The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013, 1:00 p.m.

Throw support behind military

Regarding the Monday article, "Camano Islanders split over Navy jet noise": I would like to address this issue from a non-emotional perspective. We hear the jets on a fairly regular basis, but we are not in the same flight path as some others on Whidbey or Camano islands. We knew the base was there and we knew that training would be conducted when we bought our house 12 years ago and our decision to buy was not impacted by this and it is still a non-issue. Let me present this thought for consideration. If you have a loved one on active duty, especially in Afghanistan today, or you know someone who does -- this is directed to you.
The flights we hear are training missions. They are designed to give the pilots, crew members and support personnel the skills, experience and confidence to do their assigned functions in an automatic reaction. The decision-making skills are a by-product of this experience also. Should these exercises be reduced or eliminated the skill sets will also suffer the same end. If your loved one dies because a pilot makes a tactical error due to a lack of training or bad judgment, those of us who allow our selfish desires to block basic logic and common sense will bear the full burden of responsibility.
Unless you bought your property before the Whidbey Island Naval Station was constructed, you also made a conscious decision to accept existing conditions and purchase your home. Good citizenship is not always easy, self-sacrifice and adjustments are sometimes required. Let's all do what is necessary to "get the job done" and throw our support behind the military personnel without whining and bickering.

Bill Odannel
Camano Island
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