Think before we enter these conflicts

For the third time in my life I find myself watching the conclusion of another episode of “Vietnamization.” The first was in Vietnam, then Iraq, and now Afghanistan. Step one is to invade and turn the country into a free fire zone. Then we withdraw to our fortified bases and support our reluctant allies from the air. Finally, when it becomes clear, after billions of dollars and countless casualties, there is in fact no end to the tunnel, we pull out, and the puppet regimes collapse in a very short period of time to their more determined adversaries.

And then, without sparing a moment for analysis of what went wrong, or what we might have done differently, we return to celebrating our military prowess.

I am quietly optimistic that this will be the last version of Vietnamization I need to watch, but without any effort to reflect upon the past and draw lessons from it for the future, it is possible that we might very well find ourselves involved in another unwinnable war halfway around the world sooner rather than later.

Our veterans deserve more than flags and parades. We need to think long and hard before entering into these conflicts.

I offer this in honor of my brother, Lt. Rob Pfeiffer, U.S. Marines, combat veteran, 1968.

Peter Pfeiffer


A private matter

I can’t understand why the people of different sexuality think it so important to let the world know that they are gay, transgender, etc.

It’s a private matter and shouldn’t be broadcasted through the news.        

Becky Wiers


Don’t forget about immunosuppressed

One aspect of the current COVID-19 reality not on most people’s radar is the immunosuppressed people in our communities.

 One of my family members (not a candidate for dialysis) is currently living with her second kidney transplant. Despite being fully vaccinated, she can’t enjoy the same freedoms we do. To prevent the body from rejecting a foreign organ, transplant patients take drugs designed to suppress the immune system. After decades of this, she is severely immunocompromised.

Recent Johns Hopkins research, as explained on Medpage Today, showed that “fewer than 20 percent of solid organ transplant patients mounted detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 following a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.” After the second dose the antibody response increases, but to levels that are still significantly lower than for “immuno-competent” people.

My family member has been advised not to change her behavior at all: she must continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, etc. But the world is changing. Her grocery store has done away with “senior hours.” For any errands, if she finds the parking lot especially busy she must leave and try again later. Although she tries to maintain a safe physical distance in public, she can’t control the behavior of others.

Please remember our immunosuppressed loved ones and neighbors. If people are not fully vaccinated, they should please wear a mask and keep their distance in public. Thanks.

Medea Steinman