The parking situation is not the only problem that the VA hospital has.

My father recently tried to enroll at the VA in order to receive a shingles vaccination. He has never used their services before, and was told over the phone that all he would need would be a military ID card to prove his eligibility.

Being a very savvy 93-year- old, he decided to bring his discharge papers, showing all of the medals he received in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as showing that he was active duty for 30 years.

The woman who interviewed him in the eligibility office told him that the medals from Vietnam didn’t show that he actually served there (she was incorrect) and that he would have to go home and bring back proof, and that service in Korea and WWII didn’t count, he had to have proof that he was in Vietnam. I guess she thinks it is the Vietnam Veterans Administration.

Upon returning home, my father placed a call to the VA and asked for a supervisor. He finally spoke to someone who apologized and agreed that he was given incorrect information and promised to look into it himself and call him back the following day. Ten days have passed, and there has been no call back. Other messages have also been ignored.

When the Veterans Administration doesn’t place the welfare and care of a member of the Greatest Generation as a priority, then it is quite clear that our government is not working.

Nancy Brooks Evans

Island Walk East

Mount Pleasant

They say the best way to start your day is with a good breakfast. Well, I had a great breakfast Sept. 24 and I’m not talking just grits and eggs.

As the philanthropy director at Pet Helpers, I, along with 20 other nonprofit leaders from across the tri-county area, attended Well Fargo’s annual Community Partners Breakfast.

Twenty-one grants of $1,000 each were presented to various charities by the bank’s local branches. Employees from each branch selected a charity they felt had made a real impact in their community.

Pet Helpers was honored to be selected by both the Wappoo Creek branch and by Rob Norvelle, community bank president for Wachovia in Charleston, and we greatly appreciate their support.

What really made the breakfast great, though, wasn’t just the check. It was hearing the incredibly uplifting stories of how each of the charities will use these donations to effect positive changes in the lives of those who need it most — children, the sick, veterans, the victimized, the elderly and shut-in, the disabled, the homeless, and even the pets who enrich our lives in so many ways.

At the risk of sounding brazenly evangelical, I was so moved by hearing these stories that I wanted to just stand up and shout “Glory Hallelujah, Charleston!”

I feel fortunate to live in a community where so many professionals and businesses are committed to “being the change they want to see in the world.”

It was a great breakfast, one that nourished my soul even more than my tummy. Thank you to Wells Fargo and to all the individuals and businesses who support local nonprofits, and thank you to the nonprofit professionals who transform these gifts into such significant outcomes.

Leigh J. Handal

Director of Philanthropy

Pet Helpers

Folly Road


The I-526 issue has reached a ridiculous point. People all over this state need their decaying unsafe bridges and roadways repaired. Since current surveys say that the extension will add more population density to Johns Island, and will negate any benefit it might have provided during a hurricane, that excuse for spending an obscene amount of money is no longer valid.

So while it will (at a staggering price tag of over $650 million) certainly destroy countless acres of wetlands, homes and communities in its path, only a small percentage of people will actually benefit, mostly the contractors and politicians pushing for its completion.

The rest of the state is out of luck, but gets to help pay for this folly. Remember, once you pave something, you lose it forever. So we are filing our diminished value claim today with so many others.

The county should stand by its vote to compensate those directly in the path. I would hate to see all of us have to join together for the lawsuit if they chose otherwise.

Regina Bowling

Palmcrest Drive

Johns Island

I’m responding to David Quick’s article “Prescription for senior health: Resistance training.” I found the article interesting for a couple of reasons. I’m happy for any program that promotes a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, especially for seniors.

While I was excited to know that a new program was coming to the area, I was disappointed that the article took an unnecessary “jab” at a competitor, Curves.

I am not a senior but I am a member at Curves and have been for over 10 years. In my 10 years at Curves I have lost 40 pounds, dropped eight dress sizes and am stronger than I ever have been.

I own a marketing firm and as a marketing professional I feel that degrading your competition is never the best practice.

Not every program is for everyone and that’s OK. But there is enough business to go around for everyone.

It is a proven fact that strength training is good for everyone and particularly for seniors.

I do hope that seniors will take the information and know that strength training is beneficial to their health and longevity. That key point was missed in the article. Living a healthy lifestyle should have been the marketing message of the article.

Ronii Bartles, MBA


Bartles & Associates

Sandcroft Drive


The TransformSC initiative to encourage the creation of a new system in public education in South Carolina, lest we condemn our children and state to mediocrity, must be sure to address one essential: Quality.

“If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

I’ve lived and worked in three other states over 60 years before relocating to South Carolina in retirement, and never have I experienced such a profound lack of quality in workmanship at every level of delivery in every transaction I’ve encountered, such that I now inspect every task from work performed to monetary transactions processed to search for errors. Invariably it seems every task requires re-work.

Are the people or vendors pleasant about it? Absolutely. Does it get corrected on the second try? Usually. Did it cost more to do it again? Not to me, save the inconvenience, but it certainly cost the company to not get it right the first time, as well as the next customer who couldn’t get served in a timely fashion because the calendar is filled not only with new work, but re-work.

Add to the list of commonalities quality or pride of workmanship, and strike mediocrity from the language. Teach children to take pride in the quality of their work, its neatness, its completeness and its timeliness, and those traits will carry over with them to their work for the rest of their lives.

Joe Albano

Beckenham Drive

Mount Pleasant

Adoption is always in response to a tragedy. Oftentimes those working to redeem a tragic situation — an adoptive family — get inadvertently tangled up in the complexities of the fallout of our sexually permissive culture.

In your effort to give voice to the “skeptics,” please do not plant a seed of skepticism in the minds of your readers toward the motives of thousands of families who have stepped up to the enormous task of raising a needy child who is not biologically their own.

Criticism of others’ costly decisions is cheap and easy; opening your home to a child who might have otherwise been aborted or neglected is not.

Margaret Mattox

Penny Lane

Johns Island