In the Oct. 17 issue of the Sun Advocate you ran a front page article that not only caught my attention, it raised my anger to boiling point.
The article was titled, "Pro-Access Groups, Supporters Protest Muddy River Road Closure."
After reading the article through, I came to the conclusion Roger Bankert, manager of the Price BLM office is tilted towards the extreme environmental groups such as SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) and others.
Before World War II, I road the San Rafael area from one end to the other by horse. I received in the mail one day a card which was so popular at that time, "Greetings from your friends and neighbors. You are ordered to report to Ft. Douglas for induction to the Armed Services."
I went, not because I was called, but I felt the need to protect our country and all of the rights and freedoms that my country offered me. Had I the slightest notion that my freedom, my rights and all the open latitudes that I was enjoying would some time be challenged and taken from me by these few radical groups, I would have caught a train for Canada.
But being a patriotic young man I was taught if needs be I was to fight to protect the rights and freedoms that were mine.
Now these elements are taking them away from me.
During the Japanese Kamikaze attack on Attu on May 29, 1943, when the Japanese launched their last attack of 1800 soldiers, I had to fire 12 clips of 25 rounds per clip thru my Thompson Sub Machine gun. I had to start pouring water along the barrel after each clip to keep it cooled down. This I did for one reason only; to return back to the good old United States and Emery County and all the freedoms that were mine.
On June 8, 1944 I was assigned to General George S. Patton's third army, and we fought through the Hedge Rows in France on to Saarlautem, Germany. On Dec. 18, 1943, I went into Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne, France. Cold and half frozen at times there were moments I would recall the clear skies and cool desert breeze I enjoyed atop of Cedar Mountain. Never once did the thought come to mind that some day there would be an element that would deny me and my rights when I went down the Buck Horn Draw to the San Rafael and have someone tell me where I could go, and where I was not allowed to go.
Richard Beardall, president of the Americans with Disabilities Access Alliance is correct on the position his unit took. I would like to meet Mr. Beardall someday and shake his hand for leading his organization in showing federal government agents that the disabled have as many rights as the environmentalists.
I would further suggest to Mr. Beardall that he contact the state commander of the Disabled American Veterans for names and addresses of the disabled veterans, and that he go on the internet and hold a protest rally in front of Mr. Bankert's BLM office asking him to explain to Disabled American War Veterans what he meant by his reply to Mr. Beardall when he commented, " Once we have our resource management plan in place, I told him that we could revisit the issue of that access closure. I also told him that the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Access does not come into play in this situation."
This statement he needs to clarify to the Disabled American Veterans of the wars and tell them face to face why they cannot drive their ATVs if they stay on the road or why a DAV cannot drive his four wheel drive pickup to the Hidden Splendor Mine.
Explain to them why he allowed SUWA to hold their annual outing at the Hidden Splendor Mine this spring but now ATVs and four wheel drive pickups are no longer allowed.
Being a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Assoc. I think I have the right to know.