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Veteran remembers military leadership of Gen. Colin Powell

Our country has lost a great American. Although I disagreed with some of his politics in his later civilian years, I believe Powell always had the best interests of our nation in mind. As a U.S. Army officer, Colin Powell inspired soldiers with his leadership. He was highly respected as Secretary of State.

As a sergeant major, I served for a brief time in 1989 as one of his action officers when Gen. Colin Powell was the commander of Forces Command (FORSCOM), then located at Fort McPherson, GA.

I still remember Gen. Powell’s guidance for us new action officers. First, we were instructed that “we should not use regulations as a reason to deny resources to a commander, but we should use regulations to help commanders accomplish their mission.” Instruction two was “do not let your own personal problems interfere with your obligation to do your duty to help commanders in the field accomplish their mission.”

We will have to search long and hard to find leaders like Colin Powell.

ERNEST WADE, LOGANVILLE

Social Security boost no match for inflation

The front-page headline in the Oct. 15 AJC sounded encouraging, “Social Security Checks Getting Big Boost.” The 5.9% benefits hike for next year is the largest adjustment in 39 years. Quite reassuring for those of us affected. That is until turning to page 3 and discovering that inflation rose 5.4%, matching a 13-year high. This inflation effectively reduces the Social Security benefit to one-half of a percent!

While I realize that inflation results from many interacting factors, government policy is generally the leading cause. It is most discouraging to be “given” what on the surface sounds like a reasonable benefit increase, only to then have that increase diminished primarily due to poor government decisions. What government giveth - government taketh away.

MICHAEL SHAW, STONE MOUNTAIN