OKANOGAN, Wash. – The story of the Navy pilots drawing male genitalia in the sky over Okanogan County started with a complaint.
Janet Burts said her daughter came home from work and told her there was someone doing skywritings outside.
“I went outside and sure enough you could hear the jet engine and he was completing his…design. Or whoever was on board. And um, I said, ‘That is definitely not a skywriter, honey,” she said.
She said the writings were visible over three schools in the area and she was concerned for the children.
“I think innocence belongs with children whether we think they know something or not,” she explained.
Burts said the sounds of the engines led her to believe it was a military jet and she knew they did training exercises in the area all the time.
“So I contacted Whidbey Island and didn’t receive a serious consideration. In fact, I was giving a number to call to file a noise complaint,” she explained.
She left a message but was not satisfied. She took a photograph and sent it to her husband, who is fighting brush fire in Australia and asked him for his thoughts.
“He took his super-duper enhancement program that he has, he enhanced the enhancement, so to speak. And he said, ‘That’s a navy jet, call Whidbey Island,’” Burts explained.
He was able to identify the type plane and told her to call Whidbey Island public affairs.
“I said, ‘We have an issue here,’ and I was not going to be convinced it was a light aircraft. Because I could tell,” she said.
She then wrote an email to the Navy asking for a formal apology to the residents of Okanogan. Burts said she has family in the military. Her nephew is in the Marines and her father was in the Navy. She said even her son thought it was funny, until he learned it was the Navy.
Since the story has made headlines, Burts has seen the backlash on social media.
“I think people need to stop calling me names because we all have our level and our standard that we put and just because we don't all agree doesn't mean that you have to do the bully thing in the adult arena,” she said.
After KREM 2 spoke with Burts, she has received multiple phone calls from the Navy giving her a personal apology for the student. She said they apology is accepted.