Letters to the Editor

COER members don’t accept responsibility | Letter


I see a theme running through Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve’s efforts to close the Outlying Field Coupeville and remove all EA-18s from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

The theme is found in the words of President John F. Kennedy: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

First, let’s consider what the EA-18 crews do and how it relates to Kennedy’s words.

These crews deploy on aircraft carriers. Their missions go something like this; get catapulted from an aircraft carrier — dangerous — fly a mission, often in a hostile arena — dangerous — and then, stressed and tired, land on the aircraft carrier — dangerous.

Landing a jet on an aircraft carrier is the most dangerous maneuver performed routinely in aviation. In order to survive this regimen, EA-18 pilots need lots of practice and must fly Field Carrier Landing Practices at the OLF Coupeville. These crews, in signing up to serve, have given Uncle Sam a blank check, to send them anywhere, to do whatever is necessary to protect their country.

Now, by way of contrast, let’s have a look at what the COER does. They are the antithesis of Kennedy’s words. They purchased homes near the OLF and then discovered that they could hear the noise of jets from their homes.

In buying these homes, they had made a mistake, but rather than fixing it themselves, they demand that others pay for it.

The COER members know that the cause they are pushing is weak, selfish, and unable to stand on its own, so they make up stories about children in pain at a nonexistent T-ball game. They try to make their cause look bigger than it is. They try to convince you that they are selfless, noble and brave, that they’re looking out for you, not just themselves.

Their idea of bravery and sacrifice is 150 people in a candlelight vigil in the rain.

According to COER member Paula Spina’s May 17 letter, they held the vigil to call attention to their cause, to protect the “health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Central Whidbey and now, as we see, to the region at large.”

Please. You don’t represent or protect an entire region. You represent some homeowners who made home-purchasing errors, and these homeowners think it’s perfectly fine to close a naval air station that employs some 37,000 people, thereby ruining local businesses and costing taxpayers billions.

The people whose lives would be devastated by a base closure are infinitely more important than a few Coupeville residents who didn’t employ due diligence when they purchased their homes.

COER, you don’t represent me or “the region at large.” You represent the sorry part of America — the people who don’t take responsibility for themselves and ask their country to do so instead.

John Close

Oak Harbor


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