Does the nature of the mission impact the veteran after returning home? Letters
Nov. 27 — To the Editor:
I am not a combat veteran, so this letter is more of a question rather than comment. The article (Veteran mental healt: 'There is help, there is hope") doesn't consider if the very nature of the missions (war was never declared, so these weren't "wars" in the strictest sense) in Iraq and Afghanistan contribute to veterans problems. World War II was pretty obvious in its nature. We were attacked, and the enemy was plainly known. Korea and Vietnam get more nebulous. War wasn't declared, and the reasons for being there were never really "sold" to America. The missions in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to me even more nebulous. There were no real uniformed enemy, no formal government to fight, no front lines of combat. Just action against a shadow enemy. And then the missions just seemed to disappear from the public mind.
So the question for actual combat veterans: Does the nature of the mission impact the veteran after returning home, or is this a non-issue?
Editor's note: In comments that did not make the final edit of the story, Dr. Brett Rusch, executive director of the White River Junction VA hospital, said that the military is aware that "clarity of purpose" for soldiers in combat can be a protective measure to their mental health. Conversely, "A sense of unclear purpose is worrisome." On a related note he said: "Trauma may be inevitable in a war zone. But the aftereffects of it aren't necessarily so, depending on the protective elements in place."
Reports of world's demise greatly exaggerated
Nov. 25 — To the Editor:
In the Thanksgiving edition of Foster's Daily Democrat, an Associated Press article was published titled “How much has the climate changed already; Most warming has occurred since 1975, researchers say." These days, most people just take a glance at such a headline and move on to their internet shopping, assuming the information is accurate. But I ask who do we believe regarding global and climate change theories? Consider the following:
In 1967, when I was a freshman in high school, scientists from Stanford University, as published in the Los Angeles Times, predicted an unavoidable world famine by 1975 due to the increasing population.
In 1969, the same group from Stanford, as published in the New York Times, added pollution concerns and a dwindling food supply to their population theory noting “Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989."
In 1970, a scientist for Atmospheric Research, as published by The Boston Globe, predicted we would be facing a new ice age by 2000. Being an impressionable high school student, I started getting worried.
Again in 1970, as published in the Daily Redland Facts (Redlands, CA), the same earlier noted Stanford University scientist predicted “America subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980."
In 1971, I was entering my freshman year at the University of Wyoming. As published in the Washington Post an article quoted NASA and Columbia University stating that a new ice age was coming.
In 1972, in a letter sent to then President Nixon from the Department of Geological Services at Brown University, he was warned of a new ice age coming by 2070 secondary to the “global deterioration of the climate” and noted some additional similar studies recorded by the Soviet Union.
In 1974, as noted by The Guardian, in a study published by Columbia University and European climatologists, they declared that “space satellites show a new ice age coming fast," noting snow and ice cover on the earth had increased by 12% from 1967-1972.
Again in 1974, as published in Time magazine, the article described the coming of “another ice age."
Changing gears, and also in 1974, a NASA study predicted a “great peril to human life” due to the thinning ozone layer.
In 1976, as noted in the New York Times Book Review of The Cooling, a book about global cooling, they quote the author as having his warnings land on deaf ears."
In 1978, as published by the New York Times, there is “no end in sight” to the 30-year cooling trend.
Changing gears again, but this time in 1980, as noted in various news sources, acid rain was killing life in lakes.
In 1990, as published by the Associated Press, studies showed there was no threat from acid rain.
The list goes on and on. Somewhere near the year 2000, and ever since then, the climate “experts” suddenly shifted focus away from cooling to warming, The polar ice cap was supposed to be gone by 2013, according to Vice President Al Gore. In 2009, according to then Prince Charles, there were only 96 months to save the world. A bold statement from a guy that doesn’t know how to write with a fountain pen (as noted on multiple video clips). The French government in 2014 stated “we have only 500 days to save the planet." Guess what, you and I are still here, along with the ice cap and the rest of the planet.
NH Executive Council puts ideology ahead of facts when making decisions
Nov. 28 — To the Editor:
If you are paying attention: the New Hampshire governor's Executive Council of five members (one Democrat and four Republicans) has defunded an afterschool sex education that requires parental permission. This is after they blocked funding for Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire because, with no evidence, they thought funds might be used for abortions.
When GOP members are in control of your reproductive rights, this is what you will get: Joe Kenney, Ted Gatsas, David Wheeler and Janet Stevens. My sympathy and appreciation to Cinde Warmington for being the only Democrat on this committee trying to use knowledge and readily available information to combat the ideology of these repressed public officials.
Next time: vote them out!
