OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the ‘sound of freedom’ – Cape Cod Times


In answer to the inquiry if a machine gun range fits an eclectic/elitist image of Cape Cod located on Joint Base Cape Cod, the answer is a resounding absolutely not, with a caveat. Those are images not the reality of what a military reservation is or does.

Mary A. Jones of Brewster posed this question, and I am grateful for the contact email that she provided. My communication to that address paraphrase is along the following lines.

Thank you, God, for a facility that trains and prepares men in the operation and control of machine gun fire teams that are the nucleus of the ground forces deployed to all parts of the world.

You see, Ms. Jones, Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards played a major role in my own military service commitment. Circa 1950s the first Black Air Force general, Chappie James, was the commanding officer at Otis. General James made the base a go-to place for me as a Boy Scout and allowed me to sit in the flight simulator for the F-106 new jet aircraft. General James made the base a central part of the community and we used to go to the gym and the movies. Spending a weekend in the WW2 barracks was a big deal for all of us. The rattle of small arms fire and 155 howitzers against the backdrop of thundering jets was appreciated and accepted as the sounds of "freedom." Yours and mine. I still miss those sounds.

That, Ms. Jones, is my reality and experience that was a realistic preparation for life. Images are images, no more and no less.

Don C. Hayward, Monument Beach

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OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times

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