Daily Archives: Sept. 11, 2013

Delegation unmoved by Obama address, outreach

President Obama’s address to the nation on Syria didn’t change the opinions of Kansas delegation members. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, agreed with Obama that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons “was a horrific crime,” but she remains “unconvinced injecting our military into the middle of a violent civil war is in America’s best interest.” Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, said he still believes that “our military involvement there would weaken the safety and security of the American people and our allies rather than strengthen it.” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, the only Kansas lawmaker backing military action, was hopeful about the possible agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria. After Obama met with lawmakers Tuesday, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he remains “firmly opposed to our intervention,” saying “there is nothing to win.”

Military suicides among casualties of post-Sept. 11 wars

Twelve years after al-Qaida terrorists drew the United States into war, the military casualties are still mounting on the battlefront in Afghanistan. As our Wednesday editorial notes, they also continue on the homefront – including a record 352 suicides among active-duty troops last year. For each family, the loss is a private shock and sorrow. One such Iowa family shares its grief and story in “Dillion,” a documentary directed by Wichita filmmaker Tom Zwemke that will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KPTS, Channel 8 in Wichita. After serving two U.S. Army tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dillion Naslund (in photo) was slated for another deployment this year. He had been drinking too much and struggling to sleep when, at 25, he ended his life last December. “He was fighting the demons, and those demons took over,” his father, Jeff Naslund, says in the film, in which his mother, Lisa Naslund, urges those in pain to get help. May all those who need help seek and find it. As Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently said, seeking such treatment is a “choice that embodies moral courage, honor and integrity.”

Elephants need new home

It would be a shame if the Sedgwick County Zoo lost Stephanie and Cinda, the two female elephants that have been on exhibit since 1972. But that’s what will happen if it doesn’t add another elephant by September 2016, per accreditation standards. And the zoo can’t add another elephant at the current exhibit area, which is too small and out of date. So here is hoping the Sedgwick County Commission can increase the zoo’s operational funding, which will give the zoo the financial stability it needs to launch a fundraising campaign for a new elephant exhibit.