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Lab retirees owed big debt of gratitude for endeavors

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I am writing to object to ideas presented by your Guest Columnist in Wednesday’s edition.  
Ms. Dannemann’s thesis that laboratory retirees owe a continuing debt to New Mexico, due to the fact that taxpayers funded their compensation over their careers, is indicative of a misunderstanding of the role of the laboratory in this nation’s security and defense.  
The scientists, engineers and technicians at the laboratory are the foundation for this nation’s deterrent to potential nuclear proliferators and aggressors, non-state actors contemplating terrorism and industrial treaty violators, to name a few.
Every day, they are engaged in work solving the nation’s problems, including protecting war fighters deployed overseas.  This work takes them away from their families, with long hours in the lab and on travel, often in hazardous environments.  
I would submit that this service to the nation more than out-weighs any misguided perception of debt.

Lawrence Kwei
Los Alamos