Concussion victims deserve Purple Hearts
To the editor:
The Purple Heart is among the top honors bestowed upon the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country, our communities and our families.
It is the oldest award used to recognize soldiers who have been injured or killed during battle and honor their profound sacrifice.
Every member of our armed forces makes the selfless decision to serve our country and the ideals for which we stand at the risk of personal injury. They accept the perils and hazards inherent in defending our freedom every time they don their uniforms. The toll of war can be great and the scars many.
Often, we associate wounds with external injuries-soldiers taking gunfire or losing a limb. What we may forget are the wounds that we cannot see.
Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, often have lasting effects on those soldiers who suffer them at the hands of a roadside bomb or blast from other enemy explosive devices.
Recently, National Public Radio (NPR) and ProPublica, a public-interest news group, conducted an investigation that found Army commanders routinely denied the Purple Heart to those soldiers who sustained concussions during enemy attacks.
In particular, the story follows a group of veterans-one of whom is a former high school honor student-who can no longer drive simple, familiar routes around their hometown or read a basic novel without feeling lost and confused as the result of a concussion sustained during battle.
Other veterans reported suffering from violent seizures and experiencing speech difficulties after sustaining concussions during attacks from enemy troops.
The armed forces themselves clearly classify these types of head injuries as worthy of receiving this distinguished award. In an official Army document from 2006, under "Examples of enemy-related injuries that clearly justify award of the Purple Heart," the document includes "Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions."
There has been debate, however, among Army officials as to whether minor, potentially temporary effects of these concussions warrant the awarding of the Purple Heart.
Much of this debate stems from a policy order in 2008 from the medical commander in Iraq instructing his doctors to not discuss the award with those suffering from concussions.
When the Army's second in command, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, was asked about this order, he indicated he was not aware of the order and further confirmed that these injuries merit the award without question.
There should be no debate regarding the seriousness of these injuries and their merit for receiving one of our military's highest honors.
When soldiers are injured in battle, the Army should recognize that by providing them with this medal regardless of the type of injury sustained. It's as simple as that.
I hope our military's commanders will reassess their procedures for awarding this medal. Our soldiers put their lives on the line to defend our country, our communities and our families. It is only right that we recognize and honor their sacrifices.
Every soldier makes a sacrifice and all soldiers who are injured should be recognized. By ensuring that all of the military's commanders are on the same page in regards to Purple Hearts for concussion victims, we can be confident that our troops are being honored in the correct and deserving manner.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE LINDA BOLON,
First Ohio House District
South Range fans show a display of sportsmanship
To the editor:
In reference to Columbiana-South Range Football game.
Now days you read so many negative things in sports. Friday's game the crowd was large and the atmosphere was like a playoff game. If you are a sports fan and don't care who wins or loses, this would have been the game for you to have watched.
I have been involved in high school sports for the last 40 years, as a basketball official and the last 25 years as a high school football coach. Something happened after the game that I have never had happen to me or our team in all those years ... The game was close, we lost 33-32.
At South Range when the team leaves the field you exit by way of a ramp. The South Range team left first and all of their fans, parents, and students lined the ramp and were cheering their victory as they came off the field.
Much to my surprise these people did not leave but waited for the Clipper team to leave and cheered us, high fived, shook our hands and told us what a great game we played. I turned to Coach Pearl and said: "Can you believe this, this is for us." This was something that I never expected from an opposing teams' fans, you will never know how good it felt to me.
What a class act the fans from South Range are. I would like to personally thank them for the sportsmanship that they showed to the team and coaches from Columbiana.
Thanks again to the fans from South Range.
Defense coordinator, Columbiana Clippers
Upset with handling of proposed cemetery chapel
To the editor:
Woodsdale's Cemetery Chapel-shot down
At a joint meeting of Hanover and Butler Township trustees held on Aug. 16, a group of citizens desiring to raise funds to build a chapel at the Woodsdale Cemetery were not even recognized when the Hanover Township trustees railroaded the meeting by moving as the first order of business to not permit a chapel to be built and further moving after a vote to adjourn the meeting. No input from the visitors was even acknowledged for discussion. This meeting was recorded and is available for you to see for yourself at www.westernreservenews.com.
Over the last few months some residents of Butler Township with family interred at the cemetery have been attending Butler and Hanover Township meetings to get permission to pursue a dream of building a chapel at the Woodsdale Cemetery. The cemetery is jointly managed by both township boards but the cemetery itself lies within Hanover Township.
Since this would be built with private funds why should the cemetery boards object?
