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“Mulvaney has dubbed the area, roughly 50 square miles and about three times longer north to south than it is wide, ‘the Ozarks of Helmand.’ Its agrarian economy is almost entirely reliant on poppy and its population is, perhaps even more so than other areas of Afghanistan, illiterate and isolated.”

The above is a part of the June 8 article “A hard sell: Abandoned once, Afghans wary of coalition’s pledges as drawdown looms.” I am a resident of the Missouri Ozarks and I am insulted that Marine Capt. Mike Mulvaney feels that all hard-working, highly educated, patriotic Americans from the Ozarks are the same as the people from Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Capt. Mulvaney being from Rhode Island obviously has a problem with being narrow-minded and should be sent back to college to study other regions of his country. The Ozarks region has one of the biggest military bases, Fort Leonard Wood. It has one of the top engineering colleges, University of Missouri-Rolla. The inventor of the Hubble Space Telescope comes from the Ozarks. George Washington Carver and President Harry S. Truman came from the Ozarks — and I can go on and on.

Capt. Mulvaney should be relieved of his command because he has no concept of how to respect people from different backgrounds and upbringings. I would like Capt. Mulvaney to apologize.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Houlihan (retired)

Joplin, Mo.

Do more to help soldiers fly

As a former flier, both military and commercial, I feel it’s time that U.S. air carriers start paying back the men and women of our great nation by truly showing their commitment to freedom the uniform that maintains that freedom (“Delta makes GIs pay for extra bags,” article, June 9).

I challenge any CEO or business executive to give up his or her first class or business class seat to a servicemember — worldwide! Do you value your business over your freedom? You can thank the soldier for both.

I challenge Delta to deliver a program that will allow its Delta Sky Club members to relinquish a premium seat to a servicemember and be able to walk away with a Delta voucher — and a little more pride in their nation.

If these challenges are met, I will diligently use Delta Airlines at every possible opportunity. It may not sound like much, but have you ever tried to get a business executive with a big ego to give up a perk?

Robert L. Quick Jr.

Thule Air Base, Greenland

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