Letters to the Editor – May 20, 2015

Thank You to the Postal Patrons of Darlington and Lamar, Rural Letter Carriers of Darlington and Lamar

The letter carriers and The Lord Cares volunteers of Darlington would like to say thanks for your generous support of the May 9th Letter Carriers Food Drive. This is a national project of the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) of which we are a small part. All of the donations (11,409 pounds) go to The Lord Cares to assist people of our area.

With grateful hearts of thanks,

Ed O’Neal
Food Drive Coordinator, Branch 1666 NALC

Dwight Giles
President, Branch 1666 NALC

Kevin Cauley
President, The Lord Cares

S.C. Legislature Approves a Jet for Clemson University?!?

In their May 4, 2015 edition, Sports Illustrated reported that the South Carolina legislature approved the purchase of a jet for Clemson University for recruitment purposes. I have two questions: What was the legislature thinking and where is the outrage from the citizenry of South Carolina?

Are we so enamored of sports that we are blinded by just how ridiculous this purchase is? If this is a tool that the university feels is needed, then let the boosters and alumni pay for it, do not saddle the taxpayers with this responsibility.

Consider the purchase price, pilot’s salary, fuel, insurance and maintenance for lets say a three year period; how many roads can you repave, bridges repaired or replaced, school buses purchased? How many more dollars per child’s education can you allocate? The list can go on and on.

The state of our roads and bridges are in serious need of repair and replacement and there exists serious discussions at the statehouse on just what to do and how to pay for it, yet we found a way to pay for what amounts to a play toy for the university.

This is another example in a long line of examples that the legislature has lost touch with the vast majority of their constituents and continue to play fast and loose with the taxpayers funds without any meaningful thought or consequences.

The legislature needs to pull theirs heads out of theirs rumps and legislate for all of the people and not just an elite few and the people of South Carolina needs to start paying attention and holding them accountable.

Darryl K. Stapleton
Darlington, SC

Re: “Tatoos derail Marine”

In response to the news story “Tattoos derail Marine” on May 6, 2015.

On October 31, 1982 I departed Darlington, South Carolina on a journey that would last for six years. I arrived at Parris Island on November 1, 1982 at 0200, 2:00 a.m. for civilians and for the next thirteen weeks I was transformed from an as the Drill Instructors called us, “undisciplined civilian pig” into highly discipline United States Marines. This transformation from civilian to Marine was completed on January 19, 1983 when my Senior Drill Instructor dismissed the platoon and welcome us to the Brotherhood of Marines.

I would like to try to explain the dilemma that Sergeant Daniel Knapp is in from perspective of the Marine Corps culture. It may not be widely known but the United States Marine Corps has a standard of performance that is more rigid than other branches of services. Behavior that may be acceptable in other branches may not in the Marine Corps, this is not to say that other branches are not complying with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, just that Marines are gung ho in their adherence to order and discipline. It may be quite confusing to the civilian when they see cases such as the case of Sergeant Daniel Knapp. Sergeant Knapp may be a hard-charging, gung ho and outstanding Marine, his choice in not following the Marine Corps policy concerning tattoos calls into question his judgment. A Sergeant is a Non-Commissioned Officer and leader of junior Marines, if he does not obey the policy how will he lead those Marines as a good example? It is unfortunate that the Marine Corps may lose such a good individual, but that is how it is, it’s hard but it’s fair. An old Marine made this statement and I find it to be very true, “Civilians cannot and will not understand us because they are not one of us. The Corps – we love it, we live it, we die for it. If have in it, you shall never understand it” To the civilian it may seem hard to not allow Sergeant Knapp to reenlist, to a Marine it is business as usual. Semper Fi Sergeant Knapp, Ooh Rah.

Those that wish to review the United States Marine Corps’ tattoo policy may do so by going to: www.marines.mil/News/Messages/MessagesDisplay/tabid/13286/Article/112183/amplification-to-the-marine-corps-tattoo-policy.aspx

Sergeant Rujon Williams
United States Marine Corps
Darlington, S.C.

Author: Duane Childers

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