Letter: Characterization of Navy personnel was offensive

Editor,

I found Mr. Wahl’s characterization of Navy personnel offputting (March 27 letter to the editor).

He thinks the 300-pound gorilla is Navy personnel “soaking up available housing” and sitting around “letting the local yokels figure out more housing.”

This sounds offensive and I wish the editor had edited it per stated letters policy. I think the 300-pound gorilla is AirB&B/VRBO and could be equally insulting toward investors who capitalize on the cash cow income without acknowledging that what they are raking in takes housing away from those who need it. But I wouldn’t go that low.

Mr. Wahl sounds frustrated and resentful toward the Navy. Is it necessary to portray these community members so negatively? I doubt Mr. Wahl knows what Navy personnel think. I don’t think these sorts of characterizations add to problem solving. I think the Navy probably is looking at housing solutions. I also wonder if Navy personnel wouldn’t rather live off island in light of the level of hostility that is sometimes expressed in various letters to the editor.

I get that Mr. Wahl is looking for the Navy to put forth more effort to house “flyer families.” I’m not sure that characterizing the Navy personnel as elitist and dismissive toward “locals” is helpful.

Kathryn Pratt

Oak Harbor

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