Friday, July 3

Letters to the Editor

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Operation Song

Hey Ron,

I just read your article in The Tennessee Magazine. I wanted to let you know that I think very highly of your writing skills. You handled and delivered the message so wonderfully. Thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart. Peace, bro.

Ryan Taylor, Chattanooga

Hello there, brother.

You did a great job with the Operation Song article, and I appreciate you doing that. It means a lot. God bless.

Dennis Buchanan, Mt. Juliet


I joined Operation Song in August of this year having been introduced by another member. Listening to the stories and songs of the other vets sort of made me feel out of place. Why? I explained to Don Goodman that unlike so many, I really did have a good time in the Navy. So he felt I surely needed to share my story. Humor, he explained, sometimes offsets the darker side of us returning vets.

So, yes, the story of “one song at a time” will make you laugh and cry at the same time. I hope more vets hear about “bringing them back one song at a time” and are able to tell their stories. The Tennessee Magazine has done a fine job of reaching out to the vet. My song? Well, you’ll have to listen to album No. 4. I’m on there somewhere. Hint? OK; calling a Marine a “jarhead” is NOT a good idea.

Mike Couture


I would like to thank you, Robin and the staff for the wonderful job you did in helping us get the word out as to what we do. From what I’ve seen so far, we could not have hoped for a better representation of who we are and what we do. Thanks again.

Al Jarvis, Treasurer, Operation Song, Chattanooga

Hello, Ron,

Thanks for the great article and cover photo! Your passion for the vets showed. One correction, if it matters: We do pay an honoraria to writers. We’re doing so much that we have to have a lot of writers lined up and compensated to keep the programs going. Also, someone snagged my copy of the mag. Could we get some more of those? Thanks again.

Bob Regan, President, Operation Song

Writer’s Note:

Thanks, Bob,

I’ll get a box of magazines out to you asap. In the article, I did mention a “stipend” to writers. Thanks for clarifying the honoraria. This was definitely one of the most important articles I’ve written for The Tennessee Magazine. Happy to be a part of it.

Ron Bell

Answering the call

In your November issue, I noted that the Tennessee co-op response to Hurricane Florence included 17,061 volunteer hours. My question is: Did any of those volunteers get paid for their hours?

John Edward Stevian, Morristown

Writer’s Note:

Absolutely. We want to be sure that our lineworkers and their families are well cared for while our employees are away.

All of our crews who volunteer to assist in storm recovery are paid for their travel time, overtime and any expenses they incur. The utilities we assist reimburse the local co-ops for all costs, including labor, mileage, food and lodging.

Mutual-aid agreements that are in place with all of our surrounding states outline how our crews are compensated and how expenses are handled. Working out all these details ahead of time allows us to respond quicker.

Some might argue that they are not volunteers since they are being paid, but leaving your family behind to go work long days in dangerous and difficult conditions is not an easy decision for any of these folks. It would be much easier for them to stay home, sleep in their own beds and continue doing their normal jobs. Deciding willingly to go into those circumstances definitely makes them volunteers to me.

Thanks for reading.
Trent Scott

Stage coach trip

In the October 2018 issue of The Tennessee Magazine, page 29, third paragraph of the right column, states that the stage from Knoxville to Huntsville took 22 hours. I believe it took six days and 22 hours. I thoroughly enjoy “History for Kids” even though I am a 71-year-old kid.
David Crider, Union City

Editor’s note:

You are correct. We regret missing that in copy editing.


Hello. Can you please tell us how much it is to receive your magazine in the mail? Thank you so much.

Carl Luft, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

Editor’s note:

The Tennessee Magazine is distributed through Tennessee’s electric cooperatives. The publication schedule varies by co-op as to whether members receive it monthly, bimonthly or quarterly.

If you are a member of an electric cooperative and are not receiving the magazine, please check with your local cooperative office to get back on the list.

If you are not a member of an electric cooperative in Tennessee, you can purchase a subscription. Please see the subscription form on this page or on our website,


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