Memories of Gitmo


I see that Deputy Editorial Page Editor Juan Vasquez was at the camps in Guantánamo. I lived at the Naval Station for seven years, where I taught at W.T. Sampson High School, a Department of Defense Overseas School.

When I first went to Gitmo in 1985, the base’s mission was focused on fleet training. In 2002, I returned. At that time, the detention camps were still being constructed on a restricted portion of the base. The media depicted the entire area as a prison camp. This perception irked me because the students, workers, contractors, hospital staff and Navy personnel were lumped together with camp activities about which we knew little or nothing.

The politics of the situation had cast a cloud over our little “town” and its residents.

In response, I wrote a book, Storm over Guantánamo. Using the framework of a mystery-thriller, I described the topography, unique wildlife and the base’s history.

There are many former Gitmo residents in Florida. In Orlando in 2012, a reunion for the high school classes (1954-2012) drew more than 350 alumni from all over the United States. Everyone still loves the place. Many wish they could go back to an idyllic life in the sun. I’d be interested in your editor’s view of the base, not the camps.

Anna Massengill, Lady Lake

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Renewable energy is better than FPL’s nuclear power lines

    In his July 15 letters Bury FPL’s high-voltage transmission lines, former South Miami mayor Horace Feliu insists that the city of South Miami should pay the $18 million that FPL demands in order to underground the high-voltage transmission lines it proposes on U.S. 1 to support a pair of nuclear plants.

  • No double standard

    What is all this talk admonishing Israel about not killing civilians and being disproportionate in its response to Hamas?

  • Police transparency

    It is about time that the police begin taping interrogations — and that should be only the first step. There is no reason for jurors or anyone else to trust the police. Every time a cop gets busted, the blue wall descends and nothing happens. If police want to be respected again, then the state attorney’s office must prosecute cops who break the law and send them to prison; police departments must fire cops who abuse privileges; and police officers must show respect for the law and citizens. The best way to do that is to wear body cams and use dashboard and station cams.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category