Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Thanks to the Troop Greeters

I was recently at Bangor International Airport seeing off my grandson’s flight home to Florida. I visited with a volunteer troop greeter who was staffing her post at the Troop Greeter’s Station and thanked her for her service.

The Maine Air Guard was asked to help provide services to returning military troops from Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Many Vietnam War-era veterans wanted to make sure the returning troops were cheerfully greeted and thanked for their service. I was pleased that this continues today as troops return from Afghanistan-related service now, so thanks again to the troop greeters.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tuck (retired)


Picture what it’s like to be on COVID front line

The Aug. 29 column in the BDN by Karen Gallardo was so impactful to me. Perhaps that’s because I am a retired ER nurse, I understand the medical jargon and could visualize the scenario. Because I have been in situations as described, my own breathing became more labored. It is also because I live in a world where others are making decisions that put my own life, and those of my family, in danger. Ignorance is dangerous!

OK, some who resist the vaccine try to avoid the obvious practices of spreading the virus, but there are many more who just don’t believe or care what they are doing! Political ideology or fear of the unknown be damned, I am not ready to leave this mortal coil just yet and I really resent being in basic solitary confinement to avoid death!

People should read Gallardo’s piece and picture themselves or a loved one dying in such a manner.

Sharon E. Weber


Freedom of medical choice

Many  health care workers are taking a stand against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate to protect their right (and the right of every Mainer) to freedom of medical choice. These are exactly the type of people we need working within the health care system: People who value personal autonomy, bodily integrity and the right to uncoerced voluntary informed consent — both for themselves and for their patients. ​

Any good nurse understands that one size does not fit all. What may be the best choice for one person (taking into consideration his/her unique prognosis, age, gender, genetic predisposition, lifestyle habits, religious beliefs, etc.) may not be the best choice for another. Freedom of medical choice allows a person to decide what medical treatments he/she receives, a decision that is based on his/her values, preferences and goals. This mandate takes the decision away from the individual and puts it in the hands of politicians. ​

The thought of this mandate not being overturned should be worrisome to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated for good reason. If it stays in effect, I worry the mandate will extend beyond health care workers to all professions across the board. This would allow politicians to bypass the physician community to decide what medical procedures a person “needs.”

We must not allow it. We must abolish the mandate completely. If not for ourselves, then for our patients.

Ashley Dudley, RN

South Thomaston