The Ottumwa Courier

June 5, 2013

Ottumwa is an amazing community

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Ottumwa is an



Ladies and gentlemen of Ottumwa … THIS is what you are. After completing my military career, I moved my wife and four small children to Ottumwa. After spending my life traveling and moving all over the world, I now started what my dad (also a military officer) would call “civilian roots.” Several months into my new “assignment,” he called and asked me, “Can you raise your family there?” All I could think of to say was, “Geez Pop, it’s like living in Mayberry. The people here are amazing.”

It’s been five years now. Dad passed away last year, but if he called me today and asked me that same question, I would tell him: Dad, let me tell you about this place. Yesterday the kids had a lemonade stand in the front yard. It was a fundraiser for the Moore Schools in Oklahoma that were hit by the recent tornados. At one point in the day I looked around and there was our senator in shorts on the front lawn, setting up a bouncy castle for the kids ... a representative from the Humane Society talking with the owner of a local heating and cooling company and a school teacher while they all dropped donations into the jar … a member of the sheriff’s department talking to a neighbor who was busy delivering a donation from the local hardware store … cars, motorcycles, cyclists, joggers and moms with strollers stopping by the dozens, handing donations to the kids ... let’s see THAT in a big city! Ottumwa, THIS is what you are: Amazing people.

Later this week we will be mailing more than $1,300 in donations along with the clothes, cards and well wishes from the people of Ottumwa. Thank you for responding to the needs of another small American community less fortunate than ours and in doing so, showing my kids the kind of community we are lucky enough to be a part of!

Kevin Maggio


Will return for

pedaling pets

The community of Ottumwa can be very proud of the Heartland Humane Society, which put on the Pedaling for Pets bicycle ride which I participated in on June 1. It was a fun ride, I met great people and riders could get a great meal at the halfway point (which was the Humane Society). And best yet, the ride raised money for a great cause. Thanks a bunch. I’ll be back next year!

Ted Schultz


Protect, honor

2nd amendment

The reason for the Second Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights is because those who fought the Revolutionary War against British tyranny were those who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They understood that the God-given right to keep and bear arms is the last defense against tyranny. Consider what some of our founders said regarding Americans’ right to bear arms:

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm them is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason

“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” — Samuel Adams

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s ‘liberty teethe and keystone’ under independence. From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, event, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington

“Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not. The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” — Thomas Jefferson

Another reason why gun confiscation is the “line in the sand” for Americans is because gun confiscation is normally followed by massive democide (death by government). The mosters of the 20th century all took the guns before they began the roundups and purges, the gulags and death camps, and the firing up of the crematoriums. It would be the height of naiveté to ignorantly assume that is cannot — and will not — happen here.

Wendell E. Carr


Use sense

in education

I found it quite ironic that Gov. Branstad chose to publicly sign the new “education reform” bill at Des Moines North High School since the recent great strides at North predate the bill.

North High has shown the amazing things can be accomplished with an innovative and fearless principal who has the support of dedicated teachers. When students and parents see the results, they buy in, too.

It’s a pity that common sense often takes a back seat to complex education proposals that cost too much and don’t directly address the problems.

John Hesling


A organization

to be proud of

On May 17, 2013, Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach is surprisingly reunited with Casey, a 4-year-old golden lab that served with him in Afghanistan. Their duty while in Afghanistan was sweeping roads of the rugged terrain for bombs. Casey and Sgt. Gundlach carried out over 150 missions together, and at some point during their tour Gundlach made a promise to Casey. He told her that “if they made it out alive, he would do whatever it took to find her.” He felt like he owed it to her and that he wanted to “take care of her and give her the best life she could have from then on.”

This amazing reunion wasn’t as easy as it seems ... you see, Casey had been retired from the military and adopted by the State of Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office and stationed in Indianola with a new handler to continue to sniff for bombs. Sgt. Gundlach thought he was at the statehouse in Des Moines to plead his case before a government committee to get Casey back. Much to his surprise, he would be taking Casey home with him that night.

The reunion of the two was made possible by the Iowa Elks Association. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds, an Elk himself, contacted the Iowa Elks Association and asked if they would be willing to donate $8,500 to replace Casey at the State Fire Marshal’s office. Reynolds wanted her to be reunited with the person who rightfully deserved her. The State Elks Association graciously provided the money for such a worthy cause.

So the next time you visit the Ottumwa Elks Lodge or any other lodge in the state or nation, stop and think about what Elkdom represents: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. Let the meaning of these words sink in and if you feel inspired ask one of our 850,000-plus members (nationwide) to give you more information on what we do and hopefully it will become what you do.

Chad Willis

Ottumwa Elks Lodge #347

A rush through


In last week’s “Mini Page,” the article headlined “Experience Gravity,” it mentioned Isaac Newton and his apple.

Now if this apple had fallen through a hole and another apple at the same time and same altitude in say, China, with equal force, fell through a bottomless hole with no other force but gravity, they would have come to gather in the exact center of the earth simultaneously.

Now why do so many people ride motorcycles and mopeds? The reason is this — when they are riding smoothly, the riders are experiencing the natural forces that keep a motorcycle pointing to the center of the earth and with the cycle rider at the controls, the cycle’s movements turns an evening or a three-month trek into a rush through paradise.

Jerry Smith