I was homeless because I lost my job and, ultimately, my apartment because I couldn’t pay my rent. I spent the past seven months living with my parents off and on, sleeping in my car, and staying with friends while looking for work. It’s been tough. I have a great deal of empathy towards those individuals I’ve met while volunteering at both Helping Hands and the SOS shelter who are living on the streets.
Homelessness can happen to anybody. I have two college degrees and until I became unemployed a great life. As someone said, everyone is one paycheck away from being homeless. Not all homeless people are alcoholics or drug addicts.
Those who tire of reading stories about the homeless should walk in their shoes sometime. I never thought I would ever be in that situation, but it happened to me. One curve ball and your life can crumble to dust around you. It’s a hard life. Don’t be too quick to judge. It may and could happen to you.
The homeless are invisible. The person next to you may be homeless. People are too quick to judge someone who is homeless. It’s not a lifestyle one chooses.
I read the column, “Our G.I.s earn enough” [a Congressional Budget Office editorial piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise for service members, saying a 13 percent wage increase was more than they deserve] and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I’m wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because it disappears before it reaches my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement, I make $874.20 per month, after taxes. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual take-home of $10,490.40.
I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network and am involved with infrastructure segments. A quick check under jobs for network technicians in the Washington, D.C., area reveals a position in my career field, amazingly, does not pay $10,490.40 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum.
Given the tenor of the column, I would assume the writer never had the pleasure of serving the country in the armed forces. I suggest that she join a group of deploying soldiers headed for Afghanistan. As the group prepares to board the plane, she should note the spouses and children who are saying goodbye to their loved ones. Note that several families are still unsure of how they’ll make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone — obviously they’ve been squandering their vast piles of cash from the government.
I disagree with most of the writer’s points. But tomorrow, from Kabul, I will defend to the death her right to say it. You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of First Amendment rights and every other right citizens cherish. Every day, soldiers worldwide ensure that writers can thumb their noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe.
A1C Michael Bragg Hill
Via Sharry Vickers
I’m writing in sympathy with Antonio R. Forte [see Letters to the Editor, “Pull over, vet”, Nov. 5]. Here was my experience with a cop in Sherman:
A month or so ago, as I passed the stop light on the north side of Sherman, I noticed a cop car to my right as I crossed the southbound intersection, returning from a trip up near Crystal Lake very late at night. Since I like to know where cops are when they are near me, I observed the cop turn my direction. Soon I noticed he was almost tailgating me. After about a mile of this, he crossed the center line behind me so his lights illuminated the driver sideview mirror, and he hung there for some time as I’m sure he was looking me over. I was beginning to think I should pull over, stop and let him get on by. But his signal lights went on, so I pulled over.
He came to my window and asked me if I was drinking. I said, “Yes, I’m drinking coffee.” He then said he had to give me a ticket for changing lanes too much. I protested, saying I’d changed no lanes. He then said I’d been on the white line on the outside of the lane. He gave me a warning ticket!
I regard that cop as a crackpot and he is no asset to Sherman. He should be dismissed from the force.
Fred Dietz, Sr.