I served 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

The 20 storage tanks holding 187 million gallons of jet fuel embedded deep in Red Hill and only 100 feet above the Honolulu water supply have served the U.S. military 75 years — more than twice as long as I did.

I’m 72 years old and have had the normal number of aches and pains including a hip replacement and skin cancer.

The 20-story jet fuel storage tanks also have had aches and pains as well as its skin is getting thinner and thinner due to 75 years of corrosion — that skin is as thin as the edge of a dime in some places.

Board of Water Supply Ernest Lau points to areas near the Navy's 20 fuel tanks below Red Hill by the black dot looking things below his left hand during EPA teleconferenced meeting with the BWS board. 28 june 2016

The Board of Water Supply’s Ernest Lau pointed to areas near the Navy’s 20 fuel tanks below Red Hill during an EPA teleconference meeting in 2016.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

My hip replacement didn’t turn out the best with my leg ending up one-half inch shorter than anticipated, and skin cancer surgery has left patches on my face, head and leg.

Patching of the thin skin of the Red Hill jet fuel tanks didn’t turn out so well either, with the welding on one of the patches giving way and 27,000 gallons of jet fuel leaking out of the tanks, jeopardizing the Honolulu aquifer.

Those of us in our 70s know all about leaks — it’s a hazard of age.

I retired from the U.S. Army after 29 years.

After 75 years of service, it’s time to retire the Red Hill Storage tanks — and protect our precious water supply.

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About the Author

  • Ann Wright
    Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retired as a colonel. She also was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war in Iraq. She has lived in Honolulu since 2003.