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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Credit due for heroic federal workers

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For those with anti-government-employee sentiments, I'd like to focus readers on the heroism exhibited last week by a Coast Guard helicopter rescue team that braved Hurricane Sandy off the treacherous North Carolina coast to rescue 14 crew members of the replica ship HMS Bounty ("Coast Guard hopeful of finding tall ship's captain," Web, Tuesday).

This ship starred in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." For those of us lucky to have visited the Bounty when she came to our cities or towns, it is heartbreaking that the ship's captain and another crew member who stayed behind to get everybody onto life boats went down with the ship.

The Coast Guard isn't the only federal-employee group keeping the nation's entire East Coast safe. Also involved are the tens of thousands of federal employees and officers of the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and many more. Truth be told, during our lifetime most Americans will receive some form of help, minor or major, from a federal worker. Much of this aid will be delivered during fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

So the next time you meet a federal employee, instead of believing all the myths you have heard about government workers or letting the incidents of a few paint whole agencies with the same broad brush, shake the employee's hand and say, "Thank you."

A.J. CASTILLA

Boston

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