Chris Rainwater: Letter from a veteran
As a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and a civilian director for the U.S. Army, I read the letter to the editor by Chris Barounos with astonishment. Mr. Barounos complained in his letter that the Air Force (and apparently one pilot in particular) swooped down with a jet, resulting in vibrating china, scared horses and irritated seniors. He also complained that such flights interfere with his golf games and reading a book. He called upon Steamboat Springs City Council to appeal to the Air Force to change their training routes.
The men and women of the Air Force, assuming for a moment that it was an Air Force aircraft, are dedicated professionals who report for duty every day with one mission: protect our nation. Because these selfless airmen work so hard to ensure the freedoms that we all enjoy, we are able to golf, read and do innumerable other things in a free nation. Because of our fantastic military, we live in a nation in which we are free to cast stones at the very people who are willing to die to ensure our liberties.
Mr. Barounos wants the military to go fly somewhere else. Apparently, it is acceptable to Mr. Barounos that other people be “annoyed” by training flights just as long as he and his fellow seniors are not bothered. This is a stunning position. The Air Force, as well as the other services which fly aircraft, need to train whenever and wherever in order to maintain and enhance their proficiencies. The skills that our pilots gain by training is crucial to their success on the battlefield.
Thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and coast guardsmen have given their lives since 9/11 to ensure our freedoms and liberties. Training is essential to their success. The next time you are annoyed by the sound of a military aircraft, take a moment to say “Thank you” to that pilot who is risking his or her life for all of us.
I took the liberty of providing the letter from Mr. Barounos to the Public Affairs Office at Peterson Air Force Base. The suggestion that City Council can affect how and where our military trains is ridiculous. If a citizen has a concern about a Department of Defense activity, the proper people to speak to are our representatives in Congress.
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