June 2009

Letters to the Editor
../index.html Home   Print    Email

Go to www.ibew.org

A Strong Foundation

Recently in the national news, labor unions have received a lot of negative publicity. The labor movement has played an important role in shaping the type of family life that I have had growing up.

My dad's membership in the IBEW has instilled in me the value of hard work. I have observed his empathy for the underdog in work related negotiations in the news and have come to understand his reasoning.

The most important way the labor movement has affected my life is that it allows my dad to be a real dad to my brother and me. I have observed that classmates' parents are absent from most of their activities, due to long work hours. My dad can pick us up from after-school activities, attend my cheerleading competitions, volunteer for community projects and set an example for me. His membership in the IBEW allows him to successfully perform both of these important roles in his life provider and father.

Because of the labor union, both of my parents have played an active role in my childhood, which has given me the strong foundation that will help me to succeed in life.

Laura Marie Blackburn
Daughter of Laurence E. Blackburn, Local 400 member,
Asbury Park, N.J.

Local 400 member Laurence Blackburn and daughter Laura.

Making the Grade

My husband Phillip Reyes receives your paper and I too enjoy reading it. I've noticed that many of the success stories are not in the state of Texas and thought I'd take a chance and brag on Amarillo Local 602. My husband and his co-worker Mark Bilbrey, both employed with D & K Hunt Electric Co., took their master electrician's exam in December and passed. Mr. Kerry Hunt does not refer to his employees as people who "work for him" but more as "we work together."

Others have since passed their journeyman electricians' exam and more are scheduled to fulfill this same goal. Ms. Erin Blain, the office administrator, is a wonderful help in assisting these gentlemen in submitting all necessary documentation. Should anyone be in this area, be sure to take a short drive and visit D & K Hunt Electric Co., and personally meet the people there. I promise you will have the utmost Texas welcome.

Norma Reyes
Wife of Local 602 member Phillip Reyes, Amarillo, Texas

Sincere Thank You

Words cannot express our sincere thanks for the many cards, visits, food, and memorial contributions that we received following the tragic death of our sons, Greg and Chris Wadkins (Topeka, Kan. Local 226). The boys, who worked for Citadel Electrical at Fort Riley, Kan., were killed in an auto accident on March 24, 2009, on their way home from work. Even though they were taken suddenly from us we know they are still happy and together.

When they first struck out to work in other states, this was unsettling to us; however, we soon came to understand and know the meaning of "brotherhood." They had acquired another family, which was their fellow electrical union brothers. The friends and family they soon found during their travels are ones that cannot be replaced. We hope to maintain these friendships for Greg and Chris.

To know that Greg and Chris have touched the hearts and lives of so many people is gratifying to us. We will miss their enthusiasm, dedication to work, their love of life, family and friends. Thank you again for your support. May the electrical union remain strong and supportive.

Ray and Pat Wadkins
Parents of Local 226 members Greg "Korndog" and
Chris "Chili Dog" Wadkins, Topeka, Kan.


Greg Wadkins (left), Chris Wadkins (right).