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Sunday, June 4, 2003

By Staff
Washington insider' not a bad description
To the editor:
I can hardly contain my amusement over the pious comments from the left: "Haley Barbour is a Washington insider." "We don't talk like that down here." What end-of-the-pavement groups are these folks trying to influence?
The truth is Haley Barbour is the same kind of Washington "insider" as Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, and Mississippi has benefited tremendously from the time they've spent in the nation's capital.
The same folks who are trying to convince Mississippi voters of the evils of Washington connections are simultaneously trying to take credit for the international negotiating skills required to land the Nissan plant in Canton.
The longtime friendship between Haley and now president George W. Bush is another plus for Mississippi.
Is being part of the President's inner circle of friends a detriment?
If so, Mississippi could use a lot more of such friendships and a lot less of narrow-minded politicos who think the average Mississippi voter wants to elect a governor who has never crossed the state line.
Lydia Chassaniol
Winona
Defending the homefront
To the editor:
I am writing you once again in support of our troops who are returning home. I am very pleased that they are returning home after their tour overseas, doing their part of preserving our freedom. However, I ask you, where is the welcome for the individuals that belong to another unit located either in another town or another state? I am sure that there are hundreds out there who never see a welcome home or even get told welcome home other than their own families.
I am talking about those few who have been deployed for months or even years, defending our homefronts, defending our very existence to live in this great nation of ours. Our homefront troops never see a welcome home committee, or a welcome home party. Our duty was and is just as important as those that went overseas.
I know of several people who are returning home after several years being deployed for our homefront defense. One of these people is coming home after being deployed on Sept. 11, 2001. His name is Don Hopkins. He received the call to active duty only hours after the attacks on the World Trade Centers. He has been serving active duty in Florida ever since that day.
Before he was called to active duty, he worked on our Meridian Police Department. He will be returning to the department after his return. He has gone on active duty for over two years now, and will be released from active duty today, and I see no one except his family welcoming him home. I know of no welcome committee, no welcome party, no cameras, or reporters welcoming him home.
Are the troops that got deployed for our homefront defense not just as important as the troops that got deployed overseas? What we need is a welcome home to all troops, not just certain ones that belong to one unit, but all troops no matter where their home base is, to show them just how much we appreciate their dedication to duty, and their sacrifices they made when they were called to active duty.
All I ask you is, not to forget the troops that got deployed on that terrible day in September. They are also our heroes.
Pam Hopkins
Meridian

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