The Nov. 11 op-ed titled “Need a proven leader? Hire a military veteran” supports the favorable work and leadership characteristics of our nation’s veterans.
Sadly, my own rather limited and anecdotal experience with the military does not fully support this opinion. I have found some members, especially officers, obsessed with promotion.
Because of this obsession many became sycophantic “yes” men striving for unnecessary credentials that would spruce up their promotion folders.
Combat veterans, as the column suggests, hone their skills as leaders, but most veterans are not direct combat veterans. They are combat zone veterans rarely leaving the safety of the wire.
Also to consider is that nearly half of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have either applied for, or are receiving disability compensation, and the Veterans Administration estimates that as these men and women age, that number could reach 90 percent.
The engine of job growth in America is small business, and they must hire able bodied and productive individuals in order to compete in the marketplace.
They cannot levy taxes in order to make up for losses. Given this condition, employers may consider it too risky and expensive to hire veterans.
A costly error
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has been seeking a $300 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees. How did we ever get to the point that playing a kid’s game is worth $30 million a year?
With 15 games off to “rest” from standing around the infield, he will be earning approximately $200,000 per game.
One can only hope that during the off-season he is finding a cure for cancer.
That’s about the only thing I can think of to justify this kind of insanity.
Is it any wonder it takes an average Joe a week’s salary to take his family to a game?
We can do it
The tri-county area has a long, proud nautical history that needs to be passed on to our children.
We know the story of the submarine Hunley because Charleston had a front row seat for its operation during the Civil War, and later for its discovery and recovery and for the burial of the crew with honors. That little sub was a technological marvel for its time. Its brave crews will inspire future submarine sailors.
“Modern” submarines have appeared on the Cooper River waterfront since 1911. Until 1995, Charleston Navy Base and Naval Shipyard were key components of U.S. submarine operations and maintenance.
Charleston was home port to many submarine sailors and their families (my wife and me included), and home to Yard men and women. Many retired here.
At Patriots Point the submarine USS Clamagore is on display. It received a Guppy mod at Charleston Navy Yard. Neglected for years, it needs work, but the Patriots Point Development Authority has concluded it should be used as a reef. There just isn’t any money. Or is it that the will is lacking?
In Mobile, Ala., the World War II combat sub USS Drum was placed on concrete cradles onshore at USS Alabama Battleship Park.
Superstructure plates were repaired and tourists can walk the inner spaces.
Drum’s lead ballast was removed and sold for $140,000 — the money used to continue its preservation. The efforts of submarine vets, volunteers and local businesses have kept the Drum a living memorial. Similarly, USS Albacore in Portsmouth, N.H., is on land, well maintained, in a submarine memorial park.
Business leaders from the state and tri-county area are needed to raise money in order to keep the sub in Charleston. One approach would be to match donations (of a minimum size) to “Save the Clamagore.”
Move Clamagore onshore. Remove and sell the batteries and lead ballast to provide added funds. Allow sub vets and Navy Yard folk to work on the interior. Use the money set aside to reef her to fix her instead.
Let’s retain for our children and grandchildren a vivid Navy warship, air and submarine experience at Patriots Point. If Mobile did it, why can’t we?
Captain, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)
On Nov. 14 at 4:43 p.m. I received a call offering a free sample of an inhalant that would miraculously enhance my sex life. I would only have to pay a shipping fee (about $6). I could pay by credit card or buy a fixed amount credit card at WalMart. I said “no thanks” and hung up.
The next day at 9:19 a.m. the call came again, with the same heavily accented female voice.
This is not the first of these types of calls I have received. They appear to be targeting seniors (I am 82). Please warn seniors and others to do what I did — hang up.
William T. Ashby
How to help
The holiday season is here, and agencies are implementing plans to help those who are less fortunate. Thanks to a very generous and compassionate community there will be squeals of delight in many homes on Christmas morning, and that’s great. But I want to suggest giving for a different purpose.
These suggestions are based on situations that we face at Midland Park Community Ministries.
1) Help single working moms (and dads) save money: It’s challenging and not because folks are unwilling, but because there is nothing left. You can create a “saving opportunity.” Partner with a local 501(c)(3) non-profit and, if you can swing it, pay the rent of a working, single mom (or dad) once a quarter throughout 2014.
If you can’t do all of it, then do what you can. If you can’t do the rent, then consider the utilities.
The money saved will be placed in a savings account. For a modest- to low-income family having access to some dollars, versus getting a payday loan or donating plasma, is huge.
