From Cleveburg to C-bus: Someone I work with in Cleveland sent me your article ["Discarded Heroes," January 18]. This was a great story about these guys, and it brought the story of the war closer to me than any other article I have read. Like my colleague in Cleveland, I am sending it to my friends, because it's an important story.
Sometimes you get jaded reading about the war, and 2,300 casualties feel no different from 2,200 -- but that's not true. The lives of those coming back are being destroyed. Articles like yours reach outside these people's everyday lives and affect those of us who have no clue about their daily travails.
Glad to know you are doing this and that I can read it for free -- even here in the C-bus. Great work!!
Been there, done that, got the flak jacket: I am a 23-year-old army vet. I just read your article on the discarded soldier. I deployed to Iraq twice. I was an 88 Mike (truck driver). I have been up and down the Iraqi roads enough to know the dangers out there, but it only affects me a little in the civilian world. I tend to have anger issues where I may be eager to fight.
I have found the easiest way to adjust to being back is to talk about some of the things I saw and experienced. Some of the stuff over there can traumatize you if you don't look for help. The soldier in your article might benefit from talking to someone who was over there, rather than someone who got their info from the media, which blows the minor shit up but doesn't get the whole picture. I mostly talk to my father, who served in Vietnam as a Navy Seal. He is the best one to understand what I've been through.
An offer they can't refuse: This is an excellent article. You do justice to the men and women returning from Iraq. A dear friend of mine has a son who just arrived back from a year in Iraq, and I know her greatest fear was that he would not return at all. We discussed how he might come back scarred in ways that are not on the body, just as the men in your story did. However, as a massotherapist, I know that our experiences are stored not only in our minds and psyches, but also in our bodies.
If someone could work on the bodies of these returning soldiers as they wait for the V.A. to give them what they need and are entitled to, they would begin to heal. I am volunteering to offer that service to these two men. I would love to give Clasen and Gaytan the benefit of bodywork. They need it so much, and I know they can't pay for it; I'd like to offer this therapy to them as a service to those who have served our country.
Thank you for tellin' it like it is. Reading your story was infuriating, exasperating, and heartbreaking. The Army, the V.A., the government are all so huge, full of a zillion pieces of paper and red tape.
Diane Horton, L.M.T.
Talkin' trailer trash: How sad for this guy ["The Prisoner and the Millionaire," January 11]. It's pretty clear the case was all a bunch of lies and greed. The retired detective who was quoted at the end of the piece is a senile old dumbass. Randy contradicted himself while maintaining his innocence. The detective said they all do that, but also said that Randy admitted to it. So which is it, detective -- denial or admittance? It's all a bunch of B.S. Being a survivor of molestation, I say that Misty's trailer-trash butt is right where she belongs -- living like white trash!
St. Paul, Minnesota
Bob's On It
Speaking of lies and greed: I have written to Bob Taft many times about the fraud that takes place within the mortgage industry by unethical brokers ["All the President's Men," October 19]. I have contacted Taft's office by phone as well. I was told by one of Bob Taft's assistants that my issues concerning this matter would be passed along to Taft during his weekly meetings.
Nothing is being done to protect consumers in Ohio. Taft mentioned a task force using the funds that mortgage brokers pay to the state to help stop this fraud. Where is it, Bob? The only comment I have received from your office is "Bob Taft is working on this problem."
Stop this fraud!
Which Comes First?
The woman or the egg: Regarding abortion: Mr. Pumphrey [Letters, January 11] had one thing right -- most people have a selective respect for human life, and rightly so. A fertilized egg, or zygote, is human life all right, but it's invisible to the naked eye. The life of a zygote is insignificant compared to the life of a mother; but if you abort a zygote, according to Pumphrey, you are slaying an unborn child, are disrespectful of human beings, and are not truly civilized.
Once that sperm gets inside that egg, forget the physical and psychic burden of carrying an unwanted child for nine months. Forget the dangers of childbirth. This is zygotomania, not the careful weighing of opposing interests that is required when dealing with the complexity of human affairs.
Dissing the Dead
Guess you hadda be there: What idiot decided to let somebody who claims to "hate the Dead" write the new boxed-set review ["Dead Like Me," January 11]? Not that there was any sort of critical review. That's the last time I read anything from Scene.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina