A press release from the city of Toledo:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 7, 2008
MAYOR FINKBEINER WELCOMES U.S.S. TOLEDO SUBMARINERS
Today, Toledo welcomes eight (8) USS Toledo Submariners for a hometown visit. These Navy men are generously volunteering to help our Parks division clear brush in downtown Toledo from Swan Creek. This is part of the City of Toledo’s efforts to clean up the Creek.
Visiting town are ET1 (ss) Robert P Smalley - Toledo native, as well as MM1 (ss, Shane R. Whitford, STS2 (ss), Aron M. Schwarts, EM2 (ss) Kurt M. Soucy, MM2 (ss) Brett R. Conklin, ET3 (ss) Mathew A. Vonburg, MMFN (ss) Johnathan L. Nguyen, and MMFN (ss) Robert D. Lathrop.
ET1 Smalley has aggressively worked to build a better relationship between the U.S.S. Toledo and the City of Toledo. They will be visiting Toledo until Sunday, August 10th.
The group will be working at Boeschenstein Park, located off Summit Street facing Owens Corning, along the Swan Creek.
Somehow, this seems so wrong to me. Considering my own familial connections to the Navy (Dad and brother both served) I'm so very proud of these men who have volunteered to help out our parks. Their offer is certainly indicative of the character embodied within our sailors.
At the same time, I'm appalled that the city accepted! When our military come home for visits, we should be celebrating them. We should be honoring them and paying tribute to the good work they're doing, and the sacrifices they and their families are making while they serve.
We should be thanking them in every possible way for keeping us safe - not putting them to work clearing brush along one of our creeks.
I'm also disturbed by the press release which focuses on what the city's getting from these fine young men while they're on break, without even a hint of appreciation for what they're giving the rest of the time.
If doing some sort of work is really what they wanted to do, I think I would have suggested contacting our local military support groups to see if any of our military families had needs they could address. Our military families need support year round for even minor things and we could have used their visit to highlight that fact and remind Toledoans that there are always ways we can support those who are keeping us safe.
Instead, U.S.S. Toledo sailors are doing work that our tax dollars should be paying for...
I'd sure love to hear your thoughts on this.