2) Get families out of hotels: You can create another “saving opportunity” by covering, for a short-term, the hotel bill so that those dollars can be saved for a deposit. Any number of local non-profits can broker this for you.
3) Provide transportation: Buy a few bus passes; they cost $51 per month. We met a beautiful couple a few months ago who had almost walked the soles off their shoes.
They were desperate for work and didn’t mind footin’ it, but in the end, not being able to travel worked against them. And don’t forget about bicycles — if you have extras in good condition, please consider donating them.
4) Repair homes of senior citizens: Those on fixed incomes often let home repairs go, which, in turn, creates higher utility and home maintenance bills. Partner with a non-profit agency to underwrite the costs of modest repairs.
5) Outfit job seekers: Clean out your closets and donate everything that you don’t need. Newly employed folks don’t have a lot of dollars for clothes and having access to a “work wardrobe” saves cash.
The Lowcountry is blessed with many wonderful faith- and community-based organizations.
There is a place for your consistent financial support, and it’s really needed. But so is your experience, wisdom and compassion.
Having happy kids on Christmas morning is a beautiful thing, but the long-term impact of stability resonates even louder. We can have both. Thank you for giving and caring.
Midland Park Community Ministries
Midland Park Road
Charleston has been a part of the cruise ship industry for decades. However, in the past couple of years, the city has had to deal with controversy the cruise industry brings.
In 2010, the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) introduced plans for a new cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.
Since then, frustration over the issue has been brewing and seems to have climaxed in recent months.
In September, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel voided the Army Corps of Engineers’ permit for the new Union Pier terminal. Now Charleston residents face uncertainty about what will come next.
Supporters of the plan believe it will economically benefit the city and will only yield positive outcomes. Although economic gains definitely follow close behind a new thriving tourist hub, I have a problem with the supporters’ argument.
Charleston, known for its iconic Southern charm, is home to brick sidewalks, rich Southern food and a history that dates back to 1670.
As a native of the hustling and bustling New York, I really appreciate the laid-back uniqueness and beauty the city offers.
Unfortunately, downtown Charleston is frequently inundated with thousands of bustling cruise ship tourists who don’t see the city as the historic beauty it is, but only another brief destination.
Charleston isn’t a Disneyland, it’s our home, and the cruise ship tourists are slowly stripping our home of the peaceful antiquity we have all come to love.
It’s obvious that the economic potential from the new Union Pier Terminal does not outweigh the growing cruise industry’s negative effects.
We need to take a stand for our city and preserve our beloved Charleston.
The location of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., referenced in The Post and Courier recently was no happenstance. In the late 1930s, 37 “boys” who grew up together in the small farming community of 3,000 in Bedford formed a company in the National Guard primarily to get paid one dollar a week to assemble at the armory every Monday night and practice marching.
When the war broke out they went to England en masse and were in the first wave assaulting Omaha Beach on D-Day in the 29th Division.
Eighteen were killed in the first 10 minutes. Four were killed over the next three days; six landed and survived. Five missed the landing because their landing craft was disabled. Four served in a support capacity and did not land.
In World War II Bedford, Va., had the highest per capita mortality rate of any town in America. A stirring account of this has been written by Alex Kershaw in his book “The Bedford Boys.”
J. Stuart McDaniel
Pilot Boy Road
After a long day showing my friend and his wife highlights of the Holy City, we were saying our farewells at the cruise ship terminal.
She looked at him and with a touch of sadness asked, “Barry, if Ronald ever comes to Columbus, what could we show him?”
Barry, comparing what they’d seen in Charleston to the pitiful offerings of their own city, was at a loss for words.
I saved the day by suggesting, “Show me your pictures of Charleston.”
Ronald A. Charles
Because of a recent ruling by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, birthing centers are in danger of being shut down.
Birthing centers allow women to have a more comfortable, natural place to labor and deliver their babies than a hospital, and they provide much more individualized care.
I had my baby at Charleston Birth Place in July, and my prenatal care and delivery process were absolutely amazing.
I plan to have more children, and would be devastated if I could not go back to CBP.
The staff and midwives are professional, and have women’s best interest in mind. They are also less than a mile from a major hospital, and have excellent emergency transport procedures in place.
They also work much more closely with their patients than “standard doctors” and are able to foresee any potential complications before an emergency happens. You have to be labeled as a low-risk pregnancy before you can be considered as a patient there.
This needs attention. Please help keep birthing centers up and running. Women should have the right to choose where they give birth.
Ashley Crossing Lane
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