Meridian Star

November 17, 2013

Letters: Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Leadership evident at Southeast Middle School

    Dear Editor,

    There has been a lot of media attention over the last couple of years focused on education: new programs, charter schools, redistricting, lawsuits, and the subject continues to dominate the news.

    In my opinion, the best approach to education is local community schools where the faculty and staff are generally members of the local community, and relationships between teachers and parents are more than professional, they are seasoned with a communal appreciation.

    Our local school where my grandson, Ethan, attends is Southeast Middle School. The majority of the faculty and staff live in the southeast part of Lauderdale County and attend one of the local churches and participate in the different functions and activities of the community.

    Even with great locations and friendly neighborhoods it still comes down to leadership. Our principle, Mr. Marcus Irby, is a leader who is involved with the students and their parents. He is acquainted with every child in the school, attends all school functions, and with his open door policy responds to every parent’s concerns properly and promptly.

    An illustration of his leadership that stands out to most of us parents and grandparents is the program instituted this year. Every morning when you drive up to drop your child off at school Mr. Irby, Mrs. Robbie Cooper, and Mrs. Brittany Chaney are out in front of the school welcoming the children.

    Each child is greeted in a friendly manner accompanied with a smile. One morning, with crystalized breath dancing on the frosty breeze blowing artic winds, plunging the temperature to below 30 degrees, these two ladies, with smiles in hand, greeted the frozen students — what a way to start the day with warmth and sunshine!

    This is just one of the benefits that make our school one of the most advantageous for the children of Southeast Lauderdale; there are numerous degrees in the faculty and staff: masters, specialties, musical, and many others making the education sound and these children high school ready. Thanks to Mrs. Darlene for supplying me with the names.

    Dr. Richard Wallace, Vimville

Noise from jets

small sacrifice

    Lately, there has been newspaper articles concerning the noise produced by the trainer jets of NAS Meridian and the surrounding residential communities. I can understand the landowner's complaints and concerns. But, can they understand the military needs of our country?

    Times have changed. Prop planes are out. Jets are in. Someone might suggest that all the Naval and Marine Corps trainees and the jets should move to Key Field. That would be an impossible request. Key Field is designated for commercial airlines and the Mississippi Air Guard. The additional air traffic from NAS Meridian would overload the Key Field facilities.

    And, we can't close NAS Meridian. Why? Because, our military has been cut too far as it is. And, we can't move it. Why? We would just be submitting other citizens to our problems.

    If, I may, why don't we learn to embrace those problems as sacrifices for our country. On  Jan. 13, 1975, I went to Orlando, Fla., for Navy Basic Training. The rate, or job, that I chose was personnel man, a paper pusher.

    Upon completion of Basic Training, I was next sent to NTTC, Navy Technical Training Center, NAS Meridian. Upon completion of this training, I was transferred to the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, CVA-42.

    I spent a little over 22 months onboard an aircraft carrier. And to be honest, I not only got used to, but enjoyed, hearing Navy and Marine Corps jets. The big difference, most of the time, I was either working in the Personnel Office or in the area of the ship that housed the Administrative Division.

    But, there are many times, by choice, I went to a safe place and watched the jets, day or night. Even today, I can tell you when a military jet goes over or close by my location. And, at present, I would rather hear our military jets than another country's jets. I voluntarily sacrificed six years of my life.

    Can't our communities sacrifice a little for our Naval Air Station? And, besides, all of the citizens living in the "Noise Zone" choose to build and live, or if you rent, in this area.

    Thank you, This is my opinion.

Floyd T. Killebrew, Jr., U.S. Navy veteran (12/13/74 - 04/13/80)

This Thanksgiving, give thanks for the farmer too


    Dear Editor,

    As we gather with family and friends to celebrate this Thanksgiving and give thanks to God for all the blessings he bestows on us, don’t forget about the small segment of our population that God uses to bring many of those blessings to us.     For the 98 percent of Americans who are not directly involved in the agriculture industry, the 24/7 life of a farmer or rancher probably goes unnoticed.

    To produce the newspaper you are holding, if you’re not reading this online, a tree farmer grew the tree for the paper and a soybean farmer produced soybeans for the ink. If you are enjoying breakfast while you read, thank a farmer. When you get dressed, thank the farmers on the 2.2 million farms involved in production agriculture.

    These individuals provide the basic necessities of life in abundance and at a lower percentage of our disposable income than anywhere else in the world.

    Only in the United States is such a wide variety of food available to everyday consumers. It's important to support the farmers and ranchers who work day in and day out to produce this plentiful, safe, affordable supply of food, fiber and fuel.

    Mississippi’s 82 counties contain over 42,000 farms made up of over 30.5 million acres of farmland and forests. These farms produce agriculture products with a market value of more than $7.5 billion annually, contributing significantly to the state’s economy.

    So as you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, join my colleagues and me at the Mississippi Farm Bureau in asking God’s blessings on those that produced the food, those that prepared it, and also those at the table eating it.

    May God bless each of you and keep you safe this holiday season.


 Randy Knight, President of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation