To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I lived in North Adams for 16 years of my life until I moved elsewhere due to my enlistment in the United States Army. I conducted two tours in Iraq as a combat infantryman during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and I am proud to have served my country.

It was a bit heartbreaking however, when I returned from service to the state in which North Adams had become. The heroin epidemic surprised me the most, as well as crime escalating in the community.

Of course no town is perfect, and maybe I was just oblivious to a lot of these issues due to my young age and ignorance of such events because of the interests of my own life. I have such fond memories of growing up in North Adams, and in my opinion the Berkshires have a lot of beautiful attractions to offer. But the idea of things possibly getting worse is something I worry about.

Having a daughter of my own now has made me concerned for her safety, and I wonder about possible scenarios she may encounter growing up. I still feel North Adams is a beautiful city, and I am hoping the areas that are in need of improvement will do so. But only time will tell.

NATHAN A. RICHARDS

Cheshire