After five years as a civilian attached to the Army, Ms. Terri Wonder is at best ignorant of all military protocol and terminology, and at worst, she is totally disingenuous about her so-called "forward deployment." How can I make this statement?
In 1965, I went to a military recruiting office and voluntarily enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Upon entering military service, all qualified recruits, as I did, earned the National Defense Service Medal for service during wartime. I then served two tours in Vietnam forward deployed in I Corps bordering on North Vietnam. I served my country honorably during the Tet Offensive at the Battle of Hue, and after two tours in Vietnam I was honorably discharged. This is dedicated service.
These are the actions, and words, that are used for those who served in the military service and go in "harm's way."
The point is of this letter is that I believe that Terri Wonder was not recruited, but contracted by the civilian secretary of the Army. Thousands of civilians have served in this way.
I have a friend who also went to Iraq and was well compensated. More importantly, these civilian contracts involve no oath, no rank, and you do not give up any of your civilian constitutional rights, unlike those who voluntarily put themselves under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
I ask you then how can anyone think that Ms. Wonder can handle the myriad issues and terminology of the office of a Manatee County commissioner when she cannot accurately portray her civilian position with the Army? I find her words inappropriate and unusual at best.
How transparent will she be when even her biographical information is so mired in ambiguity?
Neil D. Moore Sr.