An epidemic occurring in this country has not been mentioned even once in the presidential debates or on any candidate’s tours or speeches.
The epidemic in our country is in regard to our military: 22 veterans are taking their own lives through suicide every day! The Department of Defense has officially named this tragedy an epidemic.
These veterans followed their orders to engage in combat, but when they return home, there are not enough resources to help them reintegrate back into civilian life. Not enough is being done!
My son, Bradley McGhee (USMC), is one of those 22. He was engaged in urban combat during his last tour, which was in Iraq. He came home and struggled miserably to “fit in.” He was diagnosed with severe PTSD by the VA hospital. That said, the VA hospital would not treat him due to a clerical error on his DD-214. Subsequently, he took his own life by hanging. I lost my young son, the dedicated and loving father of two, the brave and heroic Marine and a loving son, due to governmental neglect and a clerical error.
It is a very dark hole these vets find themselves in and they have no idea how to climb out, even though they want to desperately. They carry and fight demons they carry 100 percent of the time. Their lives fall completely apart and they exist in a very painful and miserable existence.
Ultimately, in their minds, the world would be better off without them and they can simply no longer exist in this dark place without any hope.
It is a very serious issue, and yet, not one presidential candidate has felt it worthy of addressing. Our veterans deserve much better. They serve their country, only to have that same country betray them when they return. It’s shameful.
It is up to us to spread the word and contact our legislatures to see that something is done to stop this unnecessary loss.
I encourage you to visit my son’s memorial bench at Rose Lawn Cemetery. I think the reality will be emotionally charged and you will be moved by the unnecessary and staggering numbers impacting our veterans every single day. He is one of the 22 who is no longer with us due to governmental neglect.
A big “thank you!” to the District 3 voters who selected me as their candidate for County Board from a field of talented primary candidates. I respect Mr. Rodney Dustmann and incumbent William S. Meyer. As we move forward to the general election, may we leave any differences behind and work to help Madison County. I also wish to take this opportunity to publicly express my gratitude to the campaign workers of Citizens for Phil Chapman for their splendid efforts during a well-fought contest.
District 3 voters signaled they want change. I remain committed to lowering the general levy 20 percent, the county portion of the property tax levy 10 percent and audits to eliminate waste. I restate my pledge not to take a county pension. I seek to limit government and improve the Madison County economic climate.
On a special note, on March 15, many voters suffered unnecessary frustration exercising their right to vote. I call on members of both parties to ensure this fundamental right is never threatened due to a lack of ballots in Madison County again. If elected, I pledge to work with appropriate authority and members of both parties to solve this problem. In addition, I call on the county administration to consider including the Highland precincts and other precincts like them, which suffered long waits for ballots, be considered for early voting.
Looking ahead, I ask for my fellow citizens’ support in the general election. If elected in the fall, I ask for your prayers to discharge my duties representing you faithfully and well.
Philip W. Chapman
Madison County Board District 3
Ms. Cope proudly writes from her Sierra Club bias and undocumented condemnation of coal for electricity as uneconomical, polluting and unhealthful — the Sierra Club standard pollutant being CO2 or in their world carbon, which is unscientifically obscure, simplistic and wrong-headed. DOE (the Department of Energy) today wastes billions of dollars on wind and solar power, which lack any way to store the energy when there is no wind or sunshine. The EPA is a terror on CO2, a natural component of the air we breathe, and will almost certainly seek next to tax us for expelling CO2 when we breathe out, I suppose. They call it carbon but there is still too little proven science to say it is a pollutant.
Physics tells us matter can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another. Thus there is the same amount of elements in earth, sea and air today as when this planet cooled and became inhabited. Most CO2, however, is locked up in rocks and minerals like lime and only about 0.035 percent is in the air. Think about that please — the air we breathe is composed of only 0.035 percent CO2. Yet Sierra and Ms. Cope tell us it is polluting our world? Their non-science and distortion of our natural world will destroy American society and our way of life.
Carbon as hydrocarbon is the very basis of ourselves and the world around us. Contrary to Sierra Club, our world is awash in CO2. Every human breath exhausts it. It bubbles up from the earth in all the millions of fissures above ground and under all the oceans of the world from the beginning of time. There is not one alternative source of weather, wind power, solar power, corn for fuel or their electric auto that provides an economical alternative. Continue to eliminate fossil fuels for electricity and we will all be turned back to wearing hair shirts, living in sod-covered shacks and scrounging for edibles in the shadows of the woods, and moreover your former homes and buildings will collapse, as will our towns and cities.