Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vieques....a thought to consider

My last post left me thinking about Vieques and the struggle that continues within the small island.
Consider this, the U.S. Navy purchased the western and eastern ends of the island between 1941 and 1950. The Navy used the training range about 180 days per year of which roughly 120 days consisted of live-fire exercises. That amounts to six months every year, for over 50 years, until training operations were ceased in May 2003. Given the amount of time, equipment and manpower used for such military exercises one can only imagine the cost. While I can fully understand the need for a highly trained and prepared military, what I can't understand is at what cost must these exercises be conducted. If only a drop of the expenses used for all the training, operations and exercises was used to help fund for research and treatment, it would be a step in the right direction. In the midst of discussions on health care reform which continue in Washington, the people of Vieques (American citizens!) suffer through their own health crisis.

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