Reply to a Complaint Letter
by Captain John F. Peterson, USMC
Pacific Beach, CA
Re: "Is harassment of a resident the role of the military?" (Letters, Feb. 4):
Responding to Maura Harvey's letter wondering if the Marine helicopter training flights that passed above her Del Mar home were simply to harass residents, I can say that, yes, our mission is to harass residents, specifically Mrs. Harvey.
We do not train 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide freedom and security to all residents of the United States. We exist only to annoy the very people we are sworn to protect, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We spend months and years overseas, away from our families and loved ones, in some cases making less than minimum wage, choosing to live a life in which many qualify for food stamps, just to have the chance, one day, to annoy people like Mrs. Harvey.
There is no more sought-after position in the military than the Maura Harvey Annoyance Task Force. As a matter of fact, the Marines who spent Christmas dug into fighting positions in northern Kuwait and their brothers in the sky, braving anti-aircraft missiles and artillery, were just training to come back to the States and fly missions over Mrs. Harvey's house.
It has nothing to do with the security of the nation. It has no impact on our ability to carry out missions in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and it has no bearing on Mrs. Harvey's ability to enjoy "nature and peaceful, quiet living." The "strange, almost science fiction war scene" she described was put on solely to make noise and to destroy her "scenic view corridors" in Del Mar Terrace.
It certainly was not valuable and necessary training to help sustain the lives of those who ensure this nation's freedom, should they ever be sent into harm's way to do just that.
Next time, Mrs. Harvey may want to look upon those loud machines and think about the men and women, who fly, ride in, and maintain them. Ponder the sacrifices they make in providing this nation with the warm blanket of freedom we all enjoy. Maybe she might even imagine how much more disturbing it would be if she were not sure what country the helicopters were from, or whether they were going to attack her beautiful neighborhood.
But she shouldn't worry too much about that, because we will not let it happen.
Last updated 22 March 1999 by Chris Miller