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Drayton Siegling (right) places her hand on her shoulder as she leans her head back during physical therapy with Jill Boorman at Premier Physical Therapy in North Charleston. file/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

We have a national shortage of physical therapists. Estimates show that by 2025, an additional 27,000 physical therapists will be needed to meet growing demands, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In rural and underserved areas of our state, this shortage is already making it difficult to access physical therapy services. Fortunately, Congress is taking action to address this problem.

The bipartisan Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (S. 970 and H.R. 2802) would be a crucial first step toward ensuring that all Americans are able to access quality physical therapy by allowing therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps student loan repayment program.

I urge our state’s congressional delegation to support this important legislation to grow the physical therapy workforce.

CHRISTOPHER WILSON

Spindrift Drive

Mount Pleasant

Plastic pellet pollution

I was upset after reading the July 20 Post and Courier article, “Sullivan’s Island beach is strewn with tiny plastic pellets, and cleanup isn’t likely.” The company producing this plastic should bear all responsibility for beach cleanup as well as pay a hefty fine. It feels like one step forward, two steps back as we who care about environmental justice and public health fight diligently against the plastic pollution assault on our oceans.

Dr. Leo Trasande, an endocrinologist and author of “Sicker, Fatter, Poorer,” will be in Charleston on Sept. 23 and at Pawleys Island on Sept. 22 to present information on the health risks posed by endocrine disrupters from plastic.

Charleston plastic company cited for pollution after 'nurdle' spill on Sullivan's Island

Some folks might not care that much about the ocean, but when you see a world-renowned medical expert talk about the dangers of plastics to public health, and what it can to do to developing children, you may start.

Please contact our state officials and DHEC to demand that the producer of those “nurdles” clean up S.C. beaches. Also demand that our state government closely monitor the operation of the companies that produce and transport nurdles.

CAROL CONEY

Burr Circle

Murrells Inlet

School backpacks

It is back-to-school time for many of our Lowcountry students. The beginning of school is a busy time for retailers as students and their parents find themselves stocking up on supplies. But bullet-resistant backpacks shouldn’t be on the list.

When I first read about them in the Aug. 10 Post and Courier on the front of the Business section, I was shocked.

It’s quite obvious companies are playing on parents’ fears for their children’s safety because we are now in an era of school shootings and mass shootings.

If you have children or grandchildren in school, I am certain there is a great temptation to spend huge dollars for their safety. Before you do, take a look at these facts.

As someone who has worked in Dorchester County School District 2 schools for many years, I can assure readers, or anyone else, that there are excellent safety measures in place at each school to keep every child safe.

Lock-down drills, along with the old fire drills, routinely take place to prepare students and staff for any unfortunate event.

Ever since that day in April 1999 when two young men entered Columbine High School in Colorado and took the lives of 12 students and a teacher, everyone has tried to plan and look for new ways to keep our schools safe. Unfortunately, bullet-resistant backpacks don’t make the grade.

BRIAN KIZER

McAlhany Road

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Reevesville

Seeing the light

The first enemy shell exploded on our port quarter. The captain sprang from his bridge chair and took control of the ship. “All ahead flank; right full rudder.” To the bosun mate, “Sound General Quarters.”

It was as if he’d been rehearsing instead of napping. The deck plates trembled as the engineers responded. By then, a second shell landed on our port beam. “Helmsman, steady as you go.” Men rushed to battle stations. We were north of the DMZ between North Korea and South Korea, searching the shoreline for targets of opportunity, such as a truck convoy or a fuel farm.

With the captain’s insistence on perfection and cop-like rigidity to regs, he was not popular.

Now a third shell exploded on the starboard beam. We were bracketed. The next one would be on top us.

“Left full rudder!”

We avoided the next shell and the one after that, weaving our destroyer out of harm’s way and out of range of the hidden shore battery.

He had saved lives, if not the ship, and I’d had my eyes opened.

It was quiet that evening at sunset. The navigator and I stood on the bridge wing. Sextant in hand, he was waiting for twilight so he could shoot stars for a celestial position fix. I told him of my change in attitude. His answer helped me deal with authority figures ever since. “Y’know, the darker the night, the better you see the light.”

WILL FELTS

Marsh Point Drive

Charleston

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