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The Record, Northern New Jersey

Performing An Important Duty As U.S. Citizens, Serving As A Host For The Armed Forces

February 4, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Record, Northern New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.

I am writing in response to Miguel Perez's Jan. 26 column ("More War Games for Vieques ," Page A-3). While Perez is a strong voice for the minority community here, this column provided a disservice.

Perez points to the leaders of Puerto Rico who want to end the Navy's use of Vieques for target practice. Yet he failed to mention a critical fact: Many legislators in Puerto Rico believe that Vieques residents are performing an important duty as U.S. citizens, serving as a host for the armed forces.

I have read that both Puerto Rico 's Senate Minority Leader Kenneth McClintock and House Minority Leader Edison Misla-Alarondo agree with U.S. policy that the people of Vieques , rather than island politicians, should have the final say on whether the naval base should stay or go. I agree.

Regardless of whether the Navy ultimately moves out of Vieques , I hope Perez will understand that this story has more than one side to consider. This is a difficult issue for Puerto Ricans to tackle, and every voice must be heard. If Perez is to be an effective journalist and educator, he should try talking to more people about the issue. I think he'll be surprised about what he hears.

Alysia Pappas
East Rutherford, Jan. 30

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