This is in response to Dave Rider’s one-sided letter to the editor, published Aug. 15.
Though he makes some good points about war and peace, training and the potential for mandatory service, his snide comments about those who do not think like he does only serve to exacerbate the problems between the civilian population of Whidbey and military members who come for a tour of duty and then move on.
Exactly why must we look at the question of the Navy on Whidbey from only one perspective — Rider’s?
Let’s examine his claims:
First, the issue began precisely about noise. Many of us came to Whidbey for the quiet peace available in so few places today. We signed up knowing the Navy practices at the OLF Coupeville – with a maximum of 6,000 operations a year.
The proposed increase to 23,700 operations is outrageous, to say the least. I will not go into all the other impacts the proposed increases could have on Central Whidbey.
Rebecca Wagner covered those concisely in her letter printed the same week as Rider’s.
Second, Rider thinks it’s about people not liking the Navy.
What utter garbage. I know of no one who does not support the critical role the Navy plays in defense of the U.S., and no one who does not support essential training for the crews who volunteer to put their lives on the line.
As for “the Growler mission has never changed” – this statement is only somewhat correct.
The mission to serve and protect may not have changed, but the methods by which this is accomplished has.
Growlers are the latest, loudest addition to the war/defense program and the source of the present community conflict.
As for the snide comments about “Internet heroes” and “elitist world view” – Mr. Rider’s efforts to demean those whose viewpoints conflict with his are simply crass. If you want to be heard, stick to the facts.
As Mr. Rider correctly says “this is our community too.” However, in my book, “ours” means not primarily the military, but all of us who lived here before you came, live here now and will live here after you’ve moved on. We do indeed have skin in the game.
Life is not solely about war preparation, but about how to live in peace.