My heart just about broke when I read about the Ohio National Guard soldier in Iraq trying to help the children who were suffering from burns. Shame on the U.S. surgeons who would do nothing to alleviate the pain. What a cruel and inhumane thing to do. Our country is supposed to be better than that.
While I know it was only the actions of two, they represent our country and our supposed values and their actions spoke louder than words - for all the world to see. That is the shame. Did they not take the Hippocratic Oath to heal? How can they sleep at night? How could they turn their heads knowing the pain of just a burned finger?
Did we not send many soldiers to their deaths so that life would be better for the Iraqi people, or is that a hoax? We went to Iraq to help those in need, I thought.
Sgt. David Borell deserves a medal for trying to help. The photo of his friend consoling him and of the Iraqi family in their car will stay etched in my mind forever. I know that when my children hurt, I hurt. Put yourself in the place of those parents whose children needed help. It must have taken courage to appeal to the invader. Did they risk their lives in pleading?
Isn't there anyone in our government who can step up to the plate, find this family soon, and treat the children? There is no reason in the world why our so-called leadership cannot help this family. No wonder many of the Iraqis despise us. When I read of this, I despise us, too.
Our local paper, The Brownsville Herald, contained a very poignant, heart-wrenching photograph of two of what appear to be Toledo's finest. Military police officer Brian Pacholski is shown in a comforting embrace of fellow officer David Borell after Mr. Borell's apparent breakdown after seeing three Iraqi children badly injured while playing with explosive material.
This photograph served to reinforce what I truly believe - that, in general, Americans, even the biggest, burliest, and toughest of us, are truly caring and compassionate when it comes to the pain and suffering of others.
These gentlemen most likely had no desire to go to Iraq or into any war, but they are there, and they have earned our complete support and respect. They definitely have it from here in deepest south Texas.
Toledo, as well as all of America, has two more of whom to be extremely proud.
LES M. ELKINS
South Padre Island, Texas
Your June 14 article, “Children's suffering wounds GIs,” about Sgt. David Borell's frustration when trying to help Iraqi children find medical aid, said he had written a very emotional e-mail to The Blade, talked about what terrible conditions the Iraqi people, especially the children, were going through, and how he felt bad that he could not help them. Those who read the Pages of Opinion daily, and have done so for a while now, may recall seeing multiple letters from the late Maryse Mikhail. In these letters, Mrs. Mikhail, my grandmother, would often discuss the suffering children in Iraq and all across the Middle East were going through. (These places include Palestine and Israel.)
These children have suffered for years, and while many may believe that the Iraq war was justified politically, we cannot forget the human suffering involved. I may only be 12 years old, but I find it awful, and quite ridiculous, that the rest of the world needs to see the aftermath of war before it realizes these children are not doing well.
I know my grandmother would be very saddened by Sergeant Borell's story, and I hope his, along with other similar stories, will open the world's eyes. Peace!
I commend Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Senate President Doug White, and members of the Ohio General Assembly for their thoughtful, responsive approach to ensuring that no Ohioan goes hungry. These elected officials have worked tirelessly to sustain hunger response programs in our state - work that has helped ensure that funding for food bank supplies and services is included in the current state budget proposal.
Critical programs are supported by that funding and direct food supplies to Ohio's network of 12 regional food banks, including the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, for distribution to more than 3,000 member food pantries and soup kitchens.
While the budget, as proposed by Governor Taft, did not include funding for Ohio's food banks, both the House- and Senate-passed versions of the budget restored this essential funding. In a time of economic downturn, Ohio's elected leaders have stood firm in protecting funding which makes a direct impact on the lives of hungry Ohioans.
As president and CEO of the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, I've spoken with those standing in the food lines and listened as they talked about the impact of lost jobs and a tough economy on their pocketbooks. In northwest Ohio, those funds help distribute food to more than 194 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.
Hunger in Ohio is a real and growing problem, as evidenced by a reported 26 percent increase in those receiving food assistance in northwest Ohio during the first quarter of 2003 alone. In 2002, Ohio's regional food banks served a combined 1.9 million households.
I urge Governor Taft to follow the lead of the legislature and allow food bank funding to remain in Ohio's final budget.
JAMES M. CALDWELL
President and CEO
Ohio Food Bank, Inc.
The Blade still receives mail that continues to belittle fellow citizens who protest our adventure in Iraq. These letter writers picture the opposition group as un-American and disloyal to our fighting men who are giving so much to our country.
This view is propagated by an administration that controls the military and sent our troops into Iraq after falsely convincing the American public that Saddam was prepared to use weapons of mass destruction against us.
How can anyone not appreciate the success of our campaign directed by men and women who are in Iraq because they are following orders? There are many among the protesters who also understand that the military is constitutionally controlled by civilian authority. We, too, served our country in war and peace and understand the sacrifices when you are sent overseas. Our concerns are exacerbated when we see a president who “served” preferentially in a silk-stocking unit, and now parades around masquerading as a fighter pilot.
Unfortunately, administration loyalists forget to mention the casualties that continue even though the President declared that the war was over. Our hearts go out to our heroes and their families who hope and pray that their loved ones will return soon.
EDWARD J. NUSSEL
Glaston Oaks Court
The new Harry Potter book is about to hit the shelves for the kids. Hillary Clinton's book is there on its shelf. All depends on whether you are a woman, a Democrat, and believe she is truly a strong person and sincere in her efforts, or if you are a Republican and wouldn't believe anything she says.
There is also a book by Michael Lind, Made in Texas, a real horror story. It should be required reading for everyone who cares about America.
U.S. courting resentment
I was watching the NBA finals and happened to notice on the screen all the countries in which the game was shown.
No wonder the rest of the world resents us. Not only are we the richest country in the world, we have so much more fun!