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Fire fighter’s wife responds to letter

August 15, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

In response to Mr. Larry Wood's arrogant and ignorant response letter, I have the following reply. First of all let me start by saying that my husband is a hardworking man and a wonderful father. He has compassion for all people and strives to help any person in need.

As far as financial counseling, I wish that everyone had the means that Mr. Larry Wood has and would have a savings of six months to use in case of an emergency. As a middle class citizen, we do not have that kind of luxury unlike Mr. Wood who has two residencies totaling more than $970,000. After discussing this matter with many co-workers, I have found that none of them have this kind of savings.

Just to make things clear I do not have the choice of how I get paid. We are paid for 10 months and have no option of taking a 12-month pay.

The next issue I would like to address with Mr. Larry Wood is my husband's schedule. He does spend countless nights away from his family. My husband leaves at 6 a.m., and we do not see him until the next day at 9:30 a.m. He misses his children's dance classes, cheer practices and many family events. He never complains because he is a dedicated civil servant who chose his profession.

According to the remark about the Fort Myers Beach firefighters and their union making a deliberate decision to reject the new bargaining agreement, it is true. However, they made this decision to turn it down because it was better for them and their families than to accept management's proposal that took away pay, benefits, sick and vacation time. Mr. Larry Wood needs to educate himself on this subject before making accusations and can stop by any FMB firehouse to speak with one of the fire fighters.

I have to wonder if Mr. Larry Wood has children and, if he does, are they as out of touch with reality as he is. Mr. Larry Wood has obviously never had to struggle with finances and, if he did, he has forgotten what it is like. I thank God every day for my four beautiful children, and I hope they grow up to be just like my husband and me. We are hardworking, caring, compassionate people who take pride in our professions. What I don't want my children to be like is pompous, arrogant, and ignorant and out of touch with every day realities. Not everyone has almost a million dollars in homes!

Finally, my husband and I will not be looking for other careers. We chose our careers to make a difference in people's lives. We want to inspire greatness in our future and have invested in our communities. In our professions, we see firsthand those that are unemployed, underemployed, uninsured and truly unable to meet life's daily challenges. Mr. Wood needs to save this speech for his friends at the country club.

Katherine Brunson

Norh Port



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