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Regarding the Oct. 6 letter “Flight suit was best for wings”: Greetings from a forward operating base in southern Afghanistan, where we have no iced coffee shacks, PXs or comforts of other deployed bases.

Yesterday, our battalion dealt with seven improvised explosive devices. The soldiers involved in defusing those bombs came back to our FOB dirty and worn out, but thoroughly proud of the work they did that day.

And guess what? They’ll be up tomorrow morning ready to do it again, just as they’ve been doing their whole deployment.

Without the paper pushers, the supply personnel and the other 100 dedicated specialties that work to put the writer’s bird in the air, he wouldn’t be in the job he is today. While I sympathize with his inability to wear his wings, I have to tell him that it’s not the flight suit or the wings that make individuals who they are. It’s their work ethic, pride and continual dedication that bleed through, no matter what they are wearing.

By the way, did I mention I’m in the Air Force? I’m assigned to this Army battalion but, when I read that letter I had to speak up for the hundreds of dedicated professional soldiers who proficiently attack, defend and support this country and our freedoms back home. The Combat Action Badges they wear have been earned in true ground combat — combat that has seen four of their fellow soldiers killed.

Dedication cost those soldiers their lives and they did it wearing the uniform of our country — no flight suit; no wings. Would the writer have the courage to tell their family members that they weren’t truly dedicated to this country? Because, in my opinion, the ones who died in uniform are the most dedicated individuals, regardless of their military occupation specialty, regardless of what uniform they wear.

Staff Sgt. Justin WeaverForward Operating Base Wilson, Afghanistan


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