Building a chapel would make the cemetery more attractive and when funerals are held give the families a place to have a final farewell in all kinds of weather. It seems that Hanover Township trustees do not want to accept the gift of improvements. Are these elected officials acting in the best interest of the voters they were elected to represent?
After making this motion Ferg Wilson, Hanover Township trustee, stated "We are going to kill this right now because I'm tired of people jumping me about it." Is an elected official's job not to listen to the people? If a committee is willing to work to accomplish this project wherein lies an objection?
At the Guilford Lake Civic Club meeting, representatives of the chapel promoters went to explain the project and get an opinion from this group: Mr. Wilson was also in attendance at that meeting and after the meeting he told the representative, witnessed by a supportive Butler Township trustee, that if the group could get the money he would get the Hanover Township trustees to support the project and shook hands. I guess hand shakes don't mean what they used to at least not for Mr. Wilson.
Those who read this letter and feel that this honest, philanthropic committee has been unfairly treated and would like to see them be able to go forth with this improvement please contact one of the following opposing trustees: Butler: Homer Althouse; Hanoverton: Ferg Wilson, Buck Ridgeway, Bob Manful.
It's not easy being the mayor or a city official
To the editor:
Terrible mayor and city officials? ... Maybe it just isn't easy?
I've been reading how upset everyone is with Salem's elected officials and wonder if it just might be that small cities are at the bottom of the "food chain." These folks are probably trying to deal with an economy that is terrible at best. Maybe they are not so bad, it may be that the hole is so deep that they can't get out.
Think back to 1960 when we could drive down Ellsworth and see a busy Youngstown Kitchens/Mullins, E.W. Bliss, Salem Tool, Deming, and Eljer. Maybe the answer is that everyone look see what was then ok and cut back to that level of services and taxes.
Maybe then new business would want to come to Salem. Maybe companies would not shut down or move. Maybe everyone would be happier. All I can say is to give these some thought ... because, these people are not really bad people, it just isn't easy!
Cape Coral, Fla.
Formerly of Salem
Unhappy with changes at the senior park
To the editor:
What is a senior park?
Is it good Christians and good neighbors? Is it a place with nice lawns, birds, a clean, and neat club house, lovely trees and people that enjoy and care about each other? Or if they don't like what the neighbors do, they remember, do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Where a son of one of the residents has a car accident and the neighbors bring in food, tapes and magazines and take up a collection to pay his insurance for three months.
Or is it a place if some of the neighbors decide to have a parade with all the park invited with antique tractors, cars, motorcycles and calliope, plus free food that someone calls the police.
Someone rides a golf cart on the lawn out front (golf carts are ridden on golf courses that's what they're made for), someone complains.
A young child rides his bicycle to see his grandma, someone complains. The child was told they can no longer ride their bicycle in the park. These are city streets, anyone can ride on them. If this was your grandchild how would you feel?
You can't put leaves on the front lawn anymore, but they plant six trees in the same space that will shed leaves.
Someone's porch isn't as neat as someone thinks it should be so the ill resident is harassed.
A group buys long tables with the permission of the owner so wheelchairs and walkers can fit better, and so the round ones can be kept nice for special things. Someone wants the tables gone because it wasn't their idea, so instead of pot luck with 35 or more attending, it becomes two pot lucks, then none.
A deserted child is left at grandma's, has been there six years, never bothered anyone now grandma will be evicted if the child isn't gone who is now 17 years old.
We have been here 14 years, Susanys and the new owners have said every rule has an exception.
Dogs have bitten people.We still allow dogs.
When we moved in, a 19-year old was taking care of her grandma in another family. A daughter then a son came to take care of their mother. These are exceptions to the rules.
Police have been called for a spouse's argument. But an 18-year-old now fighting for our country could not live here for two months.
Dogs have bitten people but we still have dogs.
Because we are seniors do we have nothing better to do than cause heartache for others? If you are unhappy, go volunteer at a veterans home, hospital or nursing home and see how blessed you are.
If you were in charge how would you handle these misdeeds, without causing distress. Most of our residents are super. If I have caused a tear to fall by thoughtless word or deed forgive me. Replace our hate with real love. Love is a magic cure. So we all may endure.
Let us do and say something good each day. We have many new residents, let's show them how the park used to be when most joined in and the ones who didn't want to, did their own thing without any animosity.
Thankful for sponsors of Salem senior FB banners
To the editor:
Flying proudly once again at Reilly Stadium during home football games are banners of the 2010-11 Salem senior varsity football players. On behalf of these fine young men, we would like to thank the following individuals for their generous sponsorship:
Butech Bliss, A Friend of Salem Football, Sam and Julie Johnson, Charlie and Kathleen Presley, Art and Kathleen Schuster, The Image Works (Mr. Nick Cool).
