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Today's Letters: Deserter is being made an example

Published April 1, 2007


Re: Decision to desert comes back to haunt March 23 story

Every day on the news we hear and read about people's actions and how the law may apply in their circumstances. Recently, a young man who was called a deserter decided that his presence in boot camp was less important than caring for his sick father. His decision, allegedly unknown to him, was a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

What is not understood by many who join the military is that once enlisted, you are governed by different laws. You are subject to the code of military justice and the military courts that uphold the law. Civilians are tried by the law of the land; military personnel are tried by the code of justice.

What is justice in our society when people's mistakes are the result of lack of knowledge, misunderstanding, misrepresentation or other errors in judgment? For example, recently the "impeachment" word is being used by politicians in both major political parties. Certainly our president has admitted to errors in judgment, yet we hear that the process for impeachment is only contingent on the actions of the president, which must violate the law by committing a misdemeanor or more. Most recently the director of the Smithsonian Institute has been accused of misappropriating taxpayers' dollars.

Does the application of the law apply evenly to everyone? The answer is no. Anthony Mercado is in jail charged with desertion.

Mercado is being made an example. The message to all military enlistees is that if you go AWOL you will be prosecuted and punished. On the other hand, if you are a government official or an affiliated person who violates the public trust and violates the public's funds, business goes on as usual.

My advice to Mercado is to find someone to care for your father and serve your time honorably in the military service. It will be a life-learning experience, which will benefit you in years to come. As for the military, I strongly suggest Mercado be accepted back to active duty and his punishment be time already served.

Vito J. Delgorio Sr., Spring Hill


Hickory Hill? Think Spring Hill

The proposed comprehensive plan amendment to allow Tampa developers to spoil the Spring Lake area with their ridiculous Hickory Hill subdivision is just plain offensive. The eastern half of Hernando County remains a rural community, and the people who live here would like to keep it that way.

The purpose of a comprehensive plan is to separate the rural areas, developed areas and business areas. It is planned, approved and then enforced for the good of the community, and it should not be changed for the benefit of some out-of-town developer whose sole interest in the project is to put more money in his pockets.

Sierra Properties has distributed a nice, shiny brochure showing a neatly manicured subdivision for its high-end customers that may appeal to some people. Let us not forget that in 1967 a development called Deltona was approved in a nice, rural area called Spring Hill. Anyone can see from driving through current-day Spring Hill that the initial development will soon be surrounded by less attractive subdivisions. A comprehensive plan amendment opens the door for development of all the Spring Lake area, not just the Thomas farm.

As can be seen from the less-than-enthusiastic response to the high-end subdivision Southern Hills, there is no demand for these developments in that part of Hernando County.

Some claim the alternative to Hickory Hill is small 10-acre home sites with ugly homes on them. Take a drive down Spring Lake Highway and see the beautiful homes that are being built here. These homes still allow us to retain the rural lifestyle we love, with our horses, wildlife, birds and general peace and quiet.

If you don't like that lifestyle, then stay out of Spring Lake. But we who live here do like it. So please don't try to impose your urban lifestyle on us. Vote no to Hickory Hill.

Nigel Barrable, Spring Lake

[Last modified April 1, 2007, 07:39:02]

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