I was appalled to read the Sept. 24 letter “Burn pit lawsuits nonsense.” I’m not sure how the letter writer can compare taking fire from the enemy with inhaling fumes left from open burn pits. The letter writer says he has been in Iraq longer (more than six years) than any of the soldiers who have been there without any noticeable side effects. So what!

I suppose only after a considerable amount of time spent home upon his return will he possibly begin to see the side effects, if any. He states that the people who are doing most of the complaining are “fobbits.” I’m sure he’s one of them. He thinks that if those soldiers would leave the base they wouldn’t have these problems. Those who are serving in the support roles serve an important purpose; for without one the other cannot succeed.

He also states that [some soldiers feel] these bases in Iraq and Afghanistan are remote “Club Meds.” I believe they are considered combat zones and, last I checked, any indirect fire and/or bullets that come into the forward operating bases are in fact real and do cause significant damage and death — as would breathing any poisonous fumes.

To me, the only one whining is the letter writer. Soldiers have a right to be concerned for their health and to be taken care of. If they were wrongfully exposed to these fumes because of a contracted company’s carelessness, then it’s their right to sue.

Sgt. 1st Class Jamy Angel

Camp Buehring, Kuwait

Mail clerks must be vigilant

I write to reiterate the concerns raised by the Army specialist whose mail or package cannot be traced (“Disappointed after mail is lost,” letter, Sept. 24).

The number of soldiers complaining about lost or missing letters and packages is getting alarming, if not scary. Mail room operations must be treated as [being as] important as any other facet of Army business. Our mail clerks must be more vigilant in their sorting system. I believe most of the problems we have with our mail are as a result of someone not willing to go the extra mile to look and see critically as to what goes where.

I received a single letter a couple of months after it had been mailed. The writer informed me about it, so I was waiting. When it finally arrived, I was surprised to see all the addresses that it had been to. It showed that my single letter went to three different locations before getting to me. Not that the address was vague: My name, company, battalion and brigade — all four vital elements of the military mailing address system — were clearly written on it.

For all we know, the specialist’s package may have been sent to a wrong address and it’s sitting there because nobody cares about it. Our mail clerks must remember that their vigilance in getting mail to its rightful owner would go a long way to relieve some soldier of some stress.

Finally, if [those so assigned] think they are “forced” into the mail room against their will, they must not forget that the Army puts everyone where they may be needed most. They must lift up their game and deliver quality service.

Pfc. Ansah Richard

Joint Base Balad, Iraq

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