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Top-Notch Former Pentagon Officials Should Be Encouraged, Not Vilified

December 11, 1988

The Nov. 13 story, "Fast Track to Defense Jobs Still Starts at Pentagon," made my blood boil.

Vic Whitehead, the retired Air Force Colonel whom the story would have you believe used his AF job and position to get Martin Marietta Commercial Titan to give him an executive position, happens to be an example of everything the American taxpayer should be proud of. He was the most experienced Air Force officer in the rocket launch business and was also one of the most dedicated and honest officers you could ever hope to have in the Department of Defense.

Whitehead's experience and management ability was so outstanding that any firm in the business world would have fought to get him after his retirement. What would you have him do after retiring from the Air Force--sell real estate or pump gas? The nation needs guys like Vic to continue to use his talents in his field of expertise, and your staff would have him disgraced as some sort of shady character who peddles his influence for a price. Ridiculous!

Anyone who has worked with Whitehead, as I did, would tell you what a dedicated officer he was and how much he knew about the military space business and the hardware. He also served for a full career as an underpaid servant of this country, and now he has to face your nasty implications.

Would that we had more Vic Whiteheads in this country. He is 49, a top-notch man in his field, and you would force him to start over again in another field. Let's lower the boom on the proven wrongdoers in our country, and let's encourage the Vic Whiteheads to continue to work on behalf of our country.

WALTER S. MOE

Santa Ana

The writer is a retired Air Force colonel.

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