Saturday, August 27, 2005
  Honor Them!
Makaha Surf Report has a terrific post about the quality of the people who serve in our military. Please go read it in full.

130,000 men and women do it every single day, they don't do it for money, they don't do it for fame, they do it because they believe in something. They believe in an idea, an idea that America has a responsibility to do what we can to fight hatred, oppression and evil. We are a blessed nation to have so many give so much for so little in return. I am inspired everyday I am with them.

They come from everywhere and nowhere, little towns, our largest cities, and countries near and far. They joined for many reasons, money, adventure, education, and patriotism. But ponder this; On September 11th, 2005 it will have been four years since 9/11, most military enlistments are 4 years in length for the initial term. That means that the men and women in uniform today (a majority of them) are here because they want to be. They are here to fight and to win, the bear this out, while the Army is having a small problem with initial recruits, it is having no problems whatsoever in retaining its combat veterans. Ponder fact number 2: The U.S. military now has the largest pool of combat veterans in the world today. Since 9/11 we have cycled nearly one million total soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines through Iraq, Afghanistan, and the other fronts in the War on Terrorism. These combat veterans by and large are electing to stay and continue the fight. That speaks of the American character and the uniqueness of the American experience.

Throughout our history we have been a nation of rejects and castoffs. We as a people are the ones the rest of the world tried to persecute, or the ones that wanted more than the rigid social castes of much of the globe, or we were daydreamers and adventurers. We found all that we wanted and more in America, we found a land where birth did not equal status, where a poor man could become rich if he worked hard and was a little lucky, and we were a land where one's belief's didn't matter. The heart of a man or woman was judged by the actions of that person. You find that spirit in the Army today(the branch I am most familiar with), I have seen Russian boys and Nigerian girls transform from castoffs of the Old world into models of American character. I met a young man from Lebanon that joined the U.S. Army after 9/11 because he could not understand the level of evil it took to attack the beacon that is America. In my travels I have met men and women that believed so greatly in our country they were willing to risk their lives just to be one of us. I have never been prouder to be an American as when I am in their company, yet at the same time, I feel a small amount of despair. The despair is in the fact that so few of our own young people are willing to put their life on the line for liberty and freedom. We still have enough that are willing to do their duty for our nation, but it still troubles me.

I have spent nearly a year in Iraq in my three tours here, and my spirits are always buoyed by watching my countrymen and potential countrymen at work and at play. They go out everyday and face mortal peril, they go out and have to confront the evil of our time, they go out and see friends killed or maimed for life. They do that and still they smile much more than they scowl, they show love and compassion to the Iraqi people instead of fear and hatred. They still believe in the mission even after nearly 1900 of them have been cut down in the sands of Mesopotamia. Being here with them reinforces my beliefs in humanity and my idealism, with brave and selfless men and women such as these, anything is possible. The fires of human passions are often at their hottest in war, the fires of evil seek to scorch and destroy all that is good, in our men and women I see the fires of righteousness in action. Good done for the sake of good, selflessness for the sake of your brothers and sisters in arms, sacrifice in the name of love, and honor in a battle against those without honor. I truly have been blessed these last 2 and 1/2 years, I have lived in the company of heroes. Heroes of America, heroes to the downtrodden and dispossessed, heroes to the persecuted and brutalized, heroes descended from the peoples of every nation under heaven.


(Thanks to DadManly)
Don Myers at Captain Normal commented here:
"Actually, a lot of them do it because they cannot get a job anywhere else thanks to Dubya's "jobless recovery." It's what experts call the poverty draft."

"I'm not putting down the men and women in uniform---far from it---but this obsessive canonizing is becoming vulgar."

So Don, you claim that "a lot" of the military just can't get a job "anywhere else", and in the next breath you falsely claim to not "put down" those same folks. Where'd you learn to talk out both sides of your mouth like that?

I'm proud to "obsessively canonize" people who are worthy of praise and honor, unlike the media who glorifies a pacifist mother who dihonors her own son's memory.

