Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: army

April
14th

MILITARY: Our soldiers deserve better process

Re: “Soldier can’t go forward, can’t go back” (TNT, 4-13).

I know all too well the delays that Sgt. Chris Peden is talking about. I am an Army Reserve soldier and have been in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) process since December 2011. When the Army and Veterans Affairs talk about processing times, they are talking about goal timelines. My case is at 825 days.

Reserve and National Guard soldiers have an even bigger problem than active-duty soldiers. We must prove that our injuries either happened during a period of active service of more than 30 days or

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May
28th

BRIDGE: Army has experience in fixing fallen bridges

The bridge collapse situation takes me back. During World War II, a U.S. Army Engineer Combat Bridge Company would have quick fixed a fallen bridge within a maximum of 24 hours so tanks could move across.

Given the opportunity, perhaps Joint Base Lewis-McChord would have treated this as a training exercise, flexed their muscle and saved time along with taxpayer monies.

July
10th

JBLM: Command change ceremony lacked spit and polish

I read about the change of command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (TNT, 7-4). I was disappointed to see a picture of two lieutenant generals in a vehicle with a headlight out, and they were dressed in the “working uniform,” as were the troops.

I miss seeing generals looking like generals and dressing accordingly. They are not one of the boys. On the back page was a picture of them hugging. How sweet.

On July 6, I attended the change of command at the Coast Guard base in Port Angeles. Everywhere it was spit and polish – the enlisted in

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June
22nd

MILITARY: Training needed to prevent suicide

Re: “JBLM committee working to prevent soldier suicides” (TNT, 6-22).

I retired from the Navy as the command chaplain at Submarine Group 9/NSSC Bangor in 2007. Shortly thereafter I was asked to help train Army personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (then Fort Lewis), as a volunteer, in Applied Suicide Interventionist Skills Training (ASIST) alongside Gary Ouellette. I did this for about two years.

My observations were that while ASIST is a highly effective program, the best in the world, Army units would pull soldiers from the training for multitudes of reasons. Gary and I, along with a temporary assistant,

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April
30th

JBLM: 9th Infantry would be a better fit

It was great news to read (TNT, 4-27) that a division headquarters will once again be assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Veterans of the 7th Infantry Division should be pleased.

However, I think a better fit for JBLM would have been the 9th Infantry Division. The 9th ID shares 20 years of history with Fort Lewis and was the senior unit on post prior to the reactivation of I Corps.

Further, in the 1980s, the division – serving as the Army’s High Technology Test Bed and evolving into the Army’s only motorized infantry division – laid the foundation for the

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March
19th

WAR: Time to pull out of Afghanistan

A 22-year-old Marine is shot in the back of the head by an Afghan military “ally” (TNT, 3-17). That (according to the article) is “at least the seventh killing of an American military member by his supposed ally in the past six weeks.”

Our leaders appear more concerned about everything but the safety of our service men and women. The neurotic methodology of having us working side by side with those who might just shoot you in the back is an impossible and cruel circumstance. We train our service members to take orders, then give them orders which don’t

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March
19th

RAMPAGE: Accused soldier is our responsibility

The headlines refer to a “JBLM soldier.” This is not correct. The accused soldier may be based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but he is an American soldier. We recruited, trained and sent him to war (multiple times) in pursuit of the security, political and economic goals of the United States of America.

Referring to him simply as a JBLM soldier marginalizes our collective responsibility for his alleged actions, reprehensible as they may have been.

One of the great drawbacks of our all-volunteer military is and has been that the vast majority of our country has no personal attachment or commitment

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Jan.
30th

MILITARY: Reversing PTSD diagnoses is wrong

Re: Army reviewing Madigan team’s reversals of PTSD diagnoses” (TNT, 1-28).

Shame on the Army, and shame on the Pentagon. They send our young men and women to nightmare war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, and when they come home less than whole they are accused of malingering?

These young people give up so much and are dumped out on the street without help like old used rags, in the name of saving money on retirement, health care, costs. This happened after Vietnam, too, but people just didn’t recognize the disease at that time.

The Army needs to make this

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