We are all entitled to our own opinions

Recently, I have been reminded that this is a free country and that we all have freedom of speech. I assure you, I am fully aware. In regard to a recent column, I received a tremendous amount of feedback. And honestly, I can say that at least 95 percent of it was positive. So many people made mention that they are completely supportive of the growth of our base.

We are all our fully capable of voicing our opinions, whether positive or negative, regarding the accommodations that we have in the area. However, the main point that I was attempting to share is that there is a point in time when speaking negatively accomplishes nothing other than to cause plummeting morale.

We become residents, whether honorary or legitimate, when we are stationed in this area. We have a voice. I simply would encourage those that find problems to be proactive.

We fully understand chain of command within the military. It is not unlike this within our community. You do have the right to speak your mind wherever you please. However, if you actually want to initiate a change or want to feel as though your opinions are being heard try doing so in the proper forum.

There are city council meetings, Quality of Life committee meetings on base, and a vast amount of other opportunities to speak your piece. We have elected leaders. If you are not satisfied with the current situation, vote your opinion on the next go round. The ranting and raving in various online forums or the aisles of the grocery store may make you feel initially better, however it is not going to help take any steps toward a solution.

I am grateful for all of those that have spoken in support of my point of view, I respect the rights of those who disagree. I would just like to encourage those that are seeking change to be a part of the commitment for betterment. I do hope that we realize that the weight of our words can affect the way we are all treated.

To put it simply, I expect a lot of our military men, women and families. We should continually try to raise the bar. That 1 percent of the community at both ends of the spectrum will never have their opinions changed. Yet, I feel as though the rest of us are reachable. We need to continue to work together for the betterment of our shared time in a shared space.

This community rallied together and fought for the military presence to stay, let’s so our best to keep that respect for this service on the pedestal it deserves.