Name Withheld

Where’s The Honor?

I am a usual reader of your publication and truly enjoy the weekly cover stories. But in particular the “Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife” (May 8) had an extra kick for me.

Being a native son of both Tijuana and San Diego for over 30 years now, I have seen firsthand what life in the U.S. Navy does to many of the enlisted.

Life in the Navy (or any of the military branches) is a hard one and takes a great deal of sacrifice for the individual who decides to join up. My own grandfather, who fought in World War II, sacrificed much of his own sanity, and I know he left much of his inner peace over in the European theater. I also currently have a brother in the Army, on his second tour of this most recent Middle East conflict, and I know that he’s simply frustrated with it all! Or, in his words, “What the f**k is the point anymore!”

He has gone through so much worry! He constantly struggles to pay rent for himself, his wife, and kids and also wonders where he’s going to get enough money to feed them all. Both Ms. Young’s feeling and my brother’s is that the military does indeed screw you over. I’m reminded of the phrase “To be the Man, you have to beat the Man.” I mean, you are given such a lousy salary that it’s hard to simply exist, for Christ’s sake! So what is your only option? Play the system!

Right is right and wrong is wrong, but the world is more shades of gray than simply black and white anymore. I think that Ms. Young did nothing wrong, and getting ahead sometimes takes kicking ass. I do, however, commend her for being forthcoming when she finally did get caught.

I am truly happy that she has been able to get her story out there for people to see what people in our military are often forced to endure and what price they pay for “our freedom.”

There is no reason why any of our military personnel need to be homeless or be on food stamps! Even worse is the way the Walter Reed Army Medical Center issue came to light, or how lacking medical/mental services are to those servicemen and servicewomen who have a true and dire need of them.

We instead should honor those few who step up and take up the call to arms (for whatever the reason may be) and simply thank them for all of their sacrifice, never forsaking them or their families; at the very least, making sure they have enough money to buy food and be able to afford decent housing.

Thank you for such a well-written article, and I hope to see more of Maggie Young’s publications in the near future.

Gerardo G. Aguiñiga

Our Thoughts In Print

A generally well-written piece about a very significant military — not just Navy — issue (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). The system of rewarding marriage with tremendous pay is well known in the service and often discussed in the ranks but rarely in formal writing. The many extremely defamatory responses in the May 15 letters section are unwarranted but not surprising. Hopefully Ms. Young will not be shaken but will continue writing and consider law school afterwards.

Good luck.

Name Withheld By Request

The Truth Hurts

I think she is just telling the truth about Navy life for young sailors (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8), and sometimes the truth hurts. But instead of dealing with the issues, senior enlisted would rather punish the one telling the truth. Is it correct to cheat on your spouse overseas? No, but they do. What is the solution — how do we correct or stop this type of negative behavior? I wish her good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Name Withheld

Hot Air Balloon

Duncan Shepherd, in his review of Flight of the Red Balloon (Movie Review, May 8), maintains that a film consisting of artistically designed camera shots can be engaging. Apparently he doesn’t require that these visual exercises actually tell a story. After waiting an hour and a half for some sort of meaningful event, I decided that the dramatic high point of the movie had to be the tuning of the heroine’s piano. Flight of the Red Balloon is an empty, tedious, colossal bore.

Andrew J. Crane
via email

A Trip To Roam

I enjoy reading every one of Jerry Schad’s installments of “Roam-O-Rama.” I lived in the San Diego area for 21 years before moving to Orange County in 1995 and twice a month, on average, spent at least a Saturday (if not a full weekend camping) in the mountains or desert. I am familiar with most of the places he covers and long to get back down there at every opportunity. Orange County does not have the expanse of backcountry that San Diego does, but I enjoy checking out all his descriptions of interesting spots in this area as well.

And thanks to the Reader and Jerry for continuing to make the “Roam-O-Rama” available online.

Steve Grant
via email

The Treasure That Is Tim

Regarding Jennifer Cooke’s “King of the Casbah” story (May 1) featuring visionary Tim Mays, owner, businessman, organizer, a fan of music, and many other credits to his name. He has a legacy to be admired.

Also let it be known Tim is partly responsible for creating the metal underground scene in San Diego as far back as 1984. To my recollection, as a promoter, Tim Mays took on uncharted territory that had been neglected, unorganized, and abandoned. He managed to bring signed metal bands to San Diego — bands that were not mainstream friendly, bands that catered to the underground masses. It was a movement that most San Diegans never knew existed or didn’t care. The fact is, Tim Mays cared, the hardcore punk scene cared, and the metal scene cared. There were plenty of venues that opened their doors as well. Adams Avenue Theater, Wabash Hall, Palisades Theater, Carpenters Hall, Jackie Robinson YMCA, Club Mirage, Rio’s nightclub.

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