Many Americans remember Ham, the first chimpanzee in space, and Enos, who circled the Earth before John Glenn's historic mission. Sadly, 150 of these space veterans languish in a laboratory, subjected to painful experiments.

The work of Drs. Jane Goodall and Roger Fouts, among others, have shown chimps to be the closest genetic cousins to mankind. Joined by conservation and animal protection groups, they're calling for an honorable discharge for the Air Force chimps and their retirement to a sanctuary, where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace.Unfortunately, the call for a better fate for the chimps has fallen on deaf ears at the Air Force, which promised to retire them two years ago. Now it has reneged and instead leased them to a researcher for toxic chemical tests. For these little heroes, their betrayal by the military means more painful experiments and eventual death.

This is an unfair and unethical situation that should be corrected.

Leigh Engelbrecht