Having the banners ready in time for our first home game against West Branch was wonderful! It was an exciting game and Quaker pride is alive in Salem!
We would also like to thank Mr. Bill Eisel for guiding our endeavor and becoming a good friend over the last few years. Special thanks also to Mr. Nick Cool of The Image Works. He generously donated his time to creating the banners as well as taking the boys' pictures, answering our hundreds of phone calls, emails, etc. His work is absolutely beautiful!
Please come support these hardworking boys and enjoy some great Salem football this season. Go Quakers!
Senior player parents,
Urges support for 10-year renewal levy
To the editor:
A 1.3 mill, 10-year-renewal levy for the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board will appear on the November ballot. Without the renewal, more cuts to services will happen.
More people will fall through the cracks. Agencies won't be able to hire more staff to provide services. Children with emotional problems at home or school may not get the help they need. And adults suffering from depression and other mental illnesses will go untreated.
The top mental health issues for children in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are anxiety disorders, severe depression, bipolar disorder, AD/HD, learning disorders, conduct disorder, eating disorders, autism and schizophrenia, all very much in the public's awareness.
The National Institute of Mental Health advises that ".. .the brain undergoes major changes from birth to adulthood and that young people who experiment with substances are at higher risk of abuse because their brains are not fully developed ... Individuals with mental illnesses have an increased risk of substance abuse because they may use substances to self-medicate..."
Anyone who has been wakened in the middle of the night by an episode of domestic violence somewhere in their neighborhood can understand the need for the services provided to help individuals, families and communities to have good health and well being.
In Columbiana County, services are provided by the Counseling Center of Columbiana County, Family Recovery Center, Help Hotline Crisis Services Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness, Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic and Shining Reflections. These agencies provide services such as a 24-hour crisis hotline for all county residents, access to mental health and recovery services for people of all ages who otherwise could not afford it, treatment for children dealing with emotional problems, adults who are fearful, depressed or otherwise in need of help for mental health or substance abuse problems, detoxification services and access to residential treatment, peer support and opportunities to work and support to families of persons with mental illness. These are programs that work to the good of our communities and have already served many residents in the past.
The levy is expected to generate about $1,609,400 annually.
ELOISE V. TRAINA,
Family Recovery Center
Accuses Rep. Wilson of dereliction of duty
To the editor:
Our country was founded as a Republic but operates as a Democratic Republic which allows rule by majority. Therefore our sovereignty resides in the people entitled to vote for officers to represent them in governing. Each state is divided into districts which elects a representative acting in behalf of the constituents in that district.
The number of representatives are apportioned by population. All representatives have the power to act as an agent or delegate for their district which portrays and invokes the will of the majority. Our area is part of the Sixth District of Ohio and our representative to congress is Charles Wilson. It is Mr. Wilson's responsibility to carry the majority will of our district and to cast his vote in our behalf.
Unfortunately this did not occur on the newly-adopted health care bill when he voted against the majority will of his people. Every poll in the country before and after the vote indicated a rejection of government-controlled health care.
Charles Wilson is guilty of dereliction of duty by going against the majority will of his people.
The infamous midnight vote on Christmas Eve behind closed doors which forced the very unpopular health care bill into law was supported by Representative Charles Wilson. He helped pass a bill he did not read and nobody understands. He refused to state his position before the vote and after he supported it he rationalized his defense of his actions. He failed to conduct open town hall meetings to allow his people to express their views.
He hid behind teleconferences which screened phone calls and allowed nebulous pretentious answers. Questioned by E-mail as to why he supports expanding the deficit and gutting Medicare was met with form letters of meaningless rhetoric.
He refuses to debate his opponent thus denying his people an open forum to compare his position of governance with an opposing view.
This is not a referendum on Charlie Wilson, it is a referendum on our freedom to have the majority vote of our people represented in Congress.
This is not a personal attack or a political endorsement, it is merely a desire to seek a representative who will act responsibly commensurate with his duty. Mr. Wilson got his start with a heavy infusion of outside money to drive his rare write-in election.
The ill effects of too much outside assistance results in obligatory payback which betrays responsibility in order to satisfy the sponsor. This is not a political party criticism, all representatives are liable to the majority will of the people and not their party.
Wilson's subjective vote to force a Health Care Bill under penalty of fine or imprisonment is not the objective vote he was obligated to cast. For this and all the aforementioned reasons, Charlie Wilson should not be re-elected.