Dear Editor:
Last week’s letter from the West Virginia Veterans Home acknowledging the gift of 328 puzzles was a very nice gesture from Administrator Tom McBride.
However, the credit for this endeavor should not have been in my name.
The credit for this project goes to Butch Stone, of Dunmore, a member of Allegheny Post 117. Butch did all the collecting of these puzzles and personally delivered them to the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville.
Kudos to all who contributed, and special thanks to Butch for bringing the needs of the Veterans Home to the attention of Post 117 and Pocahontas County.
Thank you.
Rick Wooddell
Post 117 Adjutant
Green Bank

Dear Editor:
I was saddened and angered when I learned that our U.S. Senators representing West Virginia, Senator Shelley Moore-Capito and Senator Joe Manchin, both voted in favor of Senate Bill 2943, which would eliminate veterans’ preference for hiring in federal government jobs, with the exception of an initial hire. As usual, politicians begin dismantling veterans’ benefits soon after the bleeding stops. Of course, few politicians have served in the military and understand the full range of sacrifices that veterans make while serving their country.
Veterans have gone into harm’s way and many have died and suffered physical and mental disabilities from the rigors of military service – but those aren’t the only sacrifices they make. While service members train to become experts on weapons and tactics in order to defeat our enemies, they are not making contacts and polishing political skills they need to move up the ladder in the civilian sector. As our troops fight in war zones across the world, they are not gaining bureaucratic experience and specific skills that civilian agencies and businesses require. Service members entering the civilian work force are at a disadvantage and that is why we have veterans’ preference in government hiring.
Now, our politicians want to break their promises to treat veterans fairly and limit veterans’ preference to an initial hire. But one thing our representatives should remember – while spending time in the service and foregoing civilian employment, veterans have gained qualities of leadership, discipline and loyalty they could get nowhere else. Everyone can agree that these are qualities we need in our federal employees.
I urge your readers to contact Senator Shelley Moore-Capito at 304-347-5372, and Senator Joe Manchin at 304-342-5855 and urge them to reconsider their support for cuts to veterans’ preference in federal hiring.
 Geoff Hamill

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