations.
If the DAV chapter has qualified volunteers who can serve veterans, I suggest they offer their services to the county's Veterans Service Office which will gladly welcome them. Helping our county do its job is a noble gesture of good will.
I'm afraid that the DAV does not fully realize the full ramifications of the office. The DAV proposal will not work over the long haul, but they should be commended for seeking ways to save our county money.
Nicholas J. Morana, Spring Hill
Veterans Services does a great job
I am a 72-year-old disabled vet who has lived in the area for 32 years and been service connected for my leg amputation for approximately 14 years. I submitted my first claim soon after I lost my leg with the help of Ken Wrinkle and Deron Mikal in the Veterans Service office.
They knew how the system worked and told me not to give up when I was turned down time and time again. They said that I had a good case and to keep trying. Actually, all I did was take my rejected papers to them and all that I had to do was sign the appeal they prepared. Recently, I has some additional claims that Matt Peters was able to handle. Matt is as knowledgeable as Ken was and he is carrying on with the same know-how that Ken had. All I have to do is call the office and Matt will see me promptly and get the right paperwork going.
It is a shame his higher-ups are not as diligent as he is. I strongly urge our commissioners not to alter something that is running smoothly. Please do not fix what is not broken. Why doesn't the DAV ask what help Matt could use instead of making unreal promises? I want my widow to go to a knowledgeable VA officer so she can receive whatever benefits she is entitled to when I'm gone. Matt Peters is that person, not some $10 dollar an hour employee or a volunteer.
Philip Strmensky, Brooksville
A battle over birth control in 2012? | Feb. 18, Barbara Fredricksen column
GOP isn't doing itself any favors
I and a majority of women applaud Barbara Fredricksen's column. The Republican Party is making a gross error if they think they can beat President Obama by spewing this nonsense and thus catering to the extreme religious right.
Why they seem so intent on stamping out women's rights is very puzzling to me and many others. They instead should be concentrating on the economy and jobs. They are doing all women and their own party a great disservice by continuing down this path which will inevitably lead to their defeat in November.
Barbara Anne Cosgrove, New Port Richey
It's about making our own choices
The memories of cutting class to go see this infamous movie The Outlaw, and coming away with no idea of why it was banned by my — at the time — church came back as I read your column.
I too have felt that there is a war being waged against women. Women of America need to stand firm against this onslaught. We cannot, will not go back. These zealots would have us give up the right to vote, to own property to make our own choices. That's what it's all about — choices, mine to make for me!
Margaret Wareham, New Port Richey
Don't dismiss religion so lightly
I am 71 and this is my very first letter to the editor. Please know that I understand freedom of speech, but when my religion and personal beliefs are mentioned in a decidedly offensive way, I must comment.
The writer could have expressed her opinion on the subject without singling out a specific religion. I find her remarks to be the kind of rhetoric that causes a lack of understanding and tolerance among all people.
Barbara Erdmann, Zephyrhills
Birth control is a basic human right
Kudos to Barbara Fredricksen for so articulately saying what many women are feeling today. The ability of a woman to have access to birth control choices is a fundamental human right, not only a woman's right.
I find it hypocritical at best that the most vociferous opponents are men!
Given the fact that over 80 percent of Catholic women use birth control, including tubal ligation, I find this a non-issue and completely out of step with the reality of everyday lives and concerns. It is out and out pandering to a small segment of our society.
I'm sure you will receive your share of critical responses, but not from this woman.
Thank you for your bravery in bringing light to this injustice directed at only the women of this country. They better keep in mind that we make up over half the electorate come November.
LeAnn Kahl, Land O'Lakes