Wednesday, October 04, 2017 1:00 am
Reflections on patriotism
The brilliant but heartbreaking documentary film series by Ken Burns on Vietnam has held my attention.
As I watch our young, captive soldiers being paraded through Hanoi streets, I am filled with both sadness and anger. Many of these youngsters would die in the prison camps. The soldiers who returned home have carried the horrific experience throughout their lives. I watched as the tape showed the interview with a 31-year-old pilot, John McCain, shortly after his plane was shot down over Hanoi.Lt. Cmdr. McCain was held and tortured for the next 5-plus years by the enemy.
These segments unfortunately remind me of our current commander-in-chief's comments when asked about now-Sen. McCain's war record. I will share his exact words: “He is not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.”
This was not a flippant response by a 15-year-old or a 40-year-old. These words came from the mouth of a 69-year-old man seeking the highest office in our land.
If it is OK with the president, I and all other Americans should be allowed the right to decipher the definition of patriotism all by our little ol' selves.
Girls' eyes being opened to expanded career options
Recently, there has been dialogue regarding the need for female representation in leadership of government, economic development and other fields. While there are several aspects being discussed that can make an immediate impact, we must also look beyond that to some of the causes. Jo Young Switzer(Sept. 14) wrote to implore the region to do better exposing females to career paths and opportunities they may not be encouraged to consider or otherwise know about.
I firmly agree. Due to my experience in admissions at Indiana Tech and now as a membership manager for the Indiana Chamber, I can attest not only to the overall talent shortage in the region but the marked lack of females training in and thus represented in the areas discussed. Our region knows it and knows the issue needs to be addressed if we want to grow and thrive.
The good news is that there is already work being done. For several years, the Warsaw Area Career Center has put on a program called Nontraditional Employment for Women Opportunities Workshop. This event convenes high school sophomores from Kosciusko County and exposes them to 40+ women working in non-traditional careers, both professional and in trades. The speakers have conversations with the girls and many employ hands-on activities to help expose them to these fields, the training/education to enter them, and the opportunities and success possible in these non-traditional or male-dominated areas.
The better news is that this program was replicated on Tuesday in Fort Wayne at Indiana Tech. I have been lucky enough to be on the founding committee. The committee, comprising volunteers from business, private and public education and non-profits, brought more than 100 sophomore girls from Fort Wayne Community Schools to meet paramedics, contractors, radio personalities, agronomists and more. This is an unsurprising show of the passion for our youth and the region that females in northeast Indiana have.
The best news is that this program doesn't have to stop here. It can be further replicated and expanded in our 11-county region. Hoosiers are a hard-working group, and we don't mind taking care of things for ourselves and improving our communities. I would implore other communities to join the conversation and see whether it makes sense to add some education and exposure, like the Nontraditional Employment for Women program, to their community's strategy for addressing it. Dialogue is an important place to start raising awareness and beginning to find a path to improve issues, and I am grateful for those who have participated in the conversation thus far. It is what we then do that will bring about change.
Monica L. Chamberlain
JEERS to the NFL players and others. Who do these misfits who make millions playing sports, most of whom have never served this country in the military, think they are? Taking a knee during the national anthem in my book shows they are traitors to the U.S. This is no more freedom of speech than running from the police when ordered to stop. I agree with President Donald Trump. They should be fired on the spot. Or, better yet, shipped out of the country.