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We hear from readers on sacrifice versus 'free stuff' and the value of vaccinations.

You have to do your part, fellow Americans

My father grew up in North Portland and graduated from Jefferson High before joining the Navy. Scheduled to be discharged six weeks prior to Pearl Harbor, he was issued stopgap orders from the War Department and assigned to the new aircraft carrier USS Wasp, CV-7, to ferry new aircraft to England and the island of Malta in support of the Battle of Britain.

While on survivors leave after the Wasp was torpedoed southeast of Guadalcanal, he met and married my mother, who was a real "Rosie the Riveter" making bomb-bay doors for B-24 heavy bombers for Consolidated Aircraft.

One brother-in-law served in the Oregon National Guard, one's father was a Navy Seal killed in action in Vietnam, and another is a disabled Marine staff sergeant who served during the '68 Tet Offensive in Vietnam.

As for me, I chose to enlist in the Army after graduation rather than go immediately onto college. I serviced OV-1D aircraft flying geological missions between the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Shasta and reconnaissance missions of the Russian fishing fleet off the coast from my home town of Bandon, Oregon, while stationed at Fort Lewis before a 19-month deployment to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division. After being discharged from the Portland VA Hospital, I re-enlisted and went on to serve in Colorado, California, Georgia, and was discharged after a 30-month deployment to Germany along the Iron Curtain.

This election, people spoke of free college, healthcare, a minimum wage of $15/hour and other free stuff. Has America become a land of freeloaders? I am now a disabled Army sergeant; would it be too much to ask fellow citizens to contribute their fair share?

Joe Turner, Columbia City

Vaccines are important, but they take time

I had always wondered what I'd do as a parent in a time of a pandemic to stay safe.

The biggest pandemics in my youth were measles, mumps, chickenpox and polio. In the '50s is when mankind came up with a vaccine for polio. This vaccine was given out in a sugar cube.

Our family would get the forever-lasting, yearly outbreaks of measles, mumps, chickenpox. Those were my specialties.

In 1945, that December, I stayed in doors out of sunlight so not to lose my eyesight. Being deathly sick, I was bathed daily in a cold bath of calamine lotion and fed twice daily a cocktail of sulfur, castor oil, and molasses.

Not until about 1953-55 is when most of these vaccine came into play, time of polio. It took about 30 some years for a reliable vaccine.

Now after writing down my experiences, this got me thinking. This C-19 pandemic is a type of flu. [Ed.: COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is not a flu virus. The symptoms of COVID-19 can closely resemble those of the flu, although some people with COVID-19 experience unusual and sometimes severe complications.] Wow, the relationship to the vaccine could be a long time coming, as for the polio.

Well the biggest thing I see is, doing the mask wearing. Even those you still see that nose sleeve wipe. You know, the mask goes up and the sleeve gives the wipe. It's to keep their mask clean. I had always thought most folks should be masking up to keep their voices air clean. (That saying, "Hi there," with their garlic breath, a mask would help).

We should have always had the rule to mask up. If so, we'd have less time given to research for the vaccine. "Now that's a thought!"

Of course, washing of hands can be taught. As our hands wipe: nose, eyes, and the persistence of brushing long hair out of the face; perhaps a hair barrette, or washing one's hair and hands more often.

I'm still wondering, what about today's world without vaccinations — thinking my past 80 years may not have happened.

Well, it's just my thoughts.

Dean Ebert, St. Helens


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