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Letters to the Editor - April 10

April 09, 2012

Veterans are invited to join Marine Corps League
To the editor:
To the Washington County veteran from Iraq who called Mail Call, a welcome back to you and other veterans from all wars, and we thank you for your service to our country. We do honor our veterans, sometimes daily, but definitely on Memorial Day and Veterans Day throughout Washington County.
If you are a veteran, come join our Marine Corps League. You’ll find many veterans like yourself. Come out; we would love to have you.
Many of our local Marine Corps Leaguers have been involved in making history through different conflicts. We had a World War II Marine who fought in The Batte of Iwo Jima; an Army friend who fought in the Battle of the Bulge; a Marine in Korea and Vietnam; a POW; a Marine pilot who spent five years, five months in Hanoi; a Marine who was in Operation Shufly, a forerunner to the Vietnam War; Marines who were the first ground combat units of the Vietnam War in the 9th MEB; a Marine who was in the first air assault insertion of any U.S. forces in Vietnam; and Marines that were in CAPs, living with locals in the hamlets. There is much valor and gallantry here; every one of these veterans is as modest as it gets.
In recent months, the Marine Corps League visited a rehab center in Virginia to present a DOD award, visited Bethesda Naval Hospital’s wounded veterans and collected approximately 17,000 toys for 2,300 families in the Toys for Tots campaign. We present honor guards for our deceased veterans regardless of military branch, and we have a color guard in parades with riders or walkers following the colors, rifles and sabre. The league also has started a Young Marines Program.
We culminate the year with the Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Nov. 10. It is a ceremony of long tradition that is open to the public. So, press those dress blues, tuxedo and evening gown, and join us for esprit de corps and camaraderie.
Semper Fidelis.
Clark A. Mayer
Hagerstown


Rail trail would be good for bodies and minds
To the editor:
The job of the government has always been to ensure transportation routes. Supporting the Hagerstown-to-Weverton trail is within the realm of traditional government responsibilities and is a great investment.
The economics for the trail are sound. The document that was prepared to support the rails-to-trails project noted that business revenue along a similar trail actually improved during the economic downturn. Why? Because biking is seen as a “low cost” recreation. When people can’t go to Disneyland or whatever, they might like to enjoy the local “outdoors” — and enjoy it frequently.
With each person’s share of the $15 trillion national debt at about $50,000, I don’t expect that we will have a lasting economic recovery in this country. With health care costs per capita exploding to over $8,400 per U.S. citizen (as of 2010), our county share of the cost is now at $1.24 billion a year and rising.
Each hour people spend on the trail could mean less time spent going to pharmacies and doctors who can only treat the symptoms of our sedentary lifestyles. The trail will not only help people have healthier bodies, it would help people have sharper, quicker minds — a proven benefit of exercise. That is the best investment we can make in education. Give the next generation and their parents, and anyone else who wants to exercise, the chance to go out and enjoy nature.
As one who from time to time walks a few miles on the Appalachian Trail, I can attest to the tremendous efforts made to keep the path clean. Away from the highway litter, I can walk for about 15 minutes and only find the remains of two cigarettes. The trail is pristine. People take pride in trails and volunteer to keep them clean.
We should do what we can to help our community economically, and we should stop short-changing our kids, who need exercise to be smarter and healthier. It is the moral thing to do to support the government’s visionary proposal of the Weverton-to-Hagerstown trail. 
Thomas Donlon
Hagerstown


Mother says thanks for support of her son, troops
To the editor:
Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to AMVETS Post 10 and to Doug Levine and the Hub City Softball League. We are so thankful for the support they gave our son, Ian Boyer, and his unit while they were serving in Afghanistan.
The idea was the brainchild of Doug Levine, who has both a passion for softball and a passion for supporting our troops. The majority of the money raised for the care packages came from the participants in the Greene Turtle/Softball Show.com Home Run Derby. Thank you, sluggers.
AMVETS Post 10 contributed greatly by paying the cost of the postage. Then, when Doug approached the AMVETS again recently about having a dinner at the Post to welcome Ian home and to honor both him and the recipient of the first annual event fundraiser, Justin A. Langlotz, another local Marine, they went right to work organizing what turned out to be a truly special night that our families will not forget.
We were totally honored to have Capt. Robert Glausier, retired Marine, in attendance, and Board of County Commissioners President Terry Baker as well. We were totally overwhelmed with it all.
The Marine Corps League — Semper Fi! — and the AMVETS Riders motorcyclists participated,  and everyone made us feel welcome. I only wish I could remember all of their names so I could thank them properly. Since I cannot, I will simply say that the “welcome home” our son was blessed with says a lot about this “hometown.”
God Bless the USA!
Sharon Goetz
Smithsburg

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