October Letters | People & Places | Smithsonian

October Letters

Readers respond to the August issue

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

Homecoming Wish

As a relative of an airman missing in action in North Korea since the Korean War, I read "Lost Over Laos" with great emotion. It details the scenario thousands of families of missing soldiers hope to experience. To have the fate of loved ones known with certainty, to bring them home at last to the country they served, is our ultimate wish.

Myra K. Hillburg
Fairfax, Virginia

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command has a budget of $50 million to recover remains from all over the world. Meanwhile, those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing Veterans Affairs budget cuts that might affect their treatment and rehabilitation. Is it fair or reasonable to spend millions on dead people while wounded people are being ill cared for?

David Steiner, Lt. col. USAF (ret)
Allenspark, Colorado

Your article about searching for the remains of pilot "Bat" Masterson was especially poignant for me, a USAF Vietnam-era vet (1973-75). When I purchased a POW/MIA bracelet, I asked for one that represented a member of the USAF. The stainless-steel bracelet I received and still wear with pride reads: "Lt. Col. Michael “Bat” Masterson, USAF, 10.13.68 Laos."

R. Allen Pickett
Phoenix, Arizona

Skeptical In Montana

Montanans ("Cowboys and Realtors") get a big chuckle out of guys who live in places like Seattle thinking they have us all figured out, and who write about how we're so gullible and ignorant that we're hoodwinked into electing anyone for public office who totes a gun and sits on a horse long enough to have his picture taken. We have few illusions about our state. We see the beauty of this open, wild country every time we look around, and we see the glut of new and expensive housing developments. We see the housing market being driven beyond our reach by "newcomers," as the author of the article, Blaine Harden, calls them, with their "trophy ranches" and 5,000- square-foot homes. But for Harden to leap to the suggestion that disgruntled, resentful Montanans are venting their frustrations by killing 11 grizzlies a year is foolish, especially as Harden himself says there is no evidence as to who is doing the killing.

K. Merrick
Helena, Montana

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus