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Letters to the editor

August 08, 1997

Chemicals are deadly

To the editor:

The Pentagon has decided to notify 100,000 Gulf War veterans that the amount of Sarin gas to which they were exposed in 1991 was too small to cause health problems.

Which of those Pentagon members would be willing to be exposed to a small amount of the same type of gas? Why not suggest they go to Iraq on a fact-finding trip and find out exactly what level their individual systems could tolerate?

As in all wars, our military troops returned from the Gulf War. They were greeted by the news media and Washington with a hearty "Hail conquering hero." However, when many of those veterans were becoming ill and expected fair treatment in health care and compensation to which they were entitled, they were accused of malingering and given the "Yo-Yo" treatment (You're On Your Own) if you become ill or a prisoner of war.

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Our military members need better treatment from Washington. They need first-rate health care and fair compensation for their injuries.

Perhaps it is time for the citizens of this nation to insist that the U.S. government make fair and equitable decisions where our military members are involved. They are our sons and daughters who are very frequently being placed in harms way.

Agent Orange, the chemical used in Vietnam was theoretically safe, but the damage to individual military members was far-reaching. Chemical agents are deadly!

Nelda Rohrer

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Shaken faith

To the editor:

On Sunday afternoon my family went to the Ag Expo to watch the horse-pulling exhibition. We enjoyed the show and when it was over we folded up our Mexican blanket and placed it under a tree.

My daughter questioned us, but my husband and I both said that the blanket would be fine there while we walked over and looked through the barns. "That's why we live here, because you can trust people." Yet when we returned 45 minutes later, our blanket was gone. We inquired about it but did not find it. So much for trust. That is a lesson learned, and a child's faith shaken.

K & S Lefler

Sharpsburg

Driving tips

To the editor:

The letter by Jay Seipler in today's paper ("Young drivers not the problem") has some statements that I think should be clarified.

Though I doubt if Seipler meant to say it that way, his letter seems to justify aggressive tactics by those who are driving. This dangerous practice cannot be excused under any circumstances.

Drivers of any age should not hold up traffic behind them by going below the limit. But I (I'm 73 years old) have received ugly looks from drivers when I drive just at the 25-mph limit on Northern Avenue. The speed-limit signs do not say "when school is in session," so I assume the limit applies to all hours, all times of the year. And when I come to a work zone that has a temporarily lowered limit, I try to obey it; the doubled fine should be enough incentive, even if common sense were not.

With reservations, I agree with him about having older drivers take periodic driving tests. But if this is done, I propose it would be required also for drivers from 16 to 28 years old. And in both age groups the test should be limited to those who have received a traffic ticket for a moving violation. Young drivers have the most accidents, though older drivers have the highest number per miles traveled.

Please allow me here to put in a plug for the 55-Alive Mature Driving Course, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons. I will teach one from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 and 25 at the Alexander House. No actual driving is involved. The $8 fee covers workbook and supplies. For more information call Judy Brewer, at the Washington County Commission on Aging, 301-790-0275.

Eugene Lincoln

Hagerstown

Frontline trouble

To the editor:

I was reading the news paper the other day and I happened to see a vet who prescribes Frontline to people's pets. I'm writing to let people know that Frontline is not safe for pets.

My father took our shi-tzu to the veteranarian in August of 1996 with a flea problem; it seemed like last year was a particularly bad year for fleas. The vet then prescribed Frontline, my dad asked him several times if it was safe, he said it was very safe for all our shih-tzus.

We have four of them. Anyway, my dad first put it on his male shih-tzu and his skin became very inflamed, so he washed him right away, he had to wash him several times to get the Frontline off.

However, our two females was not so lucky. We took them back to the vet's office who told us Katie had kidney failure. She had terrible tremors and could barely walk, and couldn't even stand up to eat or drink water from her dish. She died first and let me tell you it was a horrible death. Then my female Candy and my male pup Scamp came up with the same symptoms as Katie. I took Candy to the vet's office, who I wished we had taken them to all along. It was too late to save my Candy, but he did get to Scamp in time. The vet who prescribed the Frontline refused to acknowledge that all the dogs had the same symptoms and the only thing in common was the Frontline.

I just wished I had taken Candy to the vet right away, because maybe he could have saved her if he had gotten to her in time. Luckily for my male pup Scamp, his fur was so thick it didn't absorb into his so quickly. I just pray no one else ever has to go through what our family did.

Katherine J. Harvey

Hagerstown

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