Let’s not overdramatize what the lieutenant was getting at ("Flight suit was best for wings," letter, Oct. 6). He never said anything about being better than anyone else. Perhaps it was a bad choice of words. But he has a valid point.

The Army Aircrew Combat Uniform is the worst of four uniforms I have flown in, and it has nothing to do with how they look. They are baggy and hot. The Velcro goes out after four to six washes. Because we are only given four by the Army, we have to get them tagged and get new ones every few months.

In a Kiowa, you often find yourself "Velcroed" to your co-pilot, or at least wearing his unit patch after the flight. The Velcro around the leg goes first, and we look ridiculous when it gives way and our pant legs end up around our ankles (we aviators do try to look as professional as possible). The collar Velcro is sewed in such a way that you have two options: wear one collar up at all times or cut the Velcro out and thus not be able to Velcro your collar shut in flight (meant to protect your neck/chest/back in a fire). Almost everyone I know does the latter — sacrificing safety.

It was a quickly fielded uniform and the powers that be are working diligently to improve our equipment. I have no doubt they are working on the next-generation flight uniform already. I do think "they" should bring back patches/awards/branches — it was a huge source of pride for soldiers.

There is a fine line between "suck it up" and "improve your foxhole." Because you attempt to do the latter does not mean you do not know how to do the former. Conjuring up images of soldiers in hospitals ("All servicemembers play a part," letter, Oct. 9) is a bit uncalled for.

Capt. Anne McClainFort Rucker, Ala.

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