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Cadet Nurses should get recognition

This letter is to express my embarrassment for the residents of Tennessee that our senators are not willing to co-sponsor a bill which would assign Veteran’s honor to the members of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. These remaining living Cadet Nurses, who now are in their 90s, and the families of those who are deceased have patiently waited over 75 years for this recognition.

The USCNC was credited with preventing the total collapse of our health care system during and after WWII. Polio was rampant then, and there was no vaccine or cure (one example of the nursing skills we learned).

The Cadet Nurse Corp was militarized in 1945 and we had a military uniform, making us a real part of the military, but to this date we have not been honored as Veterans. The Merchant Mariners (all male) were given Honorary Veterans’ status in 2017. The Cadet Nurses (all female) would like the same consideration!

Please read closely the verbiage of this act which specifically states that the Veteran Status, should it be awarded, will not provide for any financial Veteran’s benefits.

The remaining Cadet Nurses and the families of all who served await our Congress to pass this bill for honorary recognition long overdue.

With the assistance of numerous supporters, we have signed petitions, sent letters, and even spoke directly to Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who said she would look into this bill. Time is running out. Once this 116th Congress completes its term, we start all over again re-introducing a new bill to a new Congress. I am hoping anyone who feels as I do will reach out to Sen. Blackburn and Sen. Lamar Alexander and ask for their co-sponsorship today.

AGNES LOWE

Johnson City

 

Ban nuclear weapons

As the International Red Cross marked the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Japan, it issued a strong warning that “the risk of use of nuclear weapons has risen to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War.”

Echoed by former Secretary Perry on the News Hour, other defense policy experts have stated forewarnings, on both the moral grounds of potential omnicidal consequences, and of new weapons technology making nuclear war more likely.

Daniel Ellsberg, for example, sees governments “prepared to unleash a nuclear war which would end civilization as we know it and could kill over seven billion people.”

A nuclear strategy analyst writes of talk in capitals of potential adversary nations that nuclear war, with more “usable” weapons, can now be fought and “won.”

The atmospheric disruption from even limited nuclear exchanges, causing a nuclear-winter cooling as physicist David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists and others have stated, seems forgotten in these capitals, including our own.

President Ronald Reagan, who sought an agreement in Reykjavik to dismantle the nuclear stockpiles, had viewed it as likely to mean “the total loss of human agricultural and societal support system [and] the loss of almost all humans on earth.”

In our region as this paper has reported, many thousands are in need of food assistance, and millions across the country are suffering great personal economic losses under the dual crises of the pandemic and, again, of climate-change related wildfires and storms. As the Congress budgets nearly ¾ trillion dollars for national defense, it should redirect at least a portion of this enormous sum to the current human needs and support the 2017 United Nations nuclear-weapons-ban treaty, which the work of the International Red Cross had initiated.

FRANCES LAMBERTS

Jonesborough