Letters for April 27, 2016

• Respecting those who served • Math can be wonderful fun

Respecting those who served

It is difficult for me to put into words the feelings that I have concerning the “anniversary” of the Vietnam War.

As a Navy veteran who spent 18 months of my four years active duty embroiled in the conflict in south East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea), sweeping rivers for mines, I have several observations that I would like to make.

The first is that military personnel were not treated with respect by the American people. The very ones who were able to avoid the draft, burn the flag, hurl insults at those who were involved in a war that the politicians deemed justified, could only do so because of previous generations of military personnel who put their lives on the line for their freedom. Not one person who was involved in Vietnam emerged unscathed. Haunting images, memories, and fears, are with us all.

Unfortunately, that freedom translated to an entire generation of warriors whose sacrifices were not appreciated, being treated as if they were evil. Having parades will not erase the hurt that returning veterans experienced. Nor will it make the families who lost loved ones in that conflict feel any better. We all lost brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and best friends.

So, when I read that John Kerry is conflicted about his service in Vietnam and felt justified in chucking his service medal, I can’t feel anything but sad.

It is shameful to not respect those who put themselves in harm’s way for our country.

Michael Johnson, Lihue

Math can be wonderful fun

A brief response Annie Crain’s letter (TGI, April 25).

Please check on youtube ‘Math Education: an inconvenient truth.’ It will expose what’s going on. Publishers need to sell books. Profit in it. That’s all. It has absolutely nothing to do with learning mathematical skills. It is, quite simply, greed gone bonkers.

Insist — Dear Annie Crain, insist — schools teach basic math skills. Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Your great-granddaughter may get poor grades in school, but if you teach her the old way, she won’t come out a mathematical idiot.

Math is wonderful fun. Sane, reasoning, sensible, intelligent. The magic of math. Move on from basics to algebra geometry, trig, calculus. Wherever her bright little mind will send her.

Whoever is publishing this latest lunacy is out for the big bucks not intelligent kids, and we, you and I, the taxpayer, are paying for them. You can use matches or toothpicks to prove one plus one equals two. You can show multiplication is simply multiple addition. You can show long division is nothing but multiple subtraction.

At least your granddaughter will be able to balance a checkbook. Maybe that’s what they don’t want her to learn how to do? You think?

Bettejo Dux, Kalaheo

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