We all know someone that has made some bad choices in life and had to pay for them, whether a family member, a friend, or a friend of a friend. They have paid for their mistakes through our judicial system.

It has been brought to my attention that several of our citizens that paid for their mistakes (although still on probation) have now become productive in the community. We live in an area where the unemployment rate is high and jobs are few. Still, these citizens have struggled through the obstacle of returning to civilian life and obtained gainful employment. They want to work and not use the system for handouts. My congratulations and respect goes out to them!

I have now learned that some of them that work for a reputable business here in Grant County are not allowed to perform their duties as productive citizens in the field of work they have obtained due to the Grant County parole and probation department. These men and women have chosen the heroic profession of firefighting (saving lives and land from the destructive and devastating results of wildfires.) God bless them!

Grant County is one of the few counties in Oregon that will not let people leave the state to perform their duties of being responsible and productive members of the community. I believe that if these people were going to break the law they would not have shown the responsibility of getting jobs, paying bills and trying to get their lives together. My request to our probation department is please do not take away the self-respect or incentive to make their lives better. These people have earned the right to travel as required by their employer.

Also, please remember that these men and women are highly trained professionals at their jobs. They may be protecting your son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchild that just started in this profession. Wouldn’t you want someone that knew what they were doing next to them? I sure would. How many of our Grant County children are out there and could use these men and women to help them through the next fire?

Cheryl Neault

Prairie City

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