2018-06-09 / Viewpoints


Healing Waters

Dear editor:

Trout Unlimited’s Healing Waters Fly Fishing Project was kind enough to invite me as a participant to this year’s retreat in Potter County.

For me and two other veterans of “that crazy Asian war,” this welcome was unexpected, overwhelming and heartwarming. When we came home, the response was quite the op­posite and I will leave it at that.

This event started at Dick’s Diner in Ceres, N.Y., for a brunch that was donated by an anonymous patron. We were met by a dozen motorcycles dressed out in American flags to lead the caravan to our lodging site.

Falling in behind the escort and forming a parade with a police escort, each of our cars displayed an American Flag on each side.

At Oswayo Valley School District, the whole student body, as well as the admin­istration and teachers, shook our hands and thanked us for our service.

All along the way, the road was lined with adults and children waving flags and welcom­ing us home. Entering Coudersport, dozens of people waved flags and even the buildings were flying the flag. It was like an Indepen­dence Day parade. We had a similar reception at the Sweden Valley Manor parking area and on the final leg of our journey through Austin.

At the First Fork Lodge, we were greeted with open arms and expressions of apprecia­tion from our hosts, the members of God’s Country Chapter, Trout Unlimited.

At one time, I was a Project Healing Waters volunteer. Agent Orange finally caught up with me and I became a participant. We share camaraderie that only someone who has been there and done that can understand. This is part of the healing process.

Without Project Healing Waters, I would have never filled in a piece of myself that has been missing for 47 years. Thanks to all of you responsible for this. I will remember this forever.

Jay Breneman
U.S. Coast Guard, 1968-71
Chester County

Guns For All?

Dear editor:

Due to the recent shootings in the news, the gun control debate has been a very hot topic.

We live in a very right-leaning area, and I have seen many friends and family get in heated debates on what should be done.

I think it’s important to get one thing straight -- Democrats are not trying to repeal the Second Amendment. We do not want to take all of your guns. We just are so tired of being afraid of leaving our house and not coming back.

Many Democrats in this region of the state grew up with loved ones who hunt or hunt themselves. The issue is not the gun itself; it is who we allow to have a gun as a country.

We understand that it is your right as an American to own a gun. Unfortunately, it is also the right of many mentally ill people with vile intentions.

I often hear the argument, “Well I won’t hurt anyone with a gun. Why punish a group for a few peoples’ actions?”

To that rebuttal, I have one question -- would you rather be holding your child or an assault rifle at the end of the day?

Patricia Somma

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