Up & Coming Weekly

October 22, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 36

8 UCW OCTOBER 23-29, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM At the past Cumberland County Veterans Council meeting we were informed by an assistant director of the VA Medical Center that, effective Oct. 1, there will be no smoking on the campus grounds of VA facilities. It came across that there was no warning that this prohibition was coming, and it hit the ears as a slam-dunk directive and (was) effective imme- diately. I do believe most people will agree that a no-smok- ing policy should stand and be enforced inside all VAMC buildings for health reasons. VA has instituted many smoking cessation programs, and they are well received and are helping many veterans. However, over many recent years, medical prac- titioners have noted that some people are truly addicted to tobacco and will not quit or break their habits. Some truly enjoy smoking the vari- ous tobacco products and have done so for years and years, regardless of the known risks smoking entails to themselves and others. VA set up outside pavil- ions so smokers could go outside the facilities, and they served the smok- ing veterans well and kept them away from the nonsmokers — which was also well received. Now these smoking areas are off limits, forcing the veterans who smoke to leave the VA campus. This decree coming down from VA, in my humble opinion, is not well studied in regards to the psychological affects it will have on many veterans who have PTSD and other debilitating health issues. Smoking and its nico- tine gives them a calm and relaxing time, which helps them cope in their own way. Taking this away from these veterans will not serve their general well-being by forcing them off campus to smoke. Will this adverse ac- tion cause veteran suicides to increase? Person- ally, I suffered immensely over my 79 years being raised in a smoking family. My parents, brother, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles all smoked. In 26 years in the U.S. Army, I was forced to attend countless meetings and confer- ences with smoke clouds so thick, at times, you could not see across the room. I have never smoked and don't like being sub- jected to it by others. I find it quite discourteous of some smokers, regardless of rank or position, who force their rancid and smelly habits upon others and expect us to tolerate them. I still must offer words of support for my brother and sister veterans who have served their country well and find themselves in health harm's way only to find comfort in having a smoke but having to leave the premises to do so. This is not helping the psychological well-being of the military veteran. Keep the smoking pavil- ions open on campus for those who need them. This situation that VA has slam-dunked on the veteran smokers should be discussed and chal- lenged by every military fraternal organization from local to state and national headquarters, as with your help this adverse situation can be cor- rected by VA. Veterans Affairs declares no smoking on property by DON TALBOT OPINION DON TALBOT, Concerned Citizen. UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. In recent years, medical practitioners have noted that some people are truly addicted to tobacco and will not quit or break their habits. November 2 nd 2019 , $20 per person • Advance Tickets Only 1p.m.-4p.m. 50/50 Raffle Winner announced BBQ/Desserts/Beverages/Door Prizes/Music Mazarick Park #2 1400 Belvedere St. Missing Man Table in honor of Veterans' Day Checkout EVENTBRITE/Fayetteville/Red-white-blue Don't forget to vote in the Municipal Election on November 5th. For additional information and tickets, please contact the events chairman Mikele at (910) 489-2055 or email Linda at frwc2013@gmail.com. EMCEE: Jim Cooke for Lt. Governor, Secretary of State and for N.C. Supreme Court/Appellate Court Come meet your fellow Republicans and the 2020 Republican Candidates (Advance Ticket Sales) Saturday,

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