Letters to the Editor

Military budget defense was mean

I was really surprised by the arrogance and mean-spiritedness of Lyle Bull’s letter to the editor in the Nov. 17 Whidbey News-Times.

There’s something “wrong” with “people like” Ms. Burton because she has a different opinion than he does? He would bet that none of her friends or family members had served in the military because if they had, they would share his opinion on military budgets?

Well, I hate to pop his bubble, but over the years the folks that have served in the military are as (surprise!) diverse in their backgrounds and opinions as the population as a whole. I retired from the Navy and I agree with Ms. Burton that our military/defense budget is bloated. My dad retired from the Air Force (he also was a World War II vet in the China/Burma/India theater), and he thought the budget was bloated. My brother served four years in the Army as a tank platoon commander and he thinks the same thing.

Here’s two more, just for openers: Andrew Bacevich, staunch conservative, retired Army colonel and history professor at Boston University, I highly recommend his latest book, “Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.” Believe me, the least of the problems with gargantuan military budgets are fiscal.

Finally, if we are to believe what Dwight Eisenhower said in his farewell address in 1960, I think you can take it to the bank that he, too, would agree with Ms. Burton.

I certainly agree that military service involves much sacrifice, up to and including the ultimate sacrifice. Given that, I think it’s wrong to denigrate someone who exercises one of the freedoms that sacrifices helps to preserve.

Richard Johnston

Coupeville

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