RAVES: Many thanks to Sarah Miller and the Tyler Morning Telegraph for the pictures and story about the many patriots in our East Texas area who give so much of their time, energy and resources in support of our East Texas military men and women. I have only a few things to add to the story.
First, as the founder and coordinator of Welcome Home Soldiers and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and the Adopt-A-Box volunteers, I want everyone to understand that without the caring, dedicated, and patriotic volunteers who are a part of each of these endeavors, there would not be any of the outstanding support for the military men and women of East Texas.
Second, I hope that everyone understands that while Welcome Home Soldiers and Adopt-A-Box are grassroots, local organizations, the Patriot Guard Riders is a national organization which leads us all with their examples of dedication and commitment to showing honor and respect for all of our military, past and present, and who travel many miles and spend many long, hot and cold hours doing just that.
Third, Welcome Home Soldiers and Adopt-A-Box would not have grown into the successful organizations they are without the support and generosity of the Tyler and Longview business communities and individuals who have been so gracious and generous in their support of what we are doing for the military. We are also indebted to the Rose Capital Chapter of Military Officers Association of America for their assistance, participation and support.
I would also like to add that Welcome Home Soldiers is available to welcome any military personnel who come into our Tyler/Longview area for any reason and from anywhere in the world. We depend on family contacts to let us know when any military man or woman is coming home to our area, and I can always be reached at email@example.com or 903-279-7301 or 903-707-2201 to receive information about the upcoming arrival of a military person or for anyone who would like to volunteer to help us welcome our East Texas military heroes. To contact Adopt-A-Box, Polly Morman can be reached at 903-539-1072, and either one of us can give you contact information for the Patriot Guard Riders.
THANK YOU TYLER PD
RAVES: I want to sincerely thank Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle and Lieutenant David Long for their support on Independence Day and the days leading up to our Independence Day Open Carry Celebration. Chief Swindle commissioned Lieutenant Long to reach out to us prior to our event, expressing their full support of our legal activity and helped us ensure a safe and legal celebration. On the day of the march Lieutenant Long and his officers acted like true gentlemen and were fine examples of public servants in law enforcement.
The entire department should be commended for their fine work and honoring their oath of office. While I am sure there was a lot of public pressure to prevent or alter our march, Chief Swindle through Lieutenant Long and the rest of the Tyler Police Department did as they should and protected the God-given and constitutionally protected rights of the minority. In a nation with laws that are rapidly moving away from the God-granted rights of the individual and toward the frivolous fears and desires of the majority, this was refreshing and welcomed reaction from T.P.D. Our nation and our state would be a better place if more public servants recognized and honored their oaths to uphold the Constitution and protect the individual, even in the face of public pressure from the majority, as Chief Swindle, Lieutenant Long and all of T.P.D. have done. We are fortunate to have such fine public servants serving us.
Open Carry March
ROSES: The Knollwood neighborhood Fourth of July parade makes a nice newspaper story every year. Thanks for repeated coverage.
J. L. Ray
RANT: I continue to be surprised at how many people refer to Alzheimer's as "Al-timers," "Old-timers" or "Ole-timers." I was truly appalled recently when a local news reporter on TV did a story on Alzheimer's and repeatedly referred to it as "Al-timers." Don't know how that got past the editing room. In any event, anyone whose lives have been sadly touched by Alzheimer's disease knows the correct spelling and pronunciation. It would be great if everyone could make note of this for future reference and stop the incorrect and/or casual reference to Alzheimer's disease.
ROSES: I commend the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum of Tyler and the Commemorative Air Force for preserving the legacy of military aviation in America by staging the "Thunder Over Cedar Creek Air Show." The staging area for this event was Tyler's Pounds Regional Airport where more than 30 airplanes, including B-17 and B-25 bombers, were on display to the public. Some planes offered rides.
My wife Marellyn and I spent most of Saturday at Pounds viewing the display of the planes. Although I have flown many times, I am always awestruck watching planes take off and land. Thoughts kept coming to mind regarding the sacrifice made by young men and women who served in the military protecting our freedom from those who would take it away.
One such person was my brother, Will A. Hadden Jr., who flew 50 combat missions over Europe, was shot down once, but he and his crew survived. When he died here in Tyler in 2008, I spoke at his memorial service. I am afraid that present and future generations will too soon forget the courage shown and sacrifices made by those who gave so much.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The words Judge Hadden spoke at the memorial service for his brother on Dec. 5, 2008 are available on-line at tyler paper.com.