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Letters: Radio Moments, Defense Spending


It's Wednesday, and time to read from your comments. On February 13th, we marked World Radio Day by asking: What's the radio moment that changed your life?

Brian in Louisville wrote about the first he heard a famous comedy duo: Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding. He wrote: Lying in bed with a boyfriend in the early '90s, I couldn't sleep. I turned on the radio and found, for the first time, a rerun of a Bob and Ray broadcast, Wally Ballou lead ingot factory soap opera. I never laughed so hard. I never got to sleep.

And Tammy in Homer, Alaska, wrote: About seven years ago, I heard a story about Asperger's on NPR. I was at absolute wit's end trying to found out why my fourth child is so different and how to help her. I'll never forget the words: If I could take a pill to cure it, I would not take it. From that day forward, my daughter and I started to live in joy and wonder of her gift. I will ever be thankful.

We also asked Department of Defense employees to suggest budget cuts. Bob Johnson wrote: I'm a retired Marine Corps officer, combat veteran, active duty from 1975 to 1995. Our Department of Defense was formed by the National Security Act of 1947. It's time to re-think the entire organization. First and foremost, eliminate all of the redundancy that exists in the DOD. He goes on to list a few examples, then says: We need to combine our Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force into one purple force: one force, one uniform with a lapel pin designating branch, one combined boot camp, combined follow-on school, stop the redundancy, eliminate the waste, go big or go home.

Jerry wrote: The United States spends more per capita on defense spending than any other nation in the world. Our infrastructures are decaying. We have to cut educational spending to the bone. I propose the following trade: For every million-dollar cut from defense spending, each effected congressional district will receive a million dollar grant to be spent on infrastructure and education. Then the congressional representatives will not have to defend voting to cancel military contracts that are in their districts. Money spent on infrastructure and education has a much bigger impact on a district's economy than does military spending. This trade won't solve our budget crisis, but it will certainly improve the lives of our citizens.

If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.