Why do they keep bombing New Jersey?
May 20, 2007 2:37am CST
I'm from New Jersey, born and raised. I put up with all the jokes, all my life, because I knew something almost no one else did: NJ is a really cool place to live. There's more than one reason why it's been the most densely populated state in the Union for more than 50 years. If you want to hear about that, tell me and I'll do another discussion on it. This one is about a different issue I can only call uniquely Jersey-esque. In addition to its high population density, NJ is home to a number of military installations, like Ft. Dix and McGuire AFB. There's this Air National Guard unit based in South Jersey that has dropped incendiary materials and caused fire and damage not once, but twice in the last couple of years! I think it was two years ago, they "accidentally" dropped a small bomb on an elementary school, burning out a couple of classrooms. Thankfully, the school was closed at the time. Most recently, they're pretty sure it was the same ANG squadron that dropped the flares that caused the huge wildfire that consumed over 300,000 acres last week. Only the rains last Thurs. prevented a catastrophe. Please understand, I support the National Guard as much as our regular military, they are willing to fight and die to protect us and defend our shores. This squadron has been based there for many years, since the days when everybody treated NJ as their very own waste dump/bombing range/body disposal site/trash dump. The vast, beautiful Pine Barrens, an old-growth evergreen forest that covers most of the bottom third of the state, were treated like an all pupose wasteland for a whole lot of the 20th century, and that included letting the ANG have bombing practice there. When is someone going to get in touch with the fact that it isn't a good idea to practice dropping bombs in the most densely populated state in the country, particularly since it's also one of the smallest? There has been a huge amount of growth and development in the Pines over the last 30 years. Why is this still allowed?
• United States
20 May 07
Thanks for the reminder, I didn't realise! Because of its position in the middle of the Boston - Washington D.C. transport corridor, many people thought of only one thing when you said NJ - flying through on the Turnpike! When telling someone I'm from Jersey, their response is often, which exit? There was a regular tv program on Sundays for many years, called "More Than Just the Turnpike", too. I guess we owe the Sopranos a debt of gratitude for easing our collective self-image issues! ;) Some parts of NJ were settled in the early 18th century, some parts have lots of urban decay, some are extremely affluent, there's even some farmland left, so it pretty much has a bit of everything. Property taxes are dreadful though, which is why I moved across the Delaware River.
20 May 07
Im sorry, i know its wrong, but your story made me smile. Im English and have had to get used to the idea of Americans dropping bombs on our troops, or just shooting them because, presumebly, they spoke English with a forign accent. I loved what I saw of New Jersey, I flew in to Newark on my way to New York the last time i was over there. I loved the feel of the place. It felt very English to me, like a small town. However, as we drove through the state i was impressed by how relaxed the place felt and i will certasinly be back for a longer look blessed be
• United States
20 May 07
That's OK, it is a bit funny in an exasperating sort of way. It's only been property damage so far, and the ANG pays for it, so we can afford a bit of a grin. I don't think your troops get shot at because of the accent, the U.S. has the unfortunate habit of shooting our own, too. There was a pretty well-known "friendly fire" (isn't that an oxymoron?) incident a couple of years ago in Afghanistan. A Pro Bowl caliber NFL football player who quit the League and enlisted to become an Army Special Forces soldier was killed by his mates, then the Army did a big coverup. Such a waste! I hope you get the chance to come to NJ and look around a bit sometime. It has quite a lot packed into a fairly small state. be well!