Letters to the Editor

Feedback: No training, no Navy

Even on a slow news day, it must be possible to find something more newsworthy for your lead article than Marcie Miller’s “Residents endure sound of freedom.”

While Ms. Miller made a small effort to balance her article, the general tenor was that the noise from Navy planes disturbs local residents — it is worse than it used to be — and the Navy should be more considerate. Before Ms. Miller writes another such article, please remind her of these facts:

The U.S. is engaged in a war on terrorism that requires a high state of readiness. Our Navy personnel at Whidbey Island Naval Air STation and their families are making substantial sacrifices both here and abroad to keep freedom free. Training is key to survival. If the Navy happens to vibrate someone’s teacup, so be it!

Navy planes have been making noise here for 60 years. Most of the houses in the area, including those at Dugualla Bay, were built long after the Navy established its flight patterns. The people who built those houses and the people who bought them knew that it would be noisy, but they built and bought anyway. If they prefer quiet, let them build and buy elsewhere! They chose to move where it is noisy — they can choose to move where it is quiet.

If the Navy can’t train here, they can’t stay here. Consider for a moment what it would be like if the Navy were to leave — and don’t discount the possibility, it almost happened. If the Navy were to leave, there would be empty houses and stores for miles around. We would lose active duty personnel, base civilian employees and their families — but that would be just the beginning. Stores would close. Construction would stop. People would be forced to move elsewhere to find jobs. It would be interesting to know if the Whidbey News-Times could survive the loss of advertising revenue. If you did survive, it would be interesting to know how large a staff you could afford — whether Ms. Miller would be one of the lucky ones to keep her job.

And, finally, Navy personnel and their families are some of the most interesting, vital people in the area. We owe them a lot, not only for their patriotic service but for enriching our community in many, many ways. Don’t knock them, support them!

“Train up your reporters in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6).

Richard N. Donovan

Oak Harbor

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