Regarding the Aug. 1 letter “Why no right-wing outrage?”: I am completely dumbfounded that anyone in the U.S. Army could be so factually challenged in relation to the case involving the firing of Shirley Sherrod from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s obvious the letter writer simply did a cut-and-paste regurgitation of talking points from various left-wing media websites.

Sherrod had been fired almost seven hours prior to the first mention by anyone on Fox News of what she had said, which occurred on “The O’Reilly Factor” — something for which show host Bill O’Reilly apologized the next night. The letter writer’s anger should honestly be directed at those who did the firing, not Fox News.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had full copies of the tape and knew what was said on those tapes, and yet NAACP officials still called for her firing. Where is the letter writer’s anger at the NAACP for prematurely calling for her to be fired before the facts had been fully revealed?

There is a difference between “edited” and “excerpted.” An excerpt of the tape was played on the website. Nothing was edited. And the silly claim about Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is taken straight from a liberal guest on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program.

There is no outrage from the right, and rightly so. Especially when you get past the bluster and the hype and take a look at the facts. Fox did what any good news organization does, waited for all the facts to be revealed and then reported on it. It’s people with less-than-genuine reasons for placing the blame on Fox News and so called “right wingers” who have turned this into the silly mess that it is now.

Staff Sgt. John S. Wollaston

Camp Holland, Afghanistan

Someone’s got to go to Osan

In regard to the Aug. 3 article “Audit: Longer assignments would save AF millions”: This is true for all services. The problem is not people being moved unnecessarily; it is the lack of attractiveness (to many) of the tour locations where people must be sent, regardless of their branch of service. While I’m sure that there are a few hundred servicemembers who would agree with “Why not Minot?,” how many other thousands would prefer not to be left there in freezing winter seasons year after year.

The Army has numerous places where few are volunteering to go on their assignment preference forms. (Why do you think they call them dream sheets?) This was evident to me on one assignment when a friend asked: “Who did you piss off to get assigned to Fort Polk, La.?”

Despite the unpopularity of many places, personnel are moved to meet the needs of the service. One of the needs is to expose those servicemembers to the distinct challenges of these places — cultures, terrain, climate, etc. The other need is to balance keeping servicemembers and their families reasonably content with their assignments. Detailers, career managers, monitors and assignment officers know that if they send someone to an unpleasant duty location, they should normally follow it up with a first choice on the dream sheet. One- or two-year unaccompanied tours are very tough on families, as are accompanied tours to unpleasant duty locations.

There obviously are not enough senior leaders who are single, with no immediate family, who would be willing to absorb being away for extended periods on what is commonly referred to as a hardship tour. We are not talking deployments to combat assignments here.

What the article is referring to is called homesteading and was, in my experience, highly discouraged. Now, it is being suggested as a cost-savings device. Fine. Send me to the number one choice on my dream sheet, and I’ll stay there for the next five years. But then, who would go to Tooele Army Depot, Utah; or Osan Air Base in South Korea; the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in the California desert; or Idaho Falls Naval Reactors Facility; or ... (your readers can knowledgeably fill in the blanks).

Lou Nelson

Yokota Air Base, Japan

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