So Don, if I "obsessively canonize" the military, what's your description of those scumbags who rant against our military outside Walter Reed?

(My apologies for doing a knee-jerk delete of the original comment. On reflection I realized this kind of bitter, asinine, fringe-left bile should remain up for all to ridicule and rebut. - James)
By the way, Don, the soldiers who are fighting this war are re-enlisting in record numbers, and helping the military exceed re-enlistment quotas.

Oh, wait, I guess they're doing it because they can't "get a job anywhere else," right?

I mean any other explanation would be "obsessive canonizing".

(Thanks for the great tagline, by the way!)

Maybe you have made this conclusion that the military is full of people "who can't get a job somewhere else",(aka the "poverty draft"),out of sheer ignorance.

If so, its time for some comeuppance on your part.

Here's clue number one. Officers are required to have a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree to hold the position of officer. Later, they are expected to obtain a Masters Degree in order to be promoted.

Here's clue number two, there are a significant number of enlisted personnel who have Bachelor's degrees, some even have Master Degrees.

Clue number three, degrees most commonly held include: Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Math etc.

Now, perhaps you might need to revise your "poverty draft" nonsense.

Not only would a lot of military personnel have no problem finding employment elsewhere, many give up better pay and lifestyle to defend the liberty that you and I possess.

Don, you're ignorant comments, and constant repetition of liberal sound bites is what is vulgar.

Defense of the honor and reputation of those brave men and women who have put all on the line to perserve all of our liberty is not vulgar it's honorable.

Biting the hand that gives you the very freedom to slander those who preserve your liberty is disgusting and without excuse.

I've tried to educate liberals like Don on the quality of folks in the military. If it's such a horrendous way of life why does anyone make a career of it? Why do people stay in for 20, even 30 years. Why do people stay in after attaining multiple degrees or managerial experince that could get them much higher paying jobs in the civilian world?

If the troops are being lied to about this war then why are veterans of combat reenlisting in such vast numbers?

Unfortunately Don, like the rest of the hate-Bush, fringe-left, has sold themselves the lie that these "poor kids" are such losers, and America offers so little opportunity that they have no choice but to put their lives on the line for Bush and Halliburton's "war for oil."

What utter crap. Anyone who's served in the military knows better. Anyone who knows anyone in the military knows better. They are quite simply the best of America. The hippies and "peaceniks" down in Crawford aren't. The scumbags and lowlifes protesting our brave combat wounded veterans outside Walter Reed certainly aren't.

The media makes ratings off of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, off of soldiers "unjustly" killing terrosits. They ignore people like SrA Cunningham (AFC) or SFC Paul Ray Smith (MOH). They ignore the schools we're building and the vilages we support because none of that serves their agenda.

Screw 'm! They deserve the America they choose to see.
I've tried to educate liberals like Don...

I cannot help but notice that your idea of "educating" me is to post increasing strident comments filled with right-wing talking points, but NEVER any evidence.

I, on the other hand, make cogent arguments and back them up with sources.

Do you see the difference?
(Thanks for the great tagline, by the way!)

I live only to serve, my friend.

Keep up the servant role. You're certainly entertaining, even if you you're not able to present substantive arguments
How ironic that you'd make a comment about "service" so soon after denigrating and insulting those who truly serve.

I disagree with Clay, though. Your entertainment value is beginning to wane.
James: I've tried to educate liberals like Don...

Don: I cannot help but notice that your idea of "educating" me is to post increasing strident comments filled with right-wing talking points, but NEVER any evidence.

Wow, Don! Talk about taking things out of context. You liberals have made it an art.

What I said was, "I've tried to educate liberals like Don on the quality of folks in the military."

Do you need a source for that?
Do you need a source for that?

D I need a source for or strident, jingoistic, poorly-written right-wing talking points?

Not really, no---the corporate media is practically swimmin' in 'em.
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Retired from the US Air Force after more than 20 years of service. Now working as a contractor for various government agencies.

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