Residents in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District will soon have a few opportunities to reach out to their congressman and his staff on the health care issue.

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing Writer

A program designed to offer free I.D. cards to Macon County veterans for discounted goods and services by participating businesses should be underway shortly, according to Register of Deeds Todd Raby.

They say “Ask and thou shalt receive,” but Nancy Bolding of Otto probably received way more than she bargained for when she reached out for help to plan her husband’s 94th birthday party.

Turning onto Qualla Road in Waynesville, the meandering route goes from pavement to gravel to dirt within a half-mile. By the time you realize it has been a little while since you’ve seen a mailbox, a small cabin appears in the tree line to the left.

While marked by all the usual trappings of red-white-and-blue-infused color guards, antique cars and patriotic speeches, last week’s Veterans Day celebration in Franklin was a bit more sparse and a bit more somber than typical of the annual event.

The Wait of War

It is known by many names. 

Some call it the Second Indochina War. Some call it the Resistance War. Some call it the American War.

op frOver this past Memorial Day weekend I found myself reading essays and columns about freedom, about military men and women and their sacrifices, and how those sacrifices and the freedom we take for granted are so infused into the American psyche. 

We do take it for granted, and as the son of a retired serviceman I think freedom is a birthright, or at least it should be. Humans deserve to be free. And although no one would ever describe me as a conservative, I share the belief with my conservative brethren that society generally works better in direct relationship to how much freedom we provide. Break the shackles of government and society’s expectations and we are, generally, better off. 

op willisOne day recently as I was walking through the parking lot at Waynesville Middle School, a car slowly pulled up beside me. I turned, and when the driver rolled down his window, I saw that it was an elderly gentleman in a World War II uniform.

coverHe got to me before I could get to him.

Turning into the large parking lot of the Canton Ingles last week, Paul Willis was already stepping out of his car to greet me. At 95, he’s as spry and vibrant as someone a third of his age. And before I could exit my vehicle and properly introduce myself, Willis had his hand extended into my open window.

Remembering the fallen

fr WW2websterWhen William Guffey’s name was first etched on the stone face of the monument outside the old Webster School — along with those of his 10 fallen classmates — the year was 1951, the wounds of World War II were fresh and his niece Barbara Sutton Bennett was a senior at the school.

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