Regarding Sue Diaz's April 23 Opinion piece "A soldier's hope deferred in Iraq": Like Ms. Diaz, I am also waiting for a loved one to come home from Iraq, not as a mother, but as a wife. My husband, with the 2nd Calvary Regiment out of Fort Polk, La., was extended along with thousands of other soldiers. The extension hit this town hard because we were so excited about their homecoming and counting the days until our loved ones would be at our side again. It's a very difficult time for all of us whose soldier's have been extended. For me, it means my husband won't be here to see me graduate from college. One word comes to mind when I think of this extension: painful.
Ivonne A. Knutson
My son, Nicholas Capone, returned home in November from Iraq and was to be released from the Army in December for a life of college and happier times. Soon after returning home, he found out he was caught up in the "stop loss" program. He returned to Iraq and will remain there until September. Every day I worry he will be caught in another extension. It's difficult managing from day to day, but then I remember what it must be like for him, trying to get through the days and months in Iraq. I find myself praying all the time for my son and for the rest of the troops and their families.
Regarding your April 19 article "Israel's extreme measures": I was saddened but not surprised to read of protests in Jordan after President Bush endorsed Israel's "no right of return" policy against Palestinians. Having just returned from Jordan, I saw up close the provisions Jordan has given exiled Palestinians for five decades. Seeing similar makeshift, concrete-block housing in Syria and Lebanon, I came away recommitted to a two-state solution: Palestine and Israel.
But first there needs to be enough land to make a Palestinian state viable, including West Bank land taken for Jewish settlements. While suicide attacks by Hamas and other militant groups should be condemned, it seems the world has turned its back on the Palestinians for so long that their alternatives for nationmaking have run out. And now the US president has sold them out almost thoroughly. How ironic that President Bush is so committed to fighting terrorism on the one hand, and yet by his support of Ariel Sharon's plans, he has just given another generation of Palestinians reason to hate the US.
Madelon Maupin Miles
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Regarding your April 15 article "Remember the sound of silence?": The menace of noise pollution from car stereos is one that does not get nearly enough attention. The problem is larger than just the nuisance of loud car stereos. It extends into the lack of interest on the part of law enforcement in dealing with noisy offenders, and to local governments for not offering ordinances restrictive enough to block both offensive stereo equipment and the perpetrators who drive the noisy machines.
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