Letters to the Editor for Wed., Jan. 13, 2016

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dear Editor,

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Vietnam Wall in 1982, seeks to honor all Vietnam veterans and help heal the nation’s wounds from the Vietnam War. As they continue their mission, they are striving to match a face with every name on the Wall through their interactive digital Wall of Faces and in the future Education Center.

In an effort to help fulfill this mission, AP U.S. History students at Auburn High School are seeking help in providing photographs to honor the memory of Alabama’s fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War.

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As of January 2016, five of Atmore’s eight casualties in the Vietnam War do not have photographs representing them (639 of Alabama’s 1210 casualties lack images).

Your help in finding photos of these Atmore fallen heroes would be greatly appreciated: Jack Elliott Clemmons; Larry Eugene Gonzalez; Allen Twiggs Merritt IV; Elmer Jack Taylor; and Larry Benjamin Thomas.

For those with information or photos of these heroes, please contact Blake Busbin, Auburn High School AP US History teacher, at wbbusbin@auburnschools.org. Families and friends can also submit photos and remembrances to the Wall of Faces site, by going to www.vvmf.org and clicking the Wall of Faces link.

Dear Editor,

Cotton farmers are in dire need of economic assistance. Santa Rosa and Escambia counties are home to three of the four gins in Florida with a tremendous impact on both the local and state economies. If cotton production leaves our state and local communities, the infrastructure of cotton gins, warehouses and associated business will go with it, and history tells us it will not return. The loss of cotton production means fewer workers have jobs; local businesses suffer with reduced sales of fuel, tires, fertilizer, seed and other inputs; and transportation companies must scale back due to reduced volume. Impacts go well beyond the sectors that I have mentioned and include equipment sales, lending institutions and eventually the consumer. Some cotton farmers did not receive the financing needed to operate in 2015 and many more will experience the same fate this year. The 2014 farm bill gives the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to designate ‘other oilseeds’ that can be included in commodity programs. The cotton industry has asked that Secretary Vilsack place that designation on cottonseed. Cottonseed is a valuable product generating significant revenue by farmers. I urge Secretary Vilsack to answer the call of 100 Members of Congress, 19 Senators, numerous national agriculture and lending associations, as well 376 lenders from across the country who have all written to him in support of this proposal and designate cottonseed as an ‘other oilseed’. Farmers are optimistic people and I am optimistic that the Secretary will use his authority to help stabilize our industry.

Jerry Davis

Jay, Fla.