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Spotlight readers write in with reflections on military veterans they knew.

A tale of three flags

The service banner my grandmother displayed in the window of the family home had six blue stars on it.

One of these was for my uncle Ed, a U.S. Army infantry sergeant who was awarded two Purple Hearts as the result of having been wounded first by a bayonet to the side, then in a later battle by shrapnel while fighting in the islands of the South Pacific.

Another star was for uncle Irvin, a U.S. Navy gunner who was serving on the USS Prince William when it was struck by kamikaze pilots.

A third was for my father Richard, a U.S. Army combat engineer corporal, who despite having been run over by a car at the age of 8 and suffering a double compound fracture of his left leg that confined him to a wheelchair for a year and left the leg visibly shorter than the other, when offered a medical exemption to the draft by the examining doctor said no, that it was his turn to serve like his brothers, and then did.

So you can imagine my feelings of disgust when on my walk along First Street in Scappoose the other morning I noticed hanging from an apartment patio an American flag dyed a sickly black, displayed equally next to another flag bearing the brand logo of America's most prominent avoider of military service — Donald J. Trump.

John Riutta, Scappoose

Grieving loss of generous friend

At 4 a.m. Monday, May 24, my friend Jim Deas died.

Jim was a former USDA Food inspector, FFA (Future Farmers of America) teacher, Farmers Home Administrator, Realtor, and insurance agent. He was also a military man who served both in the Air Force and the Army (he retired as a lieutenant colonel). Jim was a man of many talents.

I had the privilege of serving in the military with him, and I also shared an adjoining USDA office. I worked for NRCS and he worked for FmHA (Farmers Home Administration). While I was there, Jim had the highest number of USDA loans with the lowest default rate of any office in Oregon. Thanks to Jim, a number of people who might never have had the opportunity were able to buy a home.

While in the military, he traveled to Europe and Asia and providing training to both American and foreign militaries. He instructed people in the laws of land warfare and how to treat and deal with civilians, refugees, as well as how rebuild a foreign nation's infrastructure.

Even in the military, he was a builder, a helper and a person who did his best to try and make the world a little better place.

Jim Dias will be missed. He was a great person to know and a wonderful friend.

Bill Eagle, St. Helens

Cartoon last week sends wrong message

Your cartoon is backward — if anyone is unhappy living in Oregon and wants to live under Idaho-type laws, then stop complaining! Move to Idaho!

I am tired of this nonsense surfacing every few years by some blogger or someone else that thinks it's a good joke! Dispense with it.

LaVerne Landauer, Beaverton


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