As we near the elections, we hear from the political right about how they’re going to undo the Obama agenda. We hear from the left about how the right is all about saying “no” and only giving money to fat-cat bankers.

Yet, what we continually don’t hear (from either side) is what they do represent. We don’t hear how the individuals running for office plan to do various things. Instead, we hear a lot of angry shouting back and forth across the aisle, shouting down what the other side represents. But has either side actually told us what they represent? We hear a few end-game answers, but nothing about how to get there. Goals are great, but where are the paths to those goals?

Politicians used to at least give lip service to the public on what they supported. This way, when they were up for re-election, they had to answer to at least some of their constituents. Yet today, we’re seeing everything along party lines, shouting down the other party.

I encourage everyone to actually take a look at the people they plan on voting for. Look at their history. If they hold public office already, look at how they have voted on various issues. Either way, make sure of who you’re voting for. Because the sad fact is, they aren’t going to tell you.

Before you mark the box, remember that you are saying that you want this person to make decisions on your behalf for issues that come up. You’re saying that you trust that person to make the best decision, the same decision you would make, based on your morals, values and the law.

Spc. Joshua Gorrell

Balad, Iraq

No animals in trauma training

It’s time for the Army to stop trying to convince German governments to allow animal-based military trauma training (“Pig use in combat training rejected again,” article, Oct. 29). As a neurosurgeon who spent 20 years in the Army and then 15 years treating civilian trauma injuries, I agree with German officials that animal-based trauma training is unethical and completely unnecessary.

High-tech simulators can be used in simulated combat environments, and they allow soldiers to train on models that accurately replicate human anatomy. Scientific research shows that simulators allow trainees to suspend their perception of the simulation as practice and act as they would in a real situation.

In addition, trauma center rotations provide interaction with human patients and exposure to real injuries. I work at a Level II trauma center and regularly treat patients with head trauma, gunshot wounds and other traumatic injuries similar to those seen in combat.

U.S. Army Europe must replace the use of animals with modern methods that instill confidence and prepare troops for what they will encounter in combat. Animals have no place in modern trauma training.

Dr. (Lt. Col.) William Morris (retired)

Tacoma, Wash.

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