One who mattered

I had a friend years ago who had been a resident of the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” prison for six and a half years. Long after his release and return to the United States, he told me once that “we all want and need to have mattered in this life.” His simple statement struck me forcefully. That, I believe, is an admirable ambition in this life. And my friend had mattered.

Recently, my dear friend, Prof. James Vardaman, passed away. A Baylor University graduate, he taught history at Baylor for more than 33 years. If anyone truly mattered in this life, it was Jim. To thousands of students over the years, his memory and influence will remain as long as they live. The same can surely be said of his other many friends.

Louis Muldrow, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Vardaman, who also served four years as Baylor’s director of international programs, occupied the Jo Murphy Chair in International Education and retired in 2000, died Jan. 31 at age 89. The family has asked that gifts be directed to the James Vardaman Endowed Professorship or Dr. James W. Vardaman Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor University. Gifts can be mailed to One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798-7050.

Parade time

In an article published in the Trib, Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press reports the military parade President Trump wants to organize and march down Pennsylvania Avenue will cost American taxpayers between $10 million and $30 million. Really! What is wrong with this commander-in-chief?

This money should be spent on the salaries of those serving in the military, those retired from the military and veterans. As a social worker for many years, I worked with parents of special needs children. Many clients were dependents of parents stationed at Fort Hood. Because of the low salaries of some ranks, many families qualified for food stamps, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. What a disgrace for this country that those dedicated to fighting for our freedom must beg for food and health care.

Now this Bozo in the West Wing wants to flex his muscles at a devastating cost to one-up the North Koreans or other dictator-led countries. Having been a military dependent the first 18 years of my life, this so-called parade makes me sick!

Donna M. Myers, Waco

Dog in cart

I was at a local discount center in Hewitt when I saw a man with his dog in the shopping cart. It may well be this was his emotional support animal, which I understand and have no problem with. I do have a problem with animals placed in carts meant for holding food among other products. The cart this man had his dog in will not be cleaned before it’s used again. Not very sanitary, is it?

John J. Baker, Hewitt