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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

Passengers at the new automated screening lanes at

Passengers at the new automated screening lanes at airports. Credit: Uli Seit

Vietnam: Thousands of women served

While it was an honor for me to be interviewed for the recent TV documentary on Vietnam by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, I was just one of more than 8,000 women who served [“Personal stories of the ‘Vietnam War,’ ” exploreLI, Sept. 19].

Hundreds more served in civilian support capacities with the American Red Cross, U.S. special services, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other humanitarian organizations. They worked in many of the villages and towns that came under fire. Some were captured, others killed.

The names of eight military women are engraved on the memorial wall in Washington.

This much I know: We were ordinary young women who found ourselves in an extraordinary situation and rose to meet the demands with every ounce of courage and love we had.

It was an honor to care for the young soldiers of our generation who sacrificed so much for the country they loved. I know that all of us would do it again and pray that there will be a generation of young men and women who will never be asked or tasked to do so.

Joan Furey, Sayville

Editor’s note: The writer was an Army second lieutenant and nurse attached to the 71st Evacuation Hospital at Pleiku.

Strict safety for air travel, but not guns?

Because I have an implanted pacemaker, I need to go through enhanced security screening in airports [“Eye on new ban,” News, Oct. 6]. Also, because I had prostate cancer and still have metal residuals from that surgery, I always get pulled aside after being X-rayed and am required to endure a humiliating pat-down. These regulations were implemented to assure airline safety.

I now realize that it is markedly more difficult for me to board an airplane in this country than it is for a person to purchase several hundred rounds of ammunition and semi-automatic weapons, which can be converted to fully automatic.

Where is the concern for public safety when it comes to guns in this country? Will stricter gun laws eliminate gun violence? Probably not, but stricter safety measures do seem to have eliminated airline hijackings.

Isn’t it better to save some lives than do nothing?

William Hempfling, East Moriches

I have to agree with the people, including our president, who say that this is not the time to discuss our gun laws. A better time would be about a week before the next massacre, which will probably be fairly soon.

Oh, and that bill that proposed to allow silencers on guns? Donald Trump Jr. said that it’s a health problem, and that silencers will protect hunters’ hearing. Such concern for the public is touching and goes to the heart of the Trump family — always thinking of others!

Sherry Eckstein, Huntington

Loss of tax deduction would be a setback

I agree with many New York lawmakers: The removal of the deduction for property taxes in the proposed federal code would be a grave mistake [“A tax-reform punch in the gut for LI,” Opinion, Oct. 8]. Real estate taxes are much higher than mortgage interest.

Keeping the mortgage interest deduction, while excluding the real estate tax one, would encourage homeowners to roll over mortgages rather than pay them off. This would help the banks, but hurt responsible homeowners, often senior citizens, who have paid off their home loans.

Eliminating the property tax deduction would remove one great incentive that makes homeownership more affordable and part of the American dream. Tenants also would suffer. If a landlord could no longer deduct this cost, it would be passed along to tenants.

There are more than 20,000 Realtors on Long Island whose livelihoods would be harmed. Losing this deduction would chill the real estate market, which is finally recovering from the Great Recession.

A federal income tax overhaul might well be needed, but let’s not go from a bad tax code to a worse one.

Ira Zucker, Huntington Station

Editor’s note: The writer is vice president of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors and a past president of the Long Island Commercial Network of the Long Island Board of Realtors.