An answer to the question “What will it take to hire a vet?” (Opinion Exchange, March 16) should include a list of some things the vet should do as a person who is in the process of changing careers.

1) Prepare a résumé. A fully trained military professional should have an extensive record of the training, job descriptions, promotions, certificates and awards earned while on active duty. Letters of recommendation from superiors and supervisors should be included. Ideally, the mustering-out process should mandate a class to introduce résumé writing and produce a résumé that the veteran can reproduce and submit when seeking a position.

2) Show evidence of post-high-school education earned while in the military under the various programs offered for college-level learning.

3) Present a career plan that includes taking advantage of post-military schooling as offered under the current version of the GI Bill.

Nick Swaggert, the author of the March 16 article, has done a fine job of expressing his frustration with what prospective employers don’t have and what mandating hiring might do or not do, but unless the job applicant shows some initiative, pride and proof of many accomplishments, he/she might just as well fall back on the old guilt trip: “I’m a vet; look at what I’ve done for you; give me a job.”

Dennis E. Erickson, Mound


Initiative is favored, but by whom is in dispute

I was astonished to read about Carver city leaders’ “stern message” to residents objecting to proposals for the forced building of low-income housing in their communities (Met Council’s housing plan draws ill will,” March 16). Low-income housing in “one of America’s wealthiest counties”? When, in the history of the human race, did coffee servers and cashiers get to live among the wealthy? The desire to force it to be so reflects a socialist mentality and an utter lack of realism and historical perspective.

I’ve worked all my life and can’t afford to live among the wealthy. Why are unskilled entry-level workers entitled to do so? Yes, we’ve always had unskilled service workers in our society. They historically lived in shabby cheap rentals and rode the bus to work if it was too far to walk. Seventy years ago, a miracle of social mobility was devised by a grateful nation — the GI Bill. That enabled ordinary people to buy a private home and attend college — dreams that were previously well beyond normal means. They paid the price by serving in the military and leapt beyond the lives of their parents by doing so. This option is still available. Let’s not cheapen their sacrifice and achievements by giving it away to those unwilling to take initiative in their own lives.

Thomas Rice, Ham Lake

• • •

To the people in Carver who think affordable housing will ruin your “quaint” little town: My mother grew up in a foster home in Carver from 1927 to 1942. After my parents married and started their family, my siblings and I spent a great deal of time in Carver visiting her foster family. It was a nice little river town. It stopped being unique when the housing developments came in. Everyone deserves an affordable place to live. The town welcomed you; now it’s your turn to step up.

Kathy Ferrier, Prior Lake

• • •

Should the entire $1.9 billion state surplus be committed for affordable housing, as expressed by a March 14 letter writer, there still would not be enough to provide every family in Minnesota on the brink of homelessness a stable, decent home. However, just a few percentage points of the surplus going to housing would be a big step in the right direction. Now, the Legislature allocates less than one half of 1 percent of state appropriations to augment the state’s supply of affordable housing (annually about $50 million), an amount far short of what is needed to address family homelessness.

Chip Halbach, St. Paul

The writer is director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership.



You wish you didn’t have to go to Hudson, and Hudson agrees

Before last Sunday’s symbolic caravan to Hudson to buy liquor (“Liquor activists make Sunday beer run to Wisconsin,” March 16), Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound, stated: “I am tired of sending our tax revenue and our commerce every Sunday to Wisconsin.” Well, as a longtime citizen of Hudson, let me say I am tired of Minnesota sending its liquor buyers to Hudson every Sunday. Our quiet town doesn’t need your citizens desperately driving 30 miles to Hudson for alcohol on Sunday because they drank their whole supply on Saturday and can’t wait until Monday for more. Their open displays of intoxication (public urination is a favorite), erratic driving, and disrespect for our citizens and town are unwelcome. Should I even bother to mention the shootings in the liquor-store parking lots? We’ve had enough. The Hudson liquor-store owners will lose some business, but it will be a welcome respite for Hudson citizens and our police force. Hurry up, Minnesota! Legalize Sunday liquor sales already!

Robert Muchlinski, Hudson, Wis.



Those who favor it exercise the human quality of empathy

A March 17 letter writer (“Be wary of where elephant activists would lead us”) has a major misconception about those who care about animal welfare and the meaning of the word anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism is what they do to cars and toys in animated films. Recognizing an animal’s ability to feel pain, pleasure, happiness and sadness is not anthropomorphism; it is science. Caring about those feelings is not “romanticization”; it is compassion.

David Johnson, Maple Grove

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Richard Greelis’ March 17 counterpoint “Circuses aren’t even the half of it for elephants” says “two things need to happen in China: an educational campaign and a law banning the import of ivory to China.” My organization, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the same one he quotes in his piece, has recently launched a multiplatform campaign called “Give Peace to Elephants; Say No to Ivory.” More than a dozen Chinese celebrities and key opinion leaders, from pop stars to business tycoons, have joined our efforts to stigmatize ivory consumption in China and ultimately reduce demand for dead elephants’ teeth. In a variety of public-service announcements (PSAs), these opinion leaders are calling on individual consumers to reject ivory products, the government to ban ivory trade and artists to stop carving ivory. The campaign’s PSAs appear both outdoors and indoors, online and offline, and are made possible by support from more than a dozen Chinese corporations and media agencies. Americans may view the entire slate of video PSAs on the IFAW China YouTube channel. We are making headway.

Grace Ge Gabriel, Yarmouth Port, Mass.