Medals are earned, not awarded (and other truths) | Adele Ferguson

Like It Is

“In your article about the person in Port Angeles who had received medals and benefits not awarded, it seemed the fellow did receive a proper sentence,” writes Dennis Wojciak of Marysville.

The “person in Port Angeles” is one of the eight men in the Northwest who were caught by the Veterans Administration in a nationwide roundup of men who faked their military service and were charged with unlawful wearing of military medals and wrongful collection of military benefits.

He paid back all the money he’d received and was sentenced to four months of electronically monitored home confinement, which I criticized because such light punishment will not discourage others from doing the same thing.

“He did have the money to return which shows some level of cooperation,” wrote Mr. Wojciak. “Usually the money is gone. Would that everyday felons were to carry out their obligations as easily before getting voting rights restored. My reason for writing is that the article stated the person won several medals. More correctly, a person is awarded medals or benefits for service to the country.”

I didn’t name the man again because he’s been humiliated enough by now. Mr. Wojciak is right that medals are awarded, not won, and in this case, neither.

“Re your piece on the death penalty,” writes Loyal Baker, editor of the Waitsburg Times. “I was a pro death penalty person until I read John Grisham’s ‘The Innocent Man.’ Now I would only support the death penalty when the case is proven by DNA, eyewitnesses or solid forensics. If not for some sharp-eyed legal clerks who questioned some parts of the case, the subject of Grisham’s book would be just another guilty criminal who was executed.

“I’m no longer automatically pro death penalty. The true story written about by Grisham caused me to suspect law enforcement in a way I had never done before. Though 99 percent of the police I know are of high integrity, there’s always that chance of executing an innocent man.”

I haven’t read the book. I’ll see if I can get a copy.

“I read your column about vertigo and wanted to tell you about a new treatment,” writes Anna Laurie of Bremerton. “I have suffered from Meniere’s syndrome for years. It is an inflammation of those inner ear labyrinths you described. About a year ago I started experiencing dizziness with head movements and thought it was just another symptom of the syndrome. It finally got so bad it was interfering with my sleep because every time I rolled over, I got the ‘twirlies.’

“When I finally told my doctor about it, he sent me to physical therapy. One treatment completely eliminated the vertigo. They described it as rearranging the crystals that got stuck in those canals and moving them to a more benign location. I didn’t really care what the explanation was because the dizziness was gone.”

I’ll look into it. Labyrinthitis is supposed to be a onetime thing but I’ve had it twice.

“I’m curious what the seven words are that George Carlin said can never be said on TV,” writes Jim Kelly of Gig Harbor. “How can I find out if nobody can say them?”

The original started with f, s, c, p, c, c, and a. Not too long ago, three more were added, starting with f, t and t.

Figure them out for yourself. And by the way, I’ve seen three of them in news stories, usually in quotes from politicians about other politicians.

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