Alexis: ‘Ice Cream Patrol’ continues to serve

To the Editor:

Most local folks have heard of our group, the Ice Cream Patrol. Our leader is Butch Boettcher, who lives in Union. We most often meet on Friday mornings at the Post Acute Rehab Center on Gekeler Road. Besides Butch, other members are Jerry Blankenship, Russell Fowler, Darrel Plank, Tucker Billman and myself. Each visit to the Post Acute Rehab turns up new veterans and occasionally men and women from the close area. Hardly ever do we get turned down on the offer of ice cream.

Quite often some of our guys were serving in the same country at the same time as those we are visiting. I learned something interesting recently: that military medics are always guarded by a machine gunner. The enemy would love to kill the medic so that the wounded soldier would be left to die.

I salute all veterans who have served our country.

Fred Alexis

La Grande

Baretto: Inspire through possibility rather than fear

To the Editor:

Glenn Mollette’s fascinating application of the power of fear (The Observer, Jan. 16) inspired me to write. Fear can be a life-sustaining force that motivates us toward safety; fear can also be an exploitative threat of how bad things are going to get ... if you don’t support whatever it is the exploiter is attempting to market. A “downward spiral” of anxious thoughts often occurs when we read/hear/believe fear-based predictions, leading to a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

True leaders (and we are all leaders in our own unique ways) lead with possibility rather than fear. Possibility encourages vision and participation and allows us to get back on a track that inspires common-sense thinking and creative solutions.

Is it possible that some people in this country without legal documentation are not “robbers and thieves”? Is it possible that walls are not the best or only available boundary? Beware the downward spiral; it can be a tough pit from which to emerge. And beware the exploiters of fear; they usually have a short-term agenda.

As we move forward into 2019, I hope all of us leaders challenge ourselves to side-step threats, pits and downward spirals and to inspire through possibility rather than fear.

Patrice Barreto

La Grande