Days of 'Nam
Ken Burns is giving me post traumatic stress syndrome. What stresses me out is my three years as an ACLU chairman in a nation gone mad in the days of 'Nam: Telling a principal you can't kick a kid out of high school because of a mustache; A judge holding a man in jail 60 days without trial; Being unable to help a properly married girl kicked out of school for being pregnant; The uproar when I said a public school cannot have a chaplain.
When, I claim, somebody put a student up to asking me for an article from an underground newspaper (remember those?), exactly 99 letters appeared in The Daily News. Being out of a job during the Boeing layoffs was no fun.
When I saw the first episode of Ken Burns' documentary on Vietnam, I thought of buying a bucket of spitwads and throwing them at every school official in Cowlitz County. Alas, that would only get me thrown into the booby hatch.
The PBS Vietnam series is — for me and a lot of vets who were there — a catharsis. We knew, or at least believed, it was for nothing, then and now. I've heard the actual spoken words of two presidents (Johnson and Nixon) who kept us in it, admit they knew it couldn't be won. Instead, they allowed 40,000 more young men and women to die and nearly a million to be wounded.
I did tours with the 4th Infantry and 101st Airmobile beginning in 1969. At first I was a true believer. By the end, having just turned 21, I questioned who America was. I had seen and done things that my county had told me were good and just.
And where are we today? We allow those who govern to lie as an accepted practice of politics? And it's not just the president, it's the whole crowd of electeds. And we wonder why our young don't participate in the process whether it's voting or by joining fraternal organizations or organized groups engaged in community good works. Look at the example we oldsters have set. Look at the world we're leaving them. Good grief, racism is as prevalent today as it has ever been. We could be the true "Shining Example" of what man is supposed to be. It's still possible to achieve. Just get active, get involved and take responsibility for a better future.
Save a life
This November, Woodland area residents have opportunity to vote for a bond making possible the construction of a swimming pool and recreation center. Approval can realize grassroots effort of many volunteers over many years.
Swimming skill and water knowledge can save your life or the life of someone you love. Surrounded by water, Woodland has experienced water fatalities and many costly, close calls. In this area, swimming is an essential life skill. Available lessons require long distances, inaccessible to many. Please make possible access to local swim and water safety lessons by voting “yes” on Bond Measure 1, Woodland Pool / YMCA.
In reading the articles on Sept. 5-7 about the poachers, I was both saddened and outraged. I was not surprised by the names of the people l saw who were arrested. My husband, Gary Suhadolnik, who was a Fish and Wildlife sergeant and supervisor for many years in Cowlitz, Lewis and Wahkiakum counties, had many run-ins with some of these people over the years. I don't think the charges then were to the extreme they are now and especially killing the animals for fun. But as far as he was concerned, they were criminals. He would be livid knowing the extent of their charges and how horrifying that they trained dogs to kill these animals. That's a sick mind. Thank you WDFW for a diligent job in investigating these charges. Sgt. Suhadolnik would be very proud of all of you.
Neva Jo Suhadolnik