Somersworth Community Food Pantry grateful for support
Nov. 20 — To the Editor:
It was a cold day on Saturday the 19th of November, but that did not stop the volunteers at theCommunity Food Pantry located at 176 West High St. in Somersworth from preparing todistribute Thanksgiving baskets to many families in need. 276 families received Thanksgivingbaskets on Saturday and another 90 will receive their baskets on Monday evening. The basketsincluded a turkey, four types of vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, apples, onions,potatoes, and brownies.
The food pantry has become exceedingly busy due to the economic conditions in the country.On an average month, the pantry has 359 family visits consisting of approximately 900individuals. People who are using the food pantry include families with children ranging in sizefrom 3 to 12 people, single individuals, seniors and those who are experiencing homelessness.The pantry serves any family in need from any town on a once-a-week basis. Families visitingthe food pantry receive enough food to serve all members of their family for approximately 15days if they take everything the pantry has to offer.
The Community Food Pantry would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to manygroups and organizations who have so generously helped keep the shelves full. During the lastfew months we have received numerous food and monetary donations helping to feed familiesin need. Special thanks from the food pantry staff to all the following for their generosity andeffort in collecting food and household items:
The Strafford County Board of Realtors had a food drive and shared their collection withnumerous food pantries and meal sites, providing multiple boxes of food along with paper products, soap,shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant. We came back with a pickup truck full andthe back of our SUV full.
The Somersworth High School Athletic Department collected 1,244 pounds of food during afootball game on Friday, Oct. 29.
The Dover Scouts collected 544 pounds of food from area residents on Saturday, Nov. 12
Service Credit Union for their $1,000 gift card.
Town Fair Tire for their $2,000 monetary donation.
The city of Somersworth had a food drive and delivered several boxes of food to the pantry.The area churches have who collect food for the pantry each week throughout the year.
The Somersworth High School National Honor Society provided 20 Thanksgiving baskets for thepantry to give to area families.
Janetos Superette for providing the turkeys and produce at cost plus a $600 donation for the food pantry.
The pantry was started in 1990 as a combined effort of the churches in the three towns of Somersworth, Berwick and Rollinsford and Strafford County Community Action. It was the dream child of several people. Harriet Corson had distributed food as part of her work at Somersworth Community Action Program office. Rev. Mark Rideout had been giving out food to those people who came to the church in need. First Parish Church and Community Action were, originally, across the street from one another. Mark and Harriet decided it didn’t make sense to have two pantries in Somersworth, so they put their resources together to distribute the food from the church. Then, they decided to ask other churches to join in the effort, making it an ecumenical and community venture, staffed by volunteers from all the participating churches.
The pantry started out serving 25 families consisting of 43 adults and 35 children per month. Since that small beginning the pantry has grown substantially. It is now not affiliated with any single church but is a non-denominational nonprofit 501( C )(3) Organization.
In the first 10 months of 2021, the pantry served a total of 2,558 families for an average of 256 families per month. The total number of individuals served so far this year is 5,353 and the number of children served is 1,269. During the first ten months of this year the pantry has distributed approximately 145,000 pounds of food to families needing additional help. Since the pandemic began, the pantry has been serving families from any town as often as needed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The pantry is safe to use as clients entering the pantry must wear a face covering. Traffic in and out of the pantry is one way to help with social distancing. This protocol keeps both clients and pantry volunteers safe while still giving clients the ability to choose what groceries they want to take home.
Without the generous donations we receive throughout the year from area businesses, organizations, churches, schools, stores, and individuals it would not be possible for the pantry to distribute such a large amount of food to so many. We would also like to express special thanks to the following businesses who donate to the food pantry on a regular basis: Hannaford Supermarkets, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Panera Bread, and Pepperidge Farm all of whom donate food approaching it’s sell by date; Zach’s Farm in York Maine for the hundreds of pounds of produce received during the summer and early fall months; McDougal Orchards in Springvale, Maine and Smith Apple Orchards in Acton, Maine for the abundant donations of apples during September and October: and the many other local individuals and groups who donate from their own gardens. Special thanks to the Master Gardiners andSeacoast Eat Local who pick/provide all the produce the pantry receives from the farms and orchards listed above. These donations and all the volunteers who collect them and man the food pantry make it possible for so many area families in need to receive help in putting healthy food on their tables.
Thank you to all those who continually donate funds to help support the food pantry. Financial donations allow the pantry to purchase items which we do not receive either through USDA or the area grocery stores. Pantry staff are appreciative and gratified by the many donations we receive throughout the year and especially during the holiday season.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Does the nature of the mission impact the returning veteran? Letters