On a story about the Always Free Honor Flight:
• What a privilege to spend the day with these guys. Some things were just as I expected. As soon as tourists started to thank them for what they did — they would immediately point to somebody else and play down their importance. Other things were totally unexpected. That’s me in that picture (photo with story) with a real American hero. Not until now, looking at the picture, do I realize how lucky I was to be a part of this event. Thank you Dreama. There really isn’t anything we can do to repay their sacrifice. That’s a good thing because they don’t want you to. They will each be the first to tell you to not worry about them — but their buddy at the VA needs your attention. It’s called selfless service if you want the name for it. Now that I think about it — there is something everybody can do. You can help pay for the next Honor Flight now so that the least important thing — money — won’t become the most important thing at the last minute. Thank you — Paul D.
• I am originally from Bluefield and my husband is a World War II Ex-POW survivor. We went on Honor Flight 29 in September out of Orlando, Fla., and he said this is something he will be talking about for a long, long time. Every veteran should take advantage of this honor.
On a story about Bluefield committed to funding the city jail through the end of the year:
• There is absolutely no question that some kind of “local” holding facility is sorely needed. The regional jail thing just is not working when it comes to transport. It is OK long term but officers are in short supply most times and whether city, county, or State Police this is true. They do not have the manpower to run a “taxi” service to the regional jail. However it is, at the same time, not really fair that Bluefield bears all the expense of the jail, with everyone using it. The county should have opened and maintained a “holding jail” when this all started and while it would, even then, cut into officers’ time in the field it would be far less than running back and forth to a regional facility. There is no question some kind of local facility is needed. I am glad the previous city manager is gone — he made many bad moves and this jail closing without a “meeting of minds of law enforcement” as to a solution was possibly the most stupid he made of many. He should have had input meetings with representatives of all law enforcement in the county — stating they were considering closing and seeking alternatives or goals and could have even set a tentative deadline for a solution before his budget removal! Every department is far too shorthanded to absorb this transport — as usual he did not think! — Charles B.