To the misguided citizens trying so very hard to force the Navy to leave Whidbey Island, admit it: that has been your agenda from the start. I offer some predictions.
In the years immediately following the closure of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, we will see a significant drop in property values, the collapse of several public and private schools, closing or downsizing of most adult education programs, a drastic reduction in both local and county government services and employment, as well as general deterioration of the current high quality of life we enjoy here on our sometimes-noisy version of the Garden of Eden.
There are likely to be other negative results to a base closing, the “law of unintended consequences” being alive and well.
To the large majority of good island folks that understand what’s truly at stake, you can remain silent and let a bad thing happen. If you are also a senior citizen like myself, it is almost certain that we will not live long enough to see Whidbey Island restored to its present glory days.
It’s true. We get the government we deserve. Mine are not the first warnings of irreversible harm to our community when the Department of Defense uses our own words and actions — actions of a very small minority, in my opinion — to justify moving our Naval station to another community, one more patriotic and tolerant of the wonderful young men and women willing to train, fight and die for this nation.
These same misguided souls that wish for bad things to happen are on the record, forever accountable and will never be able to say, “Please forgive me. I just didn’t understand how bad it would be.”
Gary H. Buck, Ret. Army captain