Storm Cloud (manifest)
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The View From Disneyland

Only in city hall doublespeak is a $50,000 salary increase for councilmembers not a pay increase but a salary adjustment (“Little Pay, Big Deal,” “City Lights,” May 8). It’s only a pay raise when it’s for policemen, firemen, janitors, etc.

Don’t they live in a wonderful world? Sort of like Disneyland-on-the-Bay.

Ron Engelhart
Clairemont Mesa

Basher Basher

I cannot believe the Reader’s choice for its May 8 cover story (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife”), let alone its publishing. The image alone, of a Navy “basher” distastefully wearing a sailor’s uniform, is downright disrespectful to all in the military. I cannot believe some of the cover story’s claims either. Publishing a story that makes false claims of the Navy backstabbing and bringing “out the bad in people” tarnishes the Navy’s image and discourages those interested in enlisting. It leads me to believe that the Reader does not support our troops, even though it is published in a military town and it is circulated to all San Diego bases. I have been in the Navy for nine years and seen a lot of poor choices people make — none of which were influenced or encouraged by the Navy.

ENS Enicnas
USN

Recognize The Truth

I just finished reading Maggie Young’s story (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8), and it really moved me. I was in the Navy too, and much of what she said is so true. While reading it, it brought back a lot of memories and issues that I was dealing with. It was a great story, and thanks for expressing it.

Joey
via email

Something’s Missing

Clearly there is much more to this story than the writer admits (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). It is a little disappointing that her story was not better scrutinized.

GEB
via email

Sea Plus

She may think she had a tough time living aboard ship (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). I was a single first-class petty officer living on a nuclear submarine. My bunk and locker space was about half of hers; plus, the last year I was at sea we had 315 days at sea.

Clancy Sloan
Senior Engineer

Badly Dressed

The phony Navy wife is just another example of someone blaming someone else for their own problem story (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). She enlisted on her own and then didn’t like sleeping aboard ship, so she committed fraud with a phony marriage. She took the taxpayers’ money so she could be more comfortable. It’s a good thing she didn’t join the Marines and have to live in a foxhole. And I question her cover picture. Not only does she dishonor the uniform, she is wearing a good conduct medal. I doubt she earned anything for good conduct. She should be in a prison jumpsuit, both for her fraud and for wearing a medal she didn’t earn.

Bob Werner
via email

Maggie Young responds: A good conduct medal is earned after a sailor does three years of consecutive good behavior. I went to Captain’s Mast January 9, 2007, three days after my three-year mark. I wore my good conduct medal to be funny and ironic. My fraud charges were dropped because technically I broke no rules. There is nothing in any Navy regulations or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that states you must marry for a particular reason.

Please Pass The Listerine

Just wanted to say this is a good article calling the military out on some of their imperfections (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). I have been a wife of a service member now for 15 years and have volunteered my time to the military.

Their commands know, as they have people who report to them and talk. The commands cover it up because it will look bad for them and their future commands, but this is not to say there aren’t some good ones out there, because there are. You have your officer’s wives shipping alcohol to Iraq in bottles of Cepacol or Listerine. They set up rules about no drinking at certain times, and yet their enlisted personnel have noticed the commander coming in through the gates a little too intoxicated. So if there is bitterness from this gal, I don’t blame her at all.

One of the biggest complaints in the military is how they receive their promotions. There is always a big secret as to why you were not promoted. I know as civilians if we are doing bad, they call us on it and say, hey, improve here and here and maybe we will give you that promotion. This is not the way it works with the military. My husband, who has been a victim of this, has served for 17 years (has been overseas nine times; has never done anything that I know of with regards to his career). The reason I believe him is because any time I run into a commander, colonel, or captain, they speak very highly of him, and he has received very nice letters, etc. He is a good man, not perfect but a hardworking man. My husband has had several people review his service record to see if anything is wrong, but because Washington doesn’t tell him anything or anyone anything, they don’t know what to improve on. Of course, I don’t get too involved in his military regulations, but it would be nice to know why sometimes guys that have actual stuff on their service records get promoted and others like my husband do not. So needless to say, he does get a little bitter about the military now. He still loves the uniform, but he does have a little hatred. Not to say if they sent him to Iraq he wouldn’t go, but those are the kind of guys that the military needs able to lead and instead they keep some chumps in the service, like the ones looking out for themselves and not willing to help the young recruits that are now coming. Instead, after their first four years in the service, they want the hell out, so in a sense, maybe the military does bring out the bad in a person.

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