A crying need
I am a Vietnam veteran who made two trips to 'Nam. I am very concerned about our Iraq/ Afghanistan veterans who feel the need to kill themselves. Eleven a day are doing so. I urge all readers to write, call or yell at your congressional members until something is done to correct this.
KEITH NIELSON, USMC/Seabee, retired, Shelley
State lawmakers' hubris keeps growing
There is nothing to see here, please keep moving about your business:
Idaho lawmakers asked for a parking garage and the city turned them down, so they created a bill exempting them from having to even ask the city for permission.
They crammed education reform down our throats after a statewide outcry of disapproval and 97 percent of testimony speaking against it at the education committee. The voters repealed it and won, so they reworded the bills and introduced them again.
Then to assure they don't get trumped by the citizens of Idaho again, they created a bill changing referendum rules to make it harder to pass.
Next year they will put a sign on their clubhouse: "No girls allowed."
PAT MCALLISTER, Boise
The gift of life
Eighteen people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. April is Donate Life month, and as a donor mom, I ask Idahoans to take a moment and read my story.
It begins with my son, Rocky, and my greatest fear. A motorcycle accident left him brain-dead. My son lived every day to its fullest. When he became a teenager, he found his love in life: motocross and desert racing. He was happiest flying in the air on two wheels or racing for the finish. Rocky was always up for an adventure; you just had to ask.
Rocky was able to give the gift of life-saving organs to seven people, and two people the gift of sight. Rocky was always about helping the underdog, so in allowing him to become a donor, he was able to help out one last time, and leave behind a wonderful legacy for his daughter, Monique. We could not change that fateful day for my son, but we were able to allow him to change that day for several others. Take the time to have this conversation with your family and "donate the gift of life."
KELLY DUREN, donor mom, Meridian
Apologists rely on emotion, skip numbers
Obama apologists are a funny lot. A recent letter to the editor by one such apologist suggests that columnist George Will distorts the truth with his statement, "If the workforce participation rate were as high as it was when Barack Obama was first inaugurated, the (current) unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent." The apologist then goes on to assert that by virtue of the fact that the current unemployment rate is less than 8 percent, all is well, further stating that Mr. Will's statement is "so convoluted it confounds the logical mind." As is often the case with Obama apologists, it's in fact their emotional defense of Obama that confounds logic.
The many workers who completely exhausted their unemployment benefits during Obama's first term, but have yet to find work, are no longer considered part of the workforce, and thus are not factored into the current unemployment equation.
A far better indicator of the effect of Obama's policies on the working class is the number of new jobs having been created, a number far less optimistic than his supporters care to acknowledge.
JAMES M. BROWN, Meridian
Ask about options; make your own choices
In my family medicine practice it was common to see patients who would say, "I know I need a colonoscopy, but I've been putting it off because I hear it's horrible." Health decisions are some of the most important you'll ever make, and the concept of shared decision making helps sort through choices.
March is Shared Decision Making month, and it's a good time to learn more about it. Shared decision making helps you decide among health care options based on medical evidence and your own values and preferences. Don't overlook your own wishes when it comes to your care.
In the case of the patients who asked about colon cancer, a colonoscopy is the best screening tool, but it's not the only option. It's important to do some kind of screening, whether it's a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy (a less invasive version of a colonoscopy), fecal occult blood testing (a test that looks for blood in stool) or a combination of the last two.
As you look at your own health decisions, ask your physician about your options. And once you have information, work with your doctor to decide what's right for you.
MARTY GABICA, M.D., chief medical officer, Healthwise, Boise