News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007


Billions spent on war could be better utilized

To The Daily: I found your March 21 article on the increase in military spending depressing. I wonder how many Americans realize that we are currently spending more on defense than the rest of the world’s nations combined? A significant portion of this continues to fund a war which apparently the majority of our citizens no longer support.

By diverting even a portion of the almost $1.5 billion a day currently being spent on the military, we could do many good and needed things in our land, such as providing medical care for the 50 million citizens currently without it; adequately funding our always-strapped schools, developing alternative energy sources — the list could go on.

A small portion of the total defense budget (about 10 percent) could provide clean drinking water for all the people in the world. Other portions could make a dent in world hunger, provide medical resources for poorer nations and offer educational opportunities to millions of the world’s children. Who can say what benefits our nation might reap from such actions abroad? We might even find friendship and goodwill replacing the current suspicion, fear and hatred so many feel for us.

I personally long for the day when America will no longer lead the world in arms production, but in expenditures for building life instead of destroying it, for seeking justice and peace and for striving to see that all people have opportunity for a meaningful existence. When that day comes, it will no longer be necessary to immerse ourselves in bullets, bombs and war.

Jerry Ridling

Grandmother indebted to the kindness of strangers

To The Daily: I want to say thank you to some Good Samaritans. My grandchildren and I were on a picnic at Joe Wheeler Park by the dam. I opened the trunk of my car to get a bottle of water and left my keys lying in the trunk. The car was locked with my purse and cell phone inside.

I asked a woman playing tennis if she knew how to get in touch with the park rangers. She got her cell phone and called her dad and asked. She tried several times to get the park rangers. They told her they were all out on an emergency and to try back in 30 minutes. She called them back and they told her they were still all out and even if they came they couldn’t help me.

The next couple I asked used their cell phone, called the police, etc. The police finally called a locksmith for me. This couple also stayed at the park with me until the locksmith came to make sure I got in my car all right. I didn’t get any names, but I would like to thank all the people who went out of their way to make sure my grandchildren and I got home.

Sandy Adams

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