This letter is in response to the Feb. 15 South Whidbey Record article “County denies grant, labels Coupeville as anti-Navy.”
Mr. Hannold, I, like you, am a retired Navy veteran. I chose to live on Whidbey Island after 26 years of naval service at 12 duty stations, from Hawaii to Italy, and having been deployed all over the world, sometimes 1,000 feet below sea-level and sometimes thousands of feet above.
My kids had to change schools five times. My wife had to deal with bad plumbing and broken cars without me. And yet I’d do it all over again and am proud that my son has embarked on a naval career.
So I was quite offended when you accused me of being “anti-Navy.” I chose to live here because of Whidbey Island’s unique beauty and gracious citizens.
The beauty and character of this island are worth defending, wouldn’t you agree? Choosing to live here does not restrict one’s ability or right to second-guess or question our local, state or federal government. If the government proposes raising our taxes, as citizens, do we not have the right to challenge that proposal?
If the state Department of Transportation proposed turning Highway 20 into “Interstate 20,” would we islanders not be allowed a voice in that decision? But, if the Department of the Navy decides to increase flight operations over our island sixfold, you seem to believe that anyone who questions that decision is “anti-Navy,” and by implication, un-American.
Do you not believe in the First Amendment? Do you find the Articles of the Constitution of the United States inconvenient to your agenda?
Are you sure that you’re representing the concerns of the people of Oak Harbor or are you just the public voice of your own biases?
The U.S. Navy does not own Whidbey Island — the people of Whidbey Island do, the people that you supposedly represent.
So the next time you’re so inclined to disparage an entire community for voicing their opinions concerning the impact a government action might have on the future of their health, their livelihoods, their security, and their property, perhaps you should ask yourself whether you’re doing so for the common good, or just for your own self-serving interests.