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VETERANS’ DREAMS “I cannot stop thinking of the hundreds of thousands of veterans in our country who are homeless, unemployed, and dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues, disabilities, and the highest rates of suicide in our history.” Why is their situation so dire? After all, “corporations are going out of their way to mentor veterans, train them, and hire them. The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs and other federal and state agencies have invested” billions trying to address veterans’ needs.

Perhaps our thinking on the matter is too narrow. “Could it be that upon their return from service, we have been focusing on our veterans’ needs (i.e., training, services, jobs) but not on their desires, their dreams?” We should remember that veterans have just come from a situation in which desires and dreams were crucial. Nothing less than complete devotion would have been enough to “carry them through training and the hardships of deployment and the battlefield.” We should tap into this quality in our veterans, bearing in mind George Washington’s insight that “‘happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.’ That sense of moral duty that guides our military in times of war” could also “guide them to happiness in civilian life.”

—Pedro C. Moreno, F87, on huffingtonpost.com

DANGEROUS MELTING “As whispers of climate change first began to circulate, it was hypothesized that the greatest warming would occur in the Arctic. Data published earlier this year by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies clearly gives truth to this claim. Nine of the ten warmest years on meteorological record have occurred since 2000, and the greatest increases in temperature have been experienced in the Arctic.”

What makes this especially worrisome is that “continued melting trends in the Arctic have the potential to fuel even higher temperatures. As snow and ice melt in the Arctic, the area loses albedo, or reflectivity. Less reflectivity means more heat is absorbed, leading to increased temperatures. Increased temperatures accelerate melting, which can cause glacial surges and increased calving of ice into the ocean. Melting also occurs within the land surface in areas of permafrost, or frozen ground. Some permafrost contains stores of greenhouse gases, which can be released into the atmosphere upon melting. We are dealing with a large snowball of aggregated environmental issues.”

—Sarah Strand, A14, in the Christian Science Monitor

OB-GYN, TREAT ALL SIZES Some ob-gyns turn away obese patients, because such women, who can be difficult to treat, are a liability risk. “Doing this is completely unethical—and discriminatory. Overweight women need treatment for their reproductive health perhaps even more than thinner women do, since obesity increases the risk of uterine cancer and infertility. Obese patients do pose challenges, but so do patients who are handicapped or have chronic pelvic pain, and we don’t refuse them care. Our job as doctors is to find solutions. Investing in proper equipment, such as exam tables and specula designed for heavier women, makes it easier to treat all women.”

—Katharine O’Connell White, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine, in Glamour

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