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Letters to the Editor

July 02, 2009

A veteran gives thanks to Red Cross van drivers



To the editor:

I would like to salute the American Red Cross, all of the drivers of their van and the fine people of Hagerstown who have been supporting their Red Cross. They have provided a great service for all of us veterans who go on the Red Cross van on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the VA hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va.

I'm a Korean War veteran, age 76, and they have been a blessing for me since I don't drive any more because of a heart condition. I came here to Hagerstown to stay with my oldest son after being in a convalescent center for two months after major surgeries. I could not get around too well at the time and needed help.

The only way to get to the hospital in West Virginia was for my son to take off work, and I could not ask him to do that for me, and I didn't expect him to. So I was about to go back in a care center when I heard about the service the Red Cross provided.

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I've been using this service for a year and a half. I needed a lot of visits, I'm getting around very well now and doing a lot better.

The drivers of the van are real good people. I wish I could remember all of their names. They help the vets in and out of the van, plus get us as close as possible to our homes.

Myself and all of the veterans appreciate this service you provide for us. God bless you all.

Jack O'Connell
Hagerstown




Country is in terrible economic shape



To the editor:

It's hard to believe the shape of this country. The economy stinks. People are unemployed, and foreclosures, interest rates, and gas and food prices are rising constantly. Electricity and heating fuel prices also are going up. How can low-income people live at this rate?

Employers and possibly Social Security are not getting cost-of-living raises, but the government can bail out big banks and businesses.

Another thing that gets raised every year is rent on homes and apartments. If a person is on a fixed income, how can they pay rent, electric and fuel, and have enough for groceries? If they have a car, how can they pay for fuel to run it?

I've seen some elderly at different grocery stores with cat food in their carts. They might be eating it because they can't afford food.

Health care and medication is over the top. Deductibles are so high, people can't afford to go to a doctor or get their medication.

I lived through one depression when I was a child and it was no fun. Food and gas were rationed and there were long lines everywhere.

I can't believe they are building another hospital when they can't staff the one we have. Plus, if people live in town, how can they afford public transportation or ambulance rates to get there and back?

All of these new buildings are going up with so many buildings sitting empty. Wouldn't it be cheaper to renovate these and use them?

I could go on, but it makes me mad to think our government gets worse with each election.

Shelva Smith
Hagerstown

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