Tin soldier: Thank you for your interesting article on Phil Haberman ("G.I. Jerk," by Glenna Whitley, September 1). I would like to share with you my experience with Phil and why I put his story on the OperationWoundedSoldiers.org Web site. As you can hopefully tell from the name of our organization, what we do is help wounded soldiers. It is true his is the only story we had posted there, because he asked us to and we did verify through Richardson High School that he did write that letter to them. He asked me personally to help him get his Purple Heart that was supposedly tied up in red tape. Unfortunately, the further we looked into it, the further into controversy it went until I finally told Phil there was nothing I could do for him. I met him one time, and he did appear to be in great pain. He showed me recent scarring from surgeries, but when he tried to make our relationship anything other than business, I no longer took his phone calls. I knew he wasn't divorced as yet. Not wishing to get involved in that mess, I distanced myself from Phil till he quit calling altogether. I had completely forgotten his story on our Web site.
I do have letters from other soldiers thanking us for the work we do. I do not want someone of Phil's apparent ilk to tarnish everything we've worked so hard to build.
Rita L. Strugala
Faux heroics: There is no doubt that these charlatan wannabe heroes should be outed and their misconduct addressed through the court system to the fullest extent, and that society holds them in total disdain. I ask, though, how are they any different from our government, which touted the heroics of Jessica Lynch's rescue to further its cause? Why do we hold our government to a different standard? My heart goes out to the people who are taken in by these charlatans, be the charade conducted by an individual such as your profiled "G.I. Jerk" or conducted by a collective body such as the military hierarchy and our government.
Andrea G. Alvis
A Horse Is a Course
Who's My Neigh-bor?: Matt Pulle's article "All the Pretty Horses..." (September 1) is undoubtedly the most painfully truthful accounting of life in a horse-slaughter town ever written to date.
Trust me, I would know. I live in DeKalb, Illinois, which is home to Cavel International, one of only three horse-slaughtering plants in the United States. We too have long suffered the filth and disgrace this plant brings to our community.
This is standard operating procedure for these foreign-owned horse-killing factories. They pollute our communities, violate our laws and laugh all the way to the bank on the profits made from the blood and enormous suffering of our beautiful American horses!
I applaud the citizens of Kaufman, Mayor Bacon and the Kaufman city officials for their fight to reclaim their community from this nuisance, and I pray that your noble efforts will inspire the city of DeKalb to follow suit.
In the meantime, I encourage all Americans to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R.503) introduced in Congress earlier this year. This legislation will shut down the three remaining horse-slaughtering plants and prevent anyone else from getting the idea that they can start up one of these factories of filth and horror in your backyard! I urge everyone to contact their federal legislators and ask them to vote to close these plants down once and for all.
For more information on this important legislation, readers can go online to www.horse-protection.org.
Many thanks to Matt Pulle and the Dallas Observer for shedding light on the truth of this little-known American disgrace.
Leave our horses alone: Thank you to your paper for printing the truth about Dallas Crown. It's about time Texas people knew the truth. We can end it forever by passing H.R. 503 in Congress. Let the foreign-owned slaughterhouse owners go back where they came from--Europe. Leave our horses alone.
Patricia A. Bewley
Help for fellow creatures: I was astounded at Jay Webb's absurd and ruthless comments regarding the recent Homeless Animal Vigil ("Ruff Times," August 18). He wrote in sarcastic and condescending language about "the inanity" of helping homeless animals when there are homeless people who need help, as if forsaking the animals would get the homeless people off our streets.
I suppose none of us should earn money by working as long as others are unemployed. And we shouldn't waste time and money on sick people when perfectly healthy people also need help.
Mr. Webb's psychological disorder is called concrete thinking, which is the inability to think in abstract terms, and is a symptom of schizophrenia. Let me help you, Mr. Webb. Many people and animals need our compassion and help. Those who help any of these worthy fellow creatures deserve respect and praise. Those, like you, who stand on the sideline and throw stones deserve scorn and exposure.
Mr. Webb's disdain for animals, and his poor work habits, are also reflected in the incorrect location he gave for the Homeless Animal Vigil. And this was despite two news releases containing the correct information.
Mr. Webb should fervently hope that his selective criteria for worthiness are never adopted, or he will be at great risk himself if he ever needs the compassion of others.
John J. Pippin, MD
I'm a loser, baby: You lost another loyal reader. I won't even use your trash to line the birdcage. But I guess you don't have any pets. Loser.