Mr. Vanderleun, If you want to see men like that, go to Skagit or Clallam (red)counties. I really, really, really don't want to see the Persian Gulf ever again, and yet, I feel ashamed that my brothers are there fighting and dying for our freedom while I sit here, fat, dumb and safe. If I lost the weight, I think I'm still young enough to re-enlist, but I tell myself that I'm an old, fat man who sailed into harm's way and paid my dues 16 years ago. I tell myself, but somehow it rings hollow.
I hope thats on topic.
Each day as I drink my morning coffee, my mind is with those awesome men and women who are serving us in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Horn of Africa, and so many other places. Yes, they are the best of us and there is no way we can ever thank them enough.
I was one of them once and I had my heart broken when I came home to jeers instead of cheers. We must make sure that never happens again.
Are there ways we can get involved other than keeping the economy going? Yes, we need a good economy, we need dollars flowing to our businesses, but there are things we can do directly for the troops. There are fine organizations doing things to help and here are a few that I've contributed to: Operation Air Conditioner - http://www.operationac.com/, Operation Gratitude - http://www.opgratitude.com/,
the USO - http://uso.org/.
There are many others. If you want to get involved, but are too fat or too old for active service, check these out. It'll make you feel like you're doing something and our warriors really appreciate knowing we care.Posted by Jimmy J. at January 15, 2007 10:17 AM
Having worked with USO/Special Services in Vietnam, I'm well beyond retirement age; yet, last week I began to investigate in-country programs that needed the service of one who wishes to serve again.Posted by Gull at January 15, 2007 12:30 PM
I am a veteran of Desert Shield/Storm. last night my wife (whom I met during that same time) and I sat on the porch and spoke of our four sons. My family has fought in every American war since the French and Indian War and at least one of my for-now-young sons talks of becoming a soldier. This distresses my wife who, of course, wants them all to die of old age surrounded by their grandchildren.
She also realized the dichotomy; we were discussing how our homeschooling includeds training in survival and firearms, yet she worries about military service.
When we met I was a soldier stationed at Ft. Bragg and she was a student at Smith College - about as far from each other as is possible in this universe, I believe. After we married she joined me at Bragg and she often laughs about how very different her life at Bragg was after life at Smith. My wife speaks of the soldiers she met after we married - paratroopers in a tactical intelligence unit, West Point cadets in their senior year, and the Special Forces instructors from JFKSWC - and how she wants our sons to be men like them without needed to go through what they endured.
I told her that it was possible to raise men like that without them being soldiers first, but there was a problem - during war, men like that join the military anyway. Perhaps the best course is to steer them gently toward West Point or Anapolis.
As we spoke my wife had an insight. She told me that she realized that part of her wanted her sons to remain immature, to be less than they could be, in order to keep them safe from 'being men'. She thinks that many of the problems we see today are the result of many parents deciding that safety was preferable to character.
An important insight by your wife.
However, some people take to the military more readily than others. Bill Whittle has a post on his blog: http://www.ejectejecteject.com/
It was an old post - maybe over a year ago.
The essence of it was that humans are divided into the classifications of sheep and sheep dogs. Most of us are sheep, but fortunately about 20% or so are sheep dogs. These are the people who know that they are here to protect others. They are our soldiers, police, and fire fighters.
Probably not something most psychologists would accept, but I thought at the time I read it, it made some sense. Particularly now with our all volunteer military it really seems to make sense.
I should have looked it up and now I have. Bill Whittle's post is in his archives under TRIBES. Very much worth reading. Again, the blog is at: http://www.ejectejecteject.com/
Drive down to Ft. Lewis, Gerard, You'll find them aplenty there.Posted by Eric Blair at January 18, 2007 5:46 AM
I don't know about the US, but one thing I think that I can do (I'm in the position of being totally useless to the military, being too old, too fat, too unfit and partially paralyzed) to support the soldiers of the UK is; to do my damnedest to make sure that the lying bastard, and his party, who took us into war on Bush's coattails and on a lie, while refusing to properly fund and equip them, never gets into office again.
The UK doesn't deserve its soldiers, sailors and airmen