I respectfully disagree with the view expressed in the July 21 letter “True service means a war zone” that “true service” means you must serve a deployment in the Middle East. Those who have served admirably and bravely in places such as Kosovo, Bosnia, Central America, South America, South Korea and numerous other locales should never have their service to the nation insulted by anyone, regardless of recent experiences. I’m a veteran of tours in Iraq and, currently, in Afghanistan, and even I am not foolish enough to take cheap shots at those who service to our country extends beyond the parameters of the Middle East.

Lt. Col. Kyle Tate

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

Get with the times on service

In response to the July 21 letter “True service means a war zone”: While I thank the writer for his personal sacrifice and service, I shudder to think that a fellow field grade officer in today’s military is capable of such myopic and archaic thinking.

Our modern, technologically reliant and capable military operates in a world where direct and indirect functions supporting our national objectives do not necessarily require a costly, inefficient forward deployment of personnel and equipment. There are thousands of our brethren in the areas of planning, logistics, space operations, medicine, acquisitions, strategic defense, intelligence, administration, training, maintenance, et al. who successfully accomplish their mission through hard work every day. I thank them for their service, and I bet the letter writer relies on many of them every day to accomplish his mission.

In a world where oceans no longer protect us and effects-based military operations, global power projection, high-speed data technology and limited budgets are the norm, officers with the letter writer’s point of view are an anachronism best relegated to the history books.

Maj. Nathan Vandrey


Vaccine argument is shot

Hidden in the middle of the July 20 column “Keeping vaccination rates high in public’s interest.” is a sentence that deserves much more attention: “People are getting sick who have been vaccinated but the vaccine either doesn’t work or has weakened.” And that is the idea upon which the entire column rests: Vaccinated people pose a risk to the general population. Why? Because the vaccines themselves don’t work or are weakened.

So these outbreaks that the author rages on about are implicative of the obvious failure of the vaccine to protect against infectious disease!

If the outbreaks only affected the unvaccinated population, all would be well and good. Parents who opt out of vaccines know the risks. Parents are often more than willing to put up with a bout of the measles or even episodes of whooping cough in order to avoid the potentially more dangerous constituents of the vaccines themselves. But because vaccines can and do fail, that is why we all should be vaccinated?

If a person who is either unvaccinated or vaccinated can contract an infectious disease, and thereby pose the risk of outbreak within the community, then what is the point of the column?

Sarah Clifton

Yokota Air Base, Japan

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