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Editor, The Beacon:

In response to Paul Stevenson’s letter regarding not being forced to wear a mask during this pandemic: People have had enough sense to wear masks in prior epidemics, including military personnel in the 1917-18 pandemic.

I must say that after serving in the military as a chaplain … spending over half my career as director of pastoral care in our medical centers here and abroad, including the world’s largest contingency hospital as co-director of pastoral care during Desert Storm, I can personally attest to the need for wearing face masks.

The reason that I write about this is that this is not just about individual freedom and not caring whether you die or not; it’s also about not being a direct cause of the death of another human being!

The idea is to save lives … not to snuff them out.

We also have another adage in the military … “When in doubt, salute.”

So, even if you doubt health care workers and providers … please just wear the mask.

Finally, the best analogy that I have come across is the one about the blitz in London, when Londoners were asked to pull their shades down over their windows at night to keep the German pilots from seeing any light, which would guide them to their targets.

If one did not take this precaution, then a bomb might not hit their house but may very well hit their neighbor’s house! 

The prevailing idea here was that it was Londoners’ “patriotic duty” to close their blinds at night to prevent as many deaths as possible.

Chaplain Lewis C. Long III,

U.S. Air Force (retired)

Lake Helen


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