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Letters to the editor 4/19

April 21, 2003

Vet center salutes its practitioners



To the editor:


In recognition of National Doctor's Day, we applaud the services of the 121 doctors and dentists at the Martinsburg, W.Va., VA Medical Center. These practitioners demonstrate on a daily basis their expanding role in health care to veterans, and we appreciate their dedication in caring for the sick, advancing medical knowledge and promoting good health.

The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health-care system in the country with more than 1,300 sites of care and more than 36,000 physicians. VHA provides health care to an enrolled patient population of 3.9 million veterans.

VHA is a system on the cutting edge in the delivery of health care, conduct of research, and the largest single provider of graduate medical education in the United States.

VA is now seen as a leader in many health care areas including patient safety, computerized patient records, telehealth, surgical quality assessment, rehabilitation, mental health care and clinical and health services research.

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VA medical centers are affiliated nationwide with 107 medical schools, 55 dental schools and more than 1,200 other schools across the country.

More than half of the physicians practicing in the United States have had part of their professional education in the VA health-care system. Each year, about 91,000 health professionals receive training in VA medical centers.

Today's VA health-care system is one of the most effective and successful health care systems in the nation.

VA's performance now surpasses many government targets for health-care quality as well as measured private sector performance. We are proud of our physicians, nationwide and local, and would like to recognize them for their dedication, compassion, and knowledge, all of which have a vital role in making the VA health care system what it is today. Again, we applaud you.

George M. Moore Jr.
Medical Center Director
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Little girls don't belong in combat



To the editor:


I've been watching our people who are in the service to our country. Jessica Lynch was being carried off an airplane along with several others. This is what I was talking about when I spoke against women in combat zones.

I know some folks will look at this letter as a way of saying "I told you so!" It really isn't. But it does show how things happen in combat.

Lynch is a supply clerk. The 507th was and is a unit that is supposed to be in the rear. They ship bullets, not shoot them! She isn't supposed to be in harm's way.

One wrong turn and every thing changed. That's why everyone in the Marine Corp is first of all a rifleman. From the commandant down to private, everyone knows how to shoot and how to keep their rifles clean. I was glad to see her being carried to a waiting ambulance. Her injuries speak volumes about her treatment while being a POW.

It's bad enough when those things are done to men.

I'm not saying that she can't take it. After all, she did endeavor to the end. That's not the point. The point is, she should never have been put in that position. What kind of a coward sends little girls to do the fighting? Think about it.

James Bailey
Hagerstown




Stop and smell the roses



To the editor:


In this day and age, most of us live in a fast-paced world. Some of us not only don't take the time to smell the roses, we don't take the time to even wake up. We are now living in a world that caters to the needs of those who want a self-serve system for quick convenience, supposedly.

I noticed when you're waiting for an elevator sometimes people rush onto it while there are people on board already who need to get off it. Or when you are waiting in line and someone tries to butt in front of you.

I know not everyone is superficial and I'm quite thankful for people I have encountered in the business and personal world who aren't. I have noticed sometimes when I have been in a situation where I was looking for employment or socializing that some are just so concerned with how one looks and just thinks that if you are not tall and thin then you are not normal.

There are people, men and women, who may not be tall, or thin. They may be short and chubby but they have other gifts that need to be used, such as brains and personality. But if people don't get a chance, they not only miss out, but others do as well.

I see in our society that they rush children from teenagers to young adulthood and what some young people wear these days is really mind-boggling. It's a shame, because they are rushing through their childhood straight to adulthood.

I was out last week and came across a kind gentleman named Warren who was being nice to people he didn't know by giving a gift which I appreciated.

He didn't have to give gifts but the importance to me was that he took the time to be nice to people he met that day, which is lacking at times.

I feel that if we slow down our pace a bit and wake up and not only smell the roses but smell other flowers out there in the garden, society would be a much more pleasant place to live for everyone.

Helen Willis
Hagerstown

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