To the editor,

The only way to keep a nation free is to have an armed citizenry to keep the criminal element in check. When you take away the honest citizens’ guns, you give the criminal element a free and open range to do as they like, because they know that the police cannot be everywhere at once. The very idea of citizens owning a gun keeps criminals in check because of the fear of what they will encounter. They don’t like the idea of being blown away with a shotgun or a 44 magnum or a 357. I carry a 357 magnum and a 22 rifle at all times in my pickup and just yesterday when two young women hit a deer on Highway 67, close to our farm, I had to use them to put the deer out of his suffering. Both of its legs and back were broken. It was very hard for me to do, but I couldn’t stand to watch the deer struggle to get up. The Highway Patrol and the Somervell County deputy sheriff both thanked me for my act of compassion and neither questioned why I had the guns in my pickup. I also keep guns at my home.

Vernon R. Sneed

Stephenville

To the editor,

I was privileged to attend the 12th annual Veterans Day program and dinner at the Stephenville Recreation Center on Nov. 11.  

This beautiful and patriotic program made me and my two sons and  daughter proud of our deceased father and husband, Maj. Richard Mason of the 82nd Airborne along with the Veterans of WWII, Vietnam, Korean Wars, and the men and women presently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The event was hosted by the American Legion and co-hosted by  the Senior Citizen Center. A brisket dinner was served by the  gracious ladies of the center, Boy Scout Troop 68, Cub Scout Pack 7  and many, many volunteers. The brisket was donated by Castleview 

Nursing Home and the trimmings by the Senior Center.

The event started with Posting of Colors by Boy Scout Troop 68  and Cub Scout Pack 7 with the Pledge of Allegiance also led by  Marilyn Smith, Pres. of American Legion Auxiliary.  Speaker, Richard  Petronis was introduced by B.R. Kirkland.  A heart-wrenching  presentation and demonstration of POW’S/MIA’S SALUTE was given by 2nd Vice Commander of Post 240 Donald Douglas.

Each name of veterans living and deceased was read aloud by  Sandy Morgan of the Senior Center and Certificates of Appreciation  were presented to attending living Veterans and surviving family  members of deceased veterans. A slideshow was shown with pictures  of each veteran living and deceased men and women from every branch  of the service. A power point presentation “Going to War” was  donated by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Stephens honoring their son who had  served in Kuwait.

The beautiful voice of Leah Collins Miller brought tears to  many eyes, including myself, as she sang  the songs of our beautiful  country and all of us joining in to that old favorite “Over There,”  which I believe is from WWI.

Besides having the honor of sitting with many brave survivors  and families, another highlight of the evening was when I introduced 

myself to the Veteran bugle player of “TAPS.” I chuckled as he  introduced himself as “Honest John.” He laughingly asked if I heard  him and repeated it, but in reality was Veteran John Rogers. I asked  how I could thank him for serving our country as I hugged him, my  being a hugger, and he said, “You just did,” so I hugged him again.

It was a memorable evening and I am looking forward to next  year, but sadly realize as time goes by, some of us may not be here  know that they will be looking down.

I want to thank all who participated, all who worked so hard in  presenting this program.

Proud survivor of Maj. Richard Mason,

Rita Mason

Stephenville

To the editor,

I would like to thank the community of Stephenville and Mi Familia Restaurant for their incredible show of community support at the Blood Cancer Research benefit that was held on Oct. 27.

Blood cancers do not just affect a single individual, but everyone surrounding them. Just this year an estimated 138,530 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a new case of blood cancer.

With the support of events like these, research can find new treatments in an effort for a cure. In addition to supporting research, fundraising also goes to patient services, education and more.

Thank you to the community of Stephenville and if you missed out and/or want more information or a way you or your business can help in the fight against blood cancers, please e-mail me at Harper@tarleton.edu.

Together, Stephenville is improving the quality of life not only for cancer patients, but also all of those around them that are affected.

Michael Harper

Stephenville