Union Democrat staff

Vietnam Veterans

To the editor:

This is in response to the "Vietnam Veterans Parade" letter from Paul Fairfield. He expressed concern about people showing up for the parade. Have no fear. We have lots of veterans going to be in the parade. They're coming from Reno, Escondido, Modesto, Stockton, Mariposa, Merced, Pismo Beach, Oakdale and more. As for an audience, we have over 30 sponsors. Most of the sponsors came to us.

This is an indication that we won't have any problems of lining the streets. We even did up a "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" souvenir T-shirt, which has been selling like hotcakes, and we expect to sell a lot at the parade. There are some veterans who want to remember coming home to chaos. Well, that has been over for a great number of years. In fact, I have a letter from a woman who was one of those dissenters. She wrote it 20 years ago and apologized to all Vietnam Veterans. She got wrapped in the media hype of the times. It's been 40 years and it's time to get over it. That's one of the reasons we're doing the parade. To give people a chance to right the hurt done so many years ago.

George Eldridge

Public Affairs Officer,

Vietnam Veterans of America,

Chapter 391


Trough suckers

To the editor:

There has been a lot of back and forth lately about comparing police and fire protection services as a counter-argument against socialized health care. Let me weigh in.

Until the government allows me to mete out justice as I see fit and to protect myself as necessary, then we need police. When you have contributed to the general fund by working in the private sector and paying your Social Security taxes, then you have earned the right to redeem that contribution rather than allowing some trough-sucking congressman to "borrow" it to open a diversity center.

If you think feeding widows and orphans is socialism, then you are just cruel. If you think that means I should feed every junkie because they suffer from "social anxiety," then you are just intellectually vapid.

I guess we can look forward to the federal government to managing health care at least as well as it manages Amtrak, TARP, and the Postal Service.

Jeffrey E. Kitchell

San Andreas

Dog park

To the Editor:

Some remarks from an e-mail I sent to my district supervisor were quoted in the Feb. 10 paper which surprised me. The Dog Park issue was passed with no opposing arguments from the supervisors or anyone in the audience. I had assumed it would draw much opposition but I was wrong. My reasons for opposing were as usual from my old-fashioned common-sense reasoning.

Too bad my whole e-mail message didn't get printed as it said I loved dogs, cats, horses and all animals. Having a park playground for dogs just seemed hilarious. No expense, as the Rotary Club will pay for maintenance, such as trees and fire hydrants for the dogs' comfort. So I will pull back and refrain from expressing my opinion to the board in the future, realizing I am in the vast minority.

Please don't hate me for my remarks, for if you do I will go out in the garden and eat worms - big, fat juicy worms, long green slimy worms; oh, how they tickle when they squirm.

Oh, yes. Don't forget more expense will come later from building housing for the puppies to come.

Dorothy Sylwester

Twain Harte

Volunteer educators

To the editor:

I want to thank all the Division No. 87 California Retired Teachers Association retired educators who have volunteered in Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties.

A total of 9,170 hours was reported to the state association. Based on 2007 data, per-hour the dollar value of volunteer hours in California is $21.97. This would equate to a total of $201,464.49 for our division.

I am sure the number of hours is much higher than 9,170, for many of our members do not submit their time.

You will meet volunteers working in various community activities and organizations volunteering in schools, libraries and hospitals to name a few.

Please take a moment to thank a volunteer if you are fortunate enough to meet, know or work with one or more.

Lenore Shively