Officer of the law rude, disrespectful

To the Editor,

A few days ago, as I was traveling on Highway 412B from Huntsville toward Springdale, when a man, seemingly needing help, flagged me down. It was not because of an accident but appeared to be more of an incident. I’ll not go into detail about what was alleged by the man who flagged me down. My concern is with what was said (and the way it was said) to me by the officer that arrived seconds after I did. I sat in the car and continued to observe, for just a few seconds, to see if my assistance was needed, until the officer grumpily told me to “Move on. There is nothing to see here.” Well, he was there to “see,” was he not? If he did not need any help then all that was necessary was to kindly and gently wave me on.

It has been my observation that this kind of behavior is not uncommon. While I have experienced it a few times with city and county law officers I’ve observed that state police officers are almost always in control of their emotions, as they are kind and reasonable and act in a professional way.

Officers of the law are a reflection of the people who put them in that position. I’d like to think that “we the people” want only men and women who can function in such a capacity in a kind, friendly, and compassionate manner. And certainly anyone serving as a police officer should be in control of his/her emotions, words, and general behavior. Those who fail in this capacity are responsible for the contempt for law officers that has developed across the country. A law officer cannot expect people to treat him with respect if he does not treat others with respect.

 Law officers sometimes get into trouble and need help from bystanders or passerby’s. Regardless of the rudeness and disrespect I have experienced from time to time from law officers, and sometimes emergency personnel, I’ll continue to stop (or at least slow down) to “see” what is going on and give my assistance if it is needed. If the officer or emergency personnel wants to communicate that assistance is not needed all that is necessary is a kind word or gesture.

– Robert Waters

Huntsville

Status with American Legion is sad

To the Editor:

 It’s a sad thing happening in Huntsville and too many other towns across America.  The attendance in veteran organizations is so low that chapters are shutting down because the backbone of the membership has been World War and Korean vets, and they are dying off in record numbers.

The ranks of veteran groups are noticeably missing Vietnam era veterans. Some people think that Vietnam vets did not join military organizations because they were not welcomed back as heroes like the soldiers of the World Wars.  Instead, the media and societal anti-military sentiment of the 70’s caused many of them to feel shame instead of victory, but whatever the reason, the older veterans have been dying off, and no one is replacing them in the organizations formed to support each other.

My late husband was a veteran of two tours of duty in Vietnam, and he did join the VFW and American Legion, and I am a member of the Auxiliary, but there is a need for younger men and women members.

The 100th Anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary is November 10, but the Huntsville Chapter is soon to be no more. They are shutting down because of lack of members. Their male counterpart, the American Legion, has even sold their building. I’m hoping the historic photos of local veterans can be displayed somewhere the public can see and appreciate them.

The Auxiliary’s worthy mission goal is “serving veterans, the military and their families”.  Their motto is Service Not Self.  Perhaps such a motto is obsolete in today’s society of celebration of self, but I think it’s sad that one more American institute is biting the dust.

– Elaine Marze

Huntsville

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