Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: military

April
20th

MILITARY: Let all vets shop at base exchanges

Re: “Commissary exchange consolidation gaining steam” (Tom Philpott column, 4, 17).

It occurs to me that the solution to saving the military exchange system due to budget cuts and drawing down of troops is simple: Let all veterans shop, not just active and retired military.

My husband served fours years in the Air Force and volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam. Now that he is retired, the option of shopping at the military commissary is attractive.

I don’t think this is a new idea, but it should be reconsidered to ensure the viability of this valuable benefit.

April
13th

MILITARY: VIP culture isn’t anything new

Re: “‘VIP culture’ raised in officer’s chute death” (TNT, 4-13).

As tragic as the death of Col. Darron Wright was, this kind of VIP mindset has always been part of military activities and should surprise no one.

When I served at Fort Lewis in the mid-1970s, I was helping to evaluate a Ranger battalion training exercise that included an airborne exercise in California. The commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division at the time was both Airborne and Ranger qualified. He decided to “jump in” with the Rangers in California.

The weather conditions were less than optimal, and ground winds

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March
31st

FOREIGN POLICY: Are we the world’s guardian?

Re: “Obama’s miscues reveals his ignorance” (letter, 3-30).

From my understanding of the writer’s intent, I believe he is suggesting that because of the president’s “ignorance regarding foreign affairs,” we “aren’t working in the best interests of our country” when we refuse to deploy troops wherever the Islamic world is in conflict with other factions of Islam or nonbelievers, whoever they may be.

If we accept the writer’s premise, we would probably have troops (with U.S.-supplied weapons) deployed in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Indonesia, Chechnya, Gaza, Lebanon and a few I missed.

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March
4th

MILITARY: Where is the promised support?

Re: “State rebuffs Navy training site request” (TNT, 3-3).

Here we go again. The state has rejected the Navy’s request to use land. It says that hundreds have opposed the proposal by the Navy to use the Olympic Peninsula for electronic warfare training.

Not too long ago, hundreds of individuals, local business owners, and local and state officials gathered to beg the military not to downsize its force here in Washington. That reduction in personnel means big reductions in money (some estimate billions) into local coffers. Those same individuals also asked/pledged to do whatever to keep the military presence strong.

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March
2nd

BICHSEL: ‘Bix’ was an advocate for peace and the poor

Thank you for telling about the life of Father Bill Bichsel (“Bix”), whom many consider to be a prophet and saint (TNT, 3-2).

Bix lived with the Catholic Worker group in downtown Tacoma helping the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged, although he was better known for advocating for peace and abolishing nuclear weapons.

Bix protested numerous times at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. This school has a horrible history of teaching military tactics to Central and South American military officers, some of whom were implicated in the murders of not only thousands of innocent people, but

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Feb.
25th

MILITARY: Defense secretary wrong on transgender

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said recently he’s open to transgender individuals serving in the military. How very tolerant of him.

However, I wonder if Carter, a trained scientist, would welcome the inclusion of alchemy (the ancient belief in the ability to change an element like lead into a valuable element like gold) in college curricula?

Science has debunked alchemy. And yet Carter seemingly subscribes to the same belief by pushing for transgender rights. But no amount of surgery, clothing and therapy will change the birth sex of any individual at the chromosomal level. No torturing of the English language, such

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Feb.
24th

MILITARY: Officers’ lying is a costly habit

Re: “US Army officers lie regularly” (TNT, 2-21).

Is there public outrage about the routine and “defensible” lying by military officers? These “ethical shortfalls” have already been addressed at high levels, but after reading this story, I come away with the impression that it’s not a big deal, it’s an ongoing practice and there are no consequences. This is a chilling thought.

Sometimes we all cover the truth. But it’s one thing to “fudge” your opinion of your friend’s haircut; it’s something else entirely to “check the box” in the military to evade and deceive. What kinds of risks are

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Feb.
4th

MILITARY: Mental health service must improve

It is essential that the Department of Defense not only maintain, but improve military mental health services even in the face of the drawdown (TNT, 1-22).

Since World War II there has been an increasing shift to more psychological injuries than physical injuries. However, these injuries have not been treated on equal par with physical injuries. Untreated, psychological injuries can lead to poor adjustment, substance abuse and suicide.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Institute of Medicine repeatedly recommended increased accountability, coordination and standardization to improve military mental health. Currently, each service branch has its own policies and procedures for mental health;

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