Letters: Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Keeping Us Safe from Citizens

To the editor: Thanks for the exposé on military recruitment practices in the Fort Worth-Dallas area (“Get ’Em While They’re Young,” May 10, 2006). Our group, the local chapter of Women in Black, continues to stand each Thursday outside the Federal Building in downtown Dallas despite two of our members being ticketed by Homeland Security officers several weeks ago.

As a group, we practice knowing the law and following the law. However, we believe discretionary calls are being made to protect the fragile transactions that are occurring inside that building. The Federal Building on Houston Street is where recruiters bring the recruits to sign their final papers; it is the place where all branches take their final oaths.

The weeks following the ticketing have brought out an inordinate number and variety of officers to watch us. Last week we were joined by five Homeland Security officers. There were three cars marked “Homeland Security” and two immigration agency cars. There were two local officers in a patrol car and two more on horseback. There was one sheriff’s officer patrolling across the street, one detective from intelligence, and four security guards who came in and out of the building. There were six protesters.

Who are we? We are mothers, grandmothers, nuns, social workers, humanitarian relief workers, writers, and pastors. Women in Black stands each week because we believe in the right of every citizen, especially young adults, to have exposure to choices and the social space to maturely think them through. Perhaps these are the processes that are successfully circumvented by getting ’em while they’re young.

Laray Polk


To the editor: I read with interest your cover story “Get ’Em While They’re Young.” I thought it was pretty well balanced, with perhaps a bit too much allowance made for the recruiter’s perspective. It would have been nice if the number for the GI Rights Hotline had been included (800-394-9544). Parents and school district administrators might also be interested to know of the group Nonmilitary Options for Youth, or NOY. It’s on the web at www.progressiveaustin.org/nmofy/drupal/.

This group does not just have veterans preaching against the less-positive aspects of the military; they also counsel on other sources of college money besides the military. I believe there may be a functioning Fort Worth chapter of NOY. Schools looking for speakers to present the flip side of the recruiter’s spiel might also try looking at the “local chapter contacts” links at www.veteransforpeace.org.

I recall being one of several GI’s playing cards in the barracks one night in 1974. Our game was interrupted when one misguided son of a lifer came in and announced that he had just re-enlisted in return for the guarantee of a recruiting job stateside. The stunned silence was finally broken with, “Man, how are you going to sleep at night, knowing that you lie to high school kids for a living?”

David Honish

North Texas Veterans For Peace


Hospital-Induced Trauma

To the editor: I left Carswell Federal Medical Center back in February 2006. Like the other unfortunates who have had to spend their sentences in this prison, I am still seeking protection, relief, and justice.

I have spent countless hours writing to the proper authorities and others in hope of finding help for the victims of the Carswell FMC and of Carswell staffers’ continuous physical, mental, medical and verbal abuse. Since my release I have continued working to get the truth out, by writing to former and current judges, senators, inmate attorneys, the FBI, and many others who have promised to look into our claims. The inmates, current and past, have endured severe trauma, but they have great hopes for change. I have witnessed a lot connected to these claims, have documented proof of what happened, and intend to pursue my work, with or without help.

Barbara Winton

Bushnell, Fla.

Boo to the Mayor

To the editor: I read with pleasure Dan McGraw’s write-up about the Brahmas (“Bye-Bye Brahmas,” May 24, 2006) and all the misleading information produced by the Fort Worth mayor and his suspect staff. Thank you for a straightforward article.

My wife and I have been season ticket holders since the Brahmas were formed in 1997. We have been very active Booster Club members for nine years, and my wife has been an officer in the club.

We live in Irving, so there have been many trips to Fort Worth, not only for games but for other activities with the Brahmas. We purchased many meals in Fort Worth and did a great deal of shopping there. We bring friends from out of state to Fort Worth whenever we can. We also attend the theater in Fort Worth (we have season tickets to this also).

Maybe the mayor and his staff would prefer we spend our money somewhere else. Maybe the powers that be would rather we stay away from Fort Worth altogether!

We intend to continue being season ticket holders with the Brahmas, and the Booster Club will continue to meet and support the Brahmas even though they will not be playing this next season.

Bruce and Janet Wall


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