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Consider the sacrifices of those now serving | Letters
While you publish both sides of the noise complaints and opinions from both or all sides on Whidbey Island and perhaps some opinions shared by those of the San Juan Islands, please allow this humble third opinion.
You, all of you, who would disparage a Navy, a nation, our military in uniform and those civilians who support them because you are inconvenienced by jet noise, need to know, or be reminded of, something of which you are obviously unaware.
I am writing to you from the Logar Province of Afghanistan.
Here, the fallen Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines and civilians are not forgotten. Their pictures are on a wall where we eat, in a tent. They weren’t killed by noise, rather by an enemy armed with Chinese and Soviet weapons of old.
The enemy is not in plain sight, and they are determined. They still kill even today. Every few days this forward-operating base, FOB Shank, named for Michael Shank, comes under mortar fire.
You, all of you, either keep us here by your vote and or by your silence.
How are they doing? Do you even know or care, or are you consumed by the jet noise over Whidbey Island? Those kinds of articles get buried in page six somewhere.
The noise we hear in Afghanistan sounds like a ship’s United States Navy General Quarters alarm, and it is loud. It happens at all hours. It is followed by an explosion which you pray will only hit thin air. You only have seconds to contemplate a possible future.
As we here respond to those alarms, we all grab our battle rattle — helmets and vests — and take cover with just a few seconds of warning.
During the last few months, Shank has come under attack at least 50 times, sometimes three or four times a day.
Your sailors assigned to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, your U.S. Navy and Marines, and some civilians, are here in Afghanistan, right now, reading the diatribe about “noise” in this newspaper.
By your vote, rather than by your maliciousness toward each other, help the U.S. win over here, where you have sent our troops.
Please, for the sake of your future, your present and, especially, your military, cease fire on each other and suffer what you on Whidbey call, “noise.”
Writing to you from FOB Shank, Afghanistan.