[The writer of] "Stop the complaining" (letter, Nov. 10) apparently thinks the numerous Army responses to "The War Room" (article, Oct. 27) were my leaders "boasting" about keeping us in harm’s way.

These Army leaders aren’t boasting, and none of them were demeaning the work those pilots do; they simply don’t feel (and rightly so) that sitting in a room, controlling unmanned aerial vehicles is worth an article titled "The War Room" — and it’s not.

The writer’s disrespectful insinuation that my leaders are simply unwilling to remove us from combat zones negates the entire concept of obeying orders from the commander in chief. Does the good captain presume that Army leaders just want their troops in combat? No, Army leaders simply know that their troops are trained for combat and that death is live here. We are sitting ducks, and we don’t get to "turn it off." Quite frankly, I would love for my biggest stressor to be "shutting off" combat mode and seeing my family each night. I would love to have a six-month rotation in theater — but that’s not the branch of service I signed up with.

So, when soldiers’ 12 months comes rolling along, we don’t complain about spending it in theater. The Creech Air Force Base pilots shouldn’t complain about spending it in "The War Room" either.

Perhaps the letter writer should remember that serving in the military isn’t about which service gives the "better quality of life" and that a leader doesn’t publicly accuse another branch of being "petty and jealous."

Spc. Crystal Smith-OgleForward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq

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