You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Letters
    'Greatest nation' isshallow in showing it So often I see what appear at first glance to be demonstrations of my fellow citizens' pride in America.
  • Letters
    ‘Greatest nation’ isshallow in showing itSo often I see what appear at first glance to be demonstrations of my fellow citizens’ pride in America.
  • Drivers inconsiderate of funeral processions
    I want to discuss proper funeral procession etiquette. I was leaving a funeral on Oct. 3, traveling down West Jefferson Boulevard to Covington Road.
About the author
Dave Hanic, whose letter appeared Oct. 17, has been selected last month’s Golden Pen Award winner. In the judgment of the editors, he had the most effective letter during October.
Hanic, 68, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, is a truck driver with Midwest Pipe and Steel. In his off hours he enjoys reading – mainly history – and is an avid swimmer, biker and runner. He says he found the story of Burmese refugee Myo Myint both an inspiration and affirmation.
“This is a wonderful country – a sanctuary for oppressed people,” Hanic says. “This is my reward. … This is what we fight for.”
Hanic received a gold-plated inscribed pen for his efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contributions our letter writers make to the editorial page.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Dave Hanic is The Journal Gazette’s Golden Pen winner for October.

Golden Pen winner: October

Grateful Burma refugee shows why we fight

As a military veteran, I enjoyed reading Myo Myint’s letter “Burma refugee grateful for rights of citizenship” (Oct. 1). I admire his courage and never-quit attitude to become a U.S. citizen.

America has always been a sanctuary of peace and safety to people of the world. We veterans have fought so many foreign wars. When I see Myo Myint, I conclude that all of our pain, spilled blood and sacrifice was a good investment. We fight for those who cannot fight. Speak for those who cannot speak. Use our strength to defend the weak and lift the oppressed upon their feet that they may stand straight and determine their own destiny.

You see us fighting Hitlers, Stalins, Tojos, Saddams, thugs, bullies and cowards who rape their citizens of their humanity and respect and cause unutterable pain, sorrow and despair.

We stand for freedom of speech and thought, honor, tolerance, peace, decency, love, loyalty, valor, justice, opportunity and duty. It is all of these things that make life worth living and dying for.

To my friend Myo Myint and the Burmese community, welcome home. We’re glad you’re here.