By Nancy I. Maanao
America's military preeminence since World War II has relied upon one factor: the best, by far, Navy in the world. Other countries have armies that surpass ours in numbers. Other countries share nuclear capabilities.
But no country in the world can move troops and resources to where the fight is or where the fight needs to be prevented like the United States Navy. Among the seven American naval fleets patrolling the nation's interests and guarding allies across the globe are 11 actively-commissioned and deployed aircraft carriers leading strike force groups. One of them is the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.
And that ship is docked at Apra Harbor, Guam. Its tenants - the 5,000 sailors doing who place themselves in harm's way for our freedom - are getting sick at an alarming rate because of the Coronavirus.
Its captain, Brett Crozier, has made a desperate plea to the United States Navy command to get his sailors off that ship before the disease spreads even further and before any of his sailors die.
In a four-page letter, Mr. Crozier says his sailors are ready to pack up their bags and fight for America even if that means they all will fight sick with the virus. But since the ship is not engaged in war, he rationalizes, will America and Guam please allow his sailors a fighting chance to get well and then be on their way?
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero this morning described a plan together with Joint Region Marianas commander Rear Admiral John Menoni to allow the sailors aboard the Roosevelt, who have tested negative for COVID-19, to quarantine in individual rooms in Guam's hotels. The Navy will patrol every hallway in every floor and every common area to ensure the sailors are not leaving their rooms.
While we, the residents of the Marianas, deal with the spread of the Coronavirus throughout our villages, there are 5,000 sailors and a captain scared for their lives who ask for quarters from us. They go so far as to assure us they won't use up our scarce resources. All they need is room at the inn. It is the only logical option they have.
In this Lenten season and in our Hafa Adai spirit, we should welcome this opportunity to provide to America's sailors what they've provided to us while at sea: a chance to live.
Here is Mr. Crozier's letter: