Letters to the Editor

Let firefighters and first responders know they’re loved, appreciated

Firemen salute as Lexington County fireman Paul Quattlebaum Jr. arrives at Batesburg-Leesville High School. Quattlebaum, who had served as a firefighter for 22 years, was struck and killed while rendering aid at a traffic accident. 10/8/19
Firemen salute as Lexington County fireman Paul Quattlebaum Jr. arrives at Batesburg-Leesville High School. Quattlebaum, who had served as a firefighter for 22 years, was struck and killed while rendering aid at a traffic accident. 10/8/19 tglantz@thestate.com

Editor’s note: Because of a technical error, a published letter on Oct. 24 by Paul Quattlebaum Sr. was not the one that he intended to have published in that day’s edition of The State. The following letter is the one that Quattlebaum sought to have published, and it is being printed in its entirety.

My son, Paul Jr., was the Lexington County fireman who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 4 while assisting in a vehicular accident on Highway 178 out of Leesville.

I just want to give praise to the first responders who fought to save his life after he was struck by a tractor trailer.

So often, these men and women are underappreciated for what they do. Needless to say, my pain was unimaginable upon being told that the accident had taken my son’s life.

Ten years ago, I had lost my wife of 40 years to pancreatic and liver cancer; that was tough. Fifty-one years ago, I served with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Vietnam; we lost 566 Marines and Corpsmen in five years of fighting.

Death was no stranger to me.

But losing my son is the toughest thing that has ever happened to me.

I want to praise the firefighters associations from across the state and nation that gave so much support from the moment my son was struck through his funeral and beyond. They have shown so much dignity and love to my son, and they continue to do.

I also want to praise all the emergency medical technicians, police officers and highway patrol officers for what they do. These men and women who serve are true heroes. Every time they answer a call, they never know to expect and their lives are always in danger — as we all saw during the tragic terrorist attacks against our country on Sept. 11, 2001. During the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the firefighters were running into the buildings while the occupants were running out.

That is just what firefighters and first responders do to save lives. And during my situation, I can truly say they went above and beyond anything that I ever expected. May God always look over them as they serve and protect our local communities.

I would like to encourage everyone to show firefighters and other first responders respect for the jobs that they do. A simple thing such as approaching them and saying, “Thank you for keeping me safe and saving lives” would let them know that they are indeed loved and appreciated.

Paul Quattlebaum Sr.

Leesville

SC’s economic development is lacking

So Masonite in Denmark closed this year (and with it, 110 jobs). Georgia Pacific has just announced it is idling its Allendale County plant (and with it, 142 jobs.)

SouthernCarolina Alliance sure is doing a great job with its industry outreach and retention efforts, isn’t it?

But, hey, the SCA pays its president a huge salary – even though it hasn’t brought Bamberg County squat in more than a decade.

Our tax dollars at work. Or not.

Walt Inabinet

Bamberg

Christians will re-elect Trump

With all the negative coverage Donald J. Trump receives daily (see The State’s Sunday’s Oct. 20th editorial page alone, containing no less than 10 full paragraphs solely dedicated to bashing Trump), it is refreshing to know that there are still enough Christians in America that will re-elect Donald Trump again in 2020! Being the only pro-life candidate running, the Democrats will once again underestimate God’s people.

Doug Lawhead

Columbia

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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