Federal employees provide    needed service

To The Sun:

After spending 39 years as a civil service employee working for the Soil Conservation Service, United States of America, I retired with a feeling that I had helped many people have a better place to live. My last 23 years was in Chanute serving as the coordinator for a nonprofit organization known as the See-Kan Resource Conservation and Development District. It covered the nine counties in Southeast Kansas. My job was to assist cities, counties, groups and others to develop plans for projects and find funding to carrying out their projects. Other federal employees are also serving the people of our nation in many ways.

Federal employees protect us every day at every level across the country and in our community. At no time was this more evident than during the 35-day partial government shutdown earlier this year. 

From ensuring safe air travel to regulating new medicines to maintaining a safe food supply to processing Social Security checks, civil servants are everywhere, yet invisibly so. And, contrary to popular belief, 85% of the federal workforce is located outside of Washington, D.C. 

When natural disasters strike, they provide relief and help us rebuild. When mass shootings take place, they enter harm’s way and care for the wounded. And, when once-eradicated viruses reappear, they investigate public health crises. Whether they are in the public eye or active behind the scenes, civil servants take pride in working for something bigger than themselves. 

At a time when the image of civil servants is unfairly tainted, and the idea of a career in public service is not on the minds of young professionals, it’s imperative that we recognize public servants and the noble profession of civil service. As we celebrate Public Service Recognition Week, let’s thank a federal employee for keeping our country running safely, efficiently and for the good of the American people. — JIM GASKELL, Chanute


Reader commends KSC

To The Sun:

I would like to commend the Kansas Supreme Court for its ruling supporting women’s equality. I would also like to commend Gov. Laura Kelly for her continued support of women’s rights, especially as it relates to reproductive health. 

The D.L. Tongier Foundation (a private foundation) continues to grow in its support of women’s rights, with increasing income from corporate dividends and reinvestment of corporate stock. The foundation continues to proudly support the Trust Women Foundation’s two clinics in Wichita and Oklahoma City, and the newer clinic in Seattle, Washington. The foundation also proudly supports Planned Parenthood Great Plains headquartered in Kansas City, with its clinics in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

In the ruling, the court states that Kansans have “the ability to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination. This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.”

As Gov. Kelly recently stated in her veto of Senate Bill 67, “The practice of medicine should be left to licensed health professionals, not elected officials.” — TOM TONGIER, Altamont

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