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Regarding the article about the Air Force team of six climbing Mount Everest (“Air Force team makes it to the top of the world,”; “On Everest, ‘A very accomplished moment,’ ” May 29 print editions): It states that the “challenge has no official support from the Air Force or the Department of Defense.”

But, it is amazing in this time of fiscal austerity that several active-duty airmen were able to get more than 50 days off for this climb. Pretty generous leave policy — or perhaps a misuse of permissive TDY.

That information was missing from your article.

Derrick Thompson

Sigonella, Sicily

How did program avoid ax?

Recently, I received a memo along with other Department of Defense Dependents Schools teachers in our school from the principal with an explanation of the proposed five-day furlough due to budget constraints during the 2013-14 school year. If DODDS teachers are furloughed, this will create hardship for all concerned, particularly the children because they will not be in school.

Also, I had assumed that other programs would be cut — such as the Department of Defense Education Activity summer enrichment program, which has been offered for DODDS students in elementary and middle school for years. However, amid this looming furlough, the summer enrichment program is being offered this summer.

This lapse in judgment will affect morale among DODDS teachers. Funding the summer enrichment program this year is unethical because if the government cannot afford to pay DODDS teachers a full year’s pay next school year, then it cannot afford the summer enrichment program or other extracurricular activities at this time.

Betty Roberts

Stuttgart, Germany

To be fair, more info on taxes

This is to protest the May 31 article “Federal tax breaks benefit the rich the most, report says.” Although that headline is factual, “fair and balanced” means more than just one viewpoint that creates a false impression in the mind of many — and this article is so left-wing.

Somewhere in the article it might have mentioned that the rich already pay most of the federal income tax. They not only pay more because they make more money that is subject to tax, they also pay a higher marginal rate.

The article also might have mentioned that something like 50 percent of Americans with an income pay no federal income tax.

For the reader to conclude from the article that the rich are “getting over” and should be hit even harder is the obvious desired effect. Karl Marx would be proud.

Frank Leitnaker

Miesau, Germany


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