We must do more

to help veterans

I am appalled at the poor treatment our service men and women are receiving. Politicians praise veterans very highly for doing an outstanding job, but they will not vote for adequate funds to support them.

When I was discharged from the Army in 1946, we received counselling concerning health care, job opportunities, education, etc. We also received some money every week to tide us over. But the big investment was the G.I. Bill that afforded us a free education. I took advantage of that bill, and within my immediate family we now have college degrees ranging from nurses to teachers, doctors, pharmacists, etc. You can see this type of investment really pays off. Why can't we have similar programs today?

Why is it that these politicians loudly applaud the men and women who served our country but then say they can't afford to help these vets?

ALVIN WASHINGTON

Atlantic City

Where is tolerance

of Christian traditions?

Regarding the controversy over prayer at Township Council meetings in Galloway Township:

Why can't the council open a meeting with a prayer? What happened to freedom of religion?

If council members want to have a prayer, it is up to them to decide. It does not mean that all people in Galloway feel the same, or that it is the only religion in Galloway. They are not trying to make any laws for or against any one religion.

For decades now, Americans have been told to embrace tolerance of others in their dress, manners and religion, except when it comes to Christianity and American traditions. Where is the tolerance for them? As long as it is a unanimous consensus within the council, they should be allowed to continue to have whatever kind of prayer they want, led by whomever they want. If an attendee does not like the prayer, he or she can wait outside until it is over. Tolerance must go both ways.

TONI STRANSKY

Galloway Township

Rebels may be to blame

for Syrian gas attack

We have seen all this before.

United Nation inspectors were sent to Syria at the direct request of the Syrian government to prove it had not used chemical weapons.

It has been reported that in May, 12 members of the Syrian rebel forces were arrested in Turkey. The rebels possessed 4.5 pounds of sarin, the neurotoxin gas alleged to have been used in the recent attacks.

Our president tells us that Syria did use chemical weapons and we will take action against the Syrian government even without the backing of our allies or the United Nations. We should allow the U.N. inspectors to determine who used the chemical weapons before becoming involved in another war.

ED POWICK

Cape May

System has failed

young offenders

Regarding the Aug. 26 story, "Two Pleasantville men face gun charges after vehicle stop in Atlantic City":

Both men had been released from prison recently. The younger of the two, 22, had been sentenced when he was 17 years old for armed robberies.

This is a prime example of how our prison system is a waste of the taxpayers' dollar. I am not blaming the prisons per se, but they are not really doing anything to treat criminals and to address the issues behind their choice to commit crimes. Prisons don't seem to provide appropriate therapy and treatment to help offenders turn a corner in their lives.

For the past 10 years, I have worked with children who may be heading toward lives as adult offenders. The sad reality is that not enough is being done within families prior to young people committing crimes. Their lives have been terrible since the day they were born. Without proper homes and parental guidance, many think their only option is the streets, gangs and crime.

Although I am always compassionate toward the victims of crimes, I'm always saddened by the stories of young men such as these, who could have been something other than criminals if they had guidance and role models in their lives.

Shame on our cities, our politicians and our country - especially when we spend millions to fight wars overseas instead of adequately funding social-service programs to help prevent the deterioration of our youth and their families.

DANA EDWARD RUGGIA

Marmora