LETTERS: Combat veterans deserve priority; Store gun ban draws criticism; Water vapor: Greenhouse gas; Observations from debate

Combat veterans deserve priority

Much has been written over the past several years about the substandard care and the inordinate delays at veterans hospitals and medical facilities.

First, I want to say that I am a veteran and a retired military veteran. I love our military and will always support our men and women in the military. They are our finest; the best and the bravest.

Having said that, I’m concerned that we have lost our priorities of who should be first in line to receive the VA’s medical support.

When all of us joined the military, we were promised VA medical benefits for life. Our government has tried to live up to that, but as more of us have lived longer, it has become more and more difficult to live up to that promise.

With the crisis at our VA facilities becoming more and more serious, those of us who chose to stand up for our country when we were young need to stand up again for what’s right. Our wounded veterans and those who served in combat theaters should get first priority at our VA facilities.

Those of us who served in the military but not in combat situations know we have served our country, but not the way they have. If we are going to VA facilities, as is our right, but making a combat veteran wait, we should step aside and let out brother or sister who’s been in forward positions get in front of us in line. We may be able to find another source for our medical support, such as Medicare or private insurance.

The point is that I believe our warriors should get first priority, and if the VA has the time and facilities for the rest of us then so be it.

Hank Boardman


Store gun ban draws criticism

Walmart decided to ban from open-carrying on is to react guns in their stores good citizens who went to take a class, took a test and passed to qualify to receive a concealed-carry permit. Will this stop mass shootings in their stores? No, because Walmart is targeting the wrong people.

Now, future mass shooters have the comfort of not worrying about anyone being a threat to them in their store. So, to whom is Walmart giving the edge — their customers or future criminals?

Today, mass shooters and other criminals who commit crimes with firearms are treated with kid gloves; 100% of the time police only react to a shooting by following the plan they’ve used for decades: Write a report on the damage done, turn it in, and go on to the next crime scene That’s why there are so many shootings; we do not have a real plan to deal with criminals who use firearms.

Let me give you an example: Let’s say that a law is implemented where when a crime is committed with a firearm, the police will not take the criminal alive. Will that change their behavior? Most likely yes, because they now know the consequences.

Who wants to be executed for committing a crime? Not me.

Rafael Madrigal


Water vapor: Greenhouse gas

Valley citrus farmers understand the greenhouse effect better than anyone else. When freezing conditions threaten their trees, they all pray for skies overcast with heavy clouds. Why? Because water vapor is a greenhouse gas many more times potent than carbon dioxide.

This doesn’t stop them from breaking out the smudge pots and burning diesel to enhance the infrared blanketing effect over their orchards.

Roaney Giles


Observations from debate

After watching a recent Democratic debate, two things are evident. One, are Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke the best that Texas Democrats have to offer in the race for the presidency?

Secondly, Julian Castro should be schooled in the virtues of respecting your elders, as defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as “people who are older and more important.” It is obvious that Joe Biden is!

Jake Longoria


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