Death is just the end of the dying that began long ago.
I ran into a fellow at the VA hospital I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years (“Higher health risk with PTSD,” Aug. 20). Sean is from Cork, Ireland, and ended up fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. I had thought Sean had bought the farm, too. But there he was. He had a walker because, he said, his legs were failing. He said he almost died a few times in the hospital the past few years but was still hanging in there. I feel like we are members of some sort of Last Man Club or something. Sean and I, along with a lot of other guys, were involved in the first PTSD programs at the Minneapolis VA. I don’t think there are many left. Sean says he has helped bury a lot of fellow Vietnam vets over the past decade. Now he is trying to take care of himself.
Some of us just lost our souls over there and were never able to find them again. I’ve been telling my doctor that I know exactly the moment it left me. It’s hard to find a cure for something so difficult to understand.
Timothy Michael Connelly, Richfield
As in Minneapolis, racism’s effects linger
Bravo, Mike Meyers, for a wonderful explanation of how the oppression of minorities happened and undeniably undermines all of our lives (“What it was like to grow up in Ferguson,” Aug. 20). I remember the same response when an African-American boy from North High in Minneapolis telephoned me in 1957. My dad answered the phone and asked me if he was black. Dad never said much, but on that day I was told never to befriend this boy again. That’s the way it was. My old neighborhood near the Jordan area of working class whites is crime-ridden today. We did this, one incremental step at a time.
Dianne Corder, Eden Prairie
We should be grateful this training occurs
I fully support the military training exercises (“Low-flying helicopters unnerving to civilians,” Readers Write, Aug. 20), because the young men and women of today’s military deserve the best possible exposure to potential conflict arenas. They won’t be in the metro area for long, but they may be back as training evolves and Army personnel turn over.
Late one night after 9/11, I observed the only planes in the sky engaged in training exercises over Minneapolis. I recognized the fighter jet flight pattern from my Vietnam experience.
Believe me, they need and deserve this training.
Bruce A. Lundeen, Minneapolis
• • •
Boy, I wish the military aircraft buzzing the Twin Cities would come to my area — but we don’t have tall buildings where I’m from. The brave men and women practicing their profession at night ought to be commended and thanked for their willingness to fly into some hostile situation at the drop of a hat carrying out the mission of the United States. Some of these same people will bleed for sure and some even die for their country. Yet there have been some people who are terrified of them flying around, and who criticize our troops and their mission here. Well, I say button your lip. Let the pilots and all involved practice when they need to and go about their business. God bless the pilots and the people who accompany them and those who maintain the aircraft. May they be the best we have, with the best equipment and training.
Those who decry the mission definitely don’t understand. The noise you are hearing is the sound of freedom, you lucky bums.
Loren Julin, Shevlin, Minn.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.