I’m writing from the Burlington, Vt., area to tell the people of the Boise area that you are not alone. Although we are thousands of miles apart, we are close in our shared concern about a threat to our cities: the basing of the F-35. It is due to arrive here in 2019. Its noise will impact over 2,900 homes.
Looking back on our opposition efforts, I wish I had known we would lose more than win. We were in a David and Goliath battle. Everything was stacked against us. We were lied to. Our patriotism was questioned. They promulgated disinformation. Uninformed people chose to believe incorrect but catchy phrases, and ignore military, scientific, medical and economic facts. We underestimated our power.
People power was the good news. We had the power to stop the F-35 basing, and we almost succeeded. Activism and lawsuits were key.
My advice: Speak up loud and often. Keep your message simple. Don’t give up. Take turns doing the work. Let lost battles be lessons. You can lose battles and still win the war.
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Weapons systems belong on military bases, not near cities. Planes can easily go elsewhere. People cannot.
Col. Rosanne Greco, USAF (ret), South Burlington, Vt.