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F-35 is part of military largess -- Tom Richards
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F-35 is part of military largess -- Tom Richards

From the State Journal readers debate the F-35 fighter jet coming to Madison series
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For the last 40 years I've had a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower on my refrigerator door. It is from his "Cross of Iron" farewell message, which he delivered at the end of his presidency. In it, he warned that the military industrial complex will impoverish our country, spending our wealth on guns, warships and rockets. His warning has gone unheeded pretty much up to now.

Today, our federal government is building a new fleet of $100 million fighter jets to replace the current fleet of "outdated" fighter jets. Rather pathetically, our federal government pretends it is a huge gift to any community to house a handful of these jets.

I hope Madison will not be deceived and fall for this phony largess. As much fun as it might be to fly one of these remarkable machines, their military usefulness appears to be total fantasy. The futility of all the wars fought and lost in my 72 years speaks loudly.

The myth that the fighter jets at Truax preserve my freedoms is a hard sell. The reality of ground water pollution from PFAS and long-abandoned burn pits at Truax are the sad truth.

Tom Richards, Madison

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