Letters To The Editor The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor
Opinion
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Tech firms are crucibles for innovation

I have been extremely disappointed by the negative characterization of U.S. tech companies in the media lately. It is not only incredibly inaccurate but also unfortunate.

After years of working corporately, I now run my own small successful firm. I could not have done it without the services provided by leaders like Google.

These companies are crucibles for innovation. In fact, some of the largest, most successful companies in the online market are start-ups founded by former Google employees.

America’s decade long economic boom in large measure is because of companies like Google pushing technological boundaries.

In addition, these services help small businesses compete and operate more efficiently. In particular, online advertising tools and analytics help small business owners like myself advertise as if we had larger in-house advertising departments.

Those advertising tools help us reach new consumers and level the playing field through competition. I do not know a single small business owner that does not use these advertising tools.

I’d urge readers to really consider the source the next time they read about politically motivated efforts to impose government control on tech firms.

In my opinion, attacks on free markets and competition are more likely than not to harm small businesses and consumers.

-Thomas Grier

Remembering a dog that was a war hero

This is the story of a Vietnam War dog named Major.

In 1970, I had the honor to serve with Major, when he was attached to our unit of the 23rd Infantry Division.

He was a beautiful, loving German Shepherd. He was trained by the United States Army, just like we were, only his training was different than ours.

Major could detect tripwires with explosives and punji stick traps. He was also trained to drive the Viet Cong out of the tunnels they were hiding in. Major could detect the VC when they were close.

Major just knew if something didn’t belong in his environment. If a VC stepped on a twig, Major would hear it.

Major was a soldier just like we were. We treated him just like anybody else in the unit.  When we were on firebases, we would pet him and he would play with his ball that he loved to chase. On the firebases he was a normal fun-loving dog, but in the jungle, he was a soldier.

One day in 1970 Major came running to me and another soldier. He had been shot in the side. We didn’t know what to do for him. We were all just kids, 18, 19 and some 20 years old.

We petted him to comfort him the best we could, until someone backed a jeep up to us. We gently laid Major in the back of the jeep, telling him he would be okay, we would get him to a medic.

He raised his head up and looked at us with those sad eyes, just like he knew what was coming. We watched the jeep as it drove away.

We got word later that day that Major had died from his gunshot wound. A lot of us cried that day.

Even now as I write this story about Major 49 years later, I still get a lump in my throat and my eyes get misty.

Major was a real hero during his combat missions during his short career as an American soldier. It is such a shame that he had to die, along with the thousands of other soldiers who gave their lives for their country.

When people find out you were in Vietnam, they always ask you a lot of questions you don’t want to answer. Two of the most common are, what was it like in Vietnam? Why don’t you ever talk about it?

This story about Major is one of the reasons I don’t talk about it.

That and seeing wounded soldiers being brought in to a firebase by helicopter. It’s just too emotional. As for what it was like, trust me when I tell you, you really don’t want to know.

I can take comfort in knowing that somewhere in heaven, Major is still running around chasing and playing with that ball. God knows Major deserves it.

-Donald L. Rost

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