Letters to the Editor

The Rawlins County Square Deal welcomes letters to the editor. They will be judged for brevity and good taste and will be subject to editing. A letter that may be libelous will not be published. Letters to the editor must be signed.

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It's a tragedy to find out in the obit

By Lloyd Huff

?It’s a tragedy to
find out in the obit
How many times have we read through an obituary and afterwards we were surprised to find out some remarkable and previously unknown fact about those we have lived with most of our lives? We lament that if only we had known, we could have learned something important or even profound and certainly we would understand and appreciate our lost ones even more. War experiences in particular seem to be frequently suppressed, perhaps because of the scale and intensity of the associated sacrifice, horror, survival, bonding, loss, exhilaration, devastation and, most importantly, the associated life lessons.
Although no one of us can solve this problem alone, each of us can chip away at the problem one story at a time. Starting with this week’s paper, we are going to highlight one such story about the war in Southeast Asia in three parts. The excerpts are from a newly released book of stories, “The Tiger FACs”, by my friend and former work associate Don Bell. The book is about a critical but unsung mission in the war – specifically those who flew as forward air controllers in the F-4E Phantom II out of Korat Royal Thai Air Base from 1969 to 1973 during the Vietnam War.
Bell was inspired to do this project when he read a newly released history on the war in SEA and there was no mention of the Tiger FAC mission. He and some colleagues did a broader search and they could find absolutely no mention of their mission anywhere. It was as though all the sacrifices and loss of life never happened. This led to a three-year project to find the 103 airmen who served in the mission and then to contact each and every one who was willing and able to participate in rectifying the situation. In the end, 73 contributed to the project.
Participants were asked to contribute their relevant memories and artifacts and to continuously review the collected material as it came together. The book is a collection of their peer-corroborated, firsthand memories.
My hope is that this remembrance of a forgotten mission in an unpopular war will spur our readers to research further on their own and think that if this was forgotten, what other veterans had a similar experience and what lessons do they have to share? We need to ask, listen and make sure their sacrifices, experiences and lessons are not forgotten.
Please enjoy this three part insight into a previously undocumented world and please come by the Legion Hall at 1:00 p.m. on Memorial Day to meet the author, get some of your questions answered and share some of your experiences. The author will be happy to sign your copy of the book if you order online and he will have a limited number of copies with him for sale.
Do what you can to capture another important life story…and don’t wait to find out in the obit.

— Letters to the Editor —

Hospital staff is 'a well-trained team'

To the editor:

?Recently I was in the hospital for a little more than two weeks. The first thing that I would like to point out is the hospital staff. I do not believe they get the credit they deserve. All the way from the P.A.'s down to the cleaning staff, they were a staff of friendly and caring people. The nurses and CNAs of every shift worked like a well-trained team. If people have any doubts, they should watch them in action when they have meds, etc., to hand out to their swing bed and acute care patients while handling the ER. As Larry The Cable Guy would say, "they got ‘er done."
I feel the staff is lacking support from the people in the front office. If this is the case, how long will competent and loyal staff stay? I heard that if they get a very good review from a patient, they receive a chocolate bar. Kids in preschool get a better reward than that.
On to the hospital itself. If a person has to get up at night, there is no light switch close to the bed. You have to get up and walk around the corner to turn on the room lights. I learned to leave the bathroom lights on as that way, it was not completely dark.
There was a lot of money spent on the building, but hardly any money for new or updated equipment. The staff needs better equipment to do a better job. If a horse is pulling a wagon and the harness breaks, you cannot blame the horse.

Kelly G. Simmonds

'Heaven is for Real' – Reader encourages
community to read the book, see the film

To the editor:

??Some years back I was introduced to an extraordinary young man. Though very young at the time, he had experienced something which was nothing short of a miracle. This young man’s name is Colton Burpo and his story is told in the book, “Heaven is for Real.” It is notable that he was from our own area, Imperial, Neb. This helped to make this miraculous event more verifiable for me.
The next step into this investigative journey was to simply read the book. We read instruction manuals, fiction novels, biographies, school texts, newspapers, magazines and, not nearly often enough, our Bibles. So began this journey into this young man’s extraordinary, life-altering event.
There’s something magical when a child, in a matter-of-fact way, shares an event that the rest of us can only imagine, when someone 4 years of age is awarded knowledge which few of those of many years ever acquire.
Too often, our thoughts and energy are misdirected by our simply not observing what is directly in front of us. “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Where do we get that from? Far too often, we allow ourselves to be led and directed by individuals and forces that are nothing more than ourselves, mortals.
Open your eyes and ears, watch and listen, take a journey with 4-year-old Colton. I challenge you: Read the book, see the movie and open your mind. And when your inner being is touched, ponder where it might have come from. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL.

Dan Fields

Consort show inspires praise from visitor

To the editor:

???Hearing good news from a neighbor can be a welcome report, especially when it’s well-deserved! Saturday evening’s performance by the Rawlins County High School Show Choir — and excellent dinner, by the way — deserve high praise for their vitality, character and spirit of celebration of American excellence!
These amazing young people, their super-talented instructor and all associated parties have achieved the link between time past, time present and time future, regaining the continuity of the American Experience that has been lost, downplayed, insulted and, if they had their way, evicted by the “globalists” attempting to cram us into their dismal world mold of mediocrity.
By contrast, those attending [Saturday’s Consort show] were genuinely and authentically encouraged — a rarity these days!
American music has been searched out and appreciated by the entire world for its special energy exporting hope and a sense of what is possible. Our young people, who are the future, connected us with parts of the best of our past, as well as our present. Their strength, animation and joy of life reassure us and inspire us to take on the challenges of the future with renewed confidence, not apologizing for, but celebrating, faith, God, community and country! That we’ll be side by side with them is a powerful advantage!
Sincere thanks, congratulations,and thankfulness for living in our regional neighborhood!

Lee E. “Doc” Franklin
Decatur County