On Veterans' Day, and as a veteran, welcome home. But to many veterans, I'm saddened to say, welcome doesn't seem to last very long.

We're praised for our service to our country, and sadly, some have paid the ultimate price. Veterans' Day is marked with parades to show that veterans of all wars are honored for their service.

But when the parade is over, veterans are still having to fight for what they have earned. Most still live with ghosts and demons commonly called PTSD. They become homeless. Their best friend becomes drugs and booze. It's disgraceful that in Medford alone we have so many vets living on the streets, and throughout the United States as well.

Some of us veterans try to help our families by applying for Social Security Disability. Good luck with that. I've waited for four long years just to find out what my status is. And to this day, the Social Security office in Medford still hasn't returned my calls. And I know that there are many veterans that are in the same distressed line, and many more to follow.

We need real help from our government, now.

Happy Veterans Day. — Michael A. Long, former sergeant, USMC Vietnam/PTSD, Trail

I would like to thank the Smullin Center and all involved in putting on the program for those who have diabetes. It was well done and very informative. Also, thank you for the wonderful basket of good things and the cookbooks that I was lucky enough to win. I am always looking for something new and quick. — Julia Fletcher, Medford

What does it say when we've gotten to the point when we can confirm a man (a judge, nonetheless) to the position of attorney general of the United States of America when he doesn't know whether or not being inverted, tied down, with a rag in your mouth — all the while having water poured on your face to simulate drowning and induce unconsciousness — is torture?

Answer me this, people! Answer me! — Evan Mather, Ashland

I recently read about our president vetoing money for stem cell research due to his concern that these cells have the potential for life. I wish he had more respect and concern for the actual innocent lives being lost on a daily basis. We have 3,800 dead Americans and thousands more wounded with tens of thousands of innocent dead Iraqis, with no end to the killing in sight.

Too bad George doesn't hold actual lives more important than potential lives. Plus, stem cell research offers a potential cure for thousands of people around the globe from horrible, debilitating diseases.

Too bad George didn't spend $500 billion on helping people, furthering medical research, instead of padding corporate America profit margins. Maybe he would be more inclined to fund stem cell research if he or one of his family or rich friends came down with dementia or Alzheimer's or a host of other diseases stem cell research may cure. — Chris Matthews, RN, Cave Junction

In a recent letter to the Tribune, a mother complained that she was denied the chance to "visit" her son in his classroom. She found fault with administrators and office staff who discouraged her. She went on to ask what had happened to schools seeking parent involvement.

Of course, a surprise visit is nothing like contacting the school and teacher ahead of time to volunteer in the classroom. However, almost no public school will permit a casual classroom observation by a parent. In fact, your school districts have bargained away most casual visits even by principals and other administrators.

There are two possible motives for this: First, perhaps the observing party will behave outrageously and disrupt the class. Secondly, perhaps the OEA is in the business of covering for inadequate faculty. — Hubert L. Smith, Jacksonville

I was wondering if Mr. Smith (letter, Nov. 10) thinks all of the American soldiers who died from Japanese tank fire would say "the tank's a joke" or the sailors killed by German surface navy ships would say "grossly underdeveloped."

World War II was the last war American troops were allowed to win. Remember Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq. Think what united civil and or political unity would have done for those wars. — Mike Parsons, Medford

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