Letters to the Editor: I went through tear gas training in the military. It was traumatizing
To the editor: I’m an almost 89-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, who at age 20 went through firefighting school in boot camp. (“Some U.S. lawmakers plan to propose a ban on police use of tear gas, which was deployed during peaceful protests,” June 10)
One exercise had us wear a mask and go through a room filled with tear gas; it was no problem. Then, we had to remove our mask and go back through that same room.
It was a horrible experience that I will never forget. My eyes were burning, I was coughing and had difficulty breathing for some time after. And, I was a young strong sailor in excellent physical shape.
When I saw those peaceful protesters walking outside the White House on June 1, I noticed they ranged in age from young to old. All I could think of was my experience as a young, healthy sailor, and how terrible that had to be for those innocent people.
Plus, at the same time we went through the tear gas in training, we didn’t have a helicopter sweeping low above us.
Ira Gewant, Manhattan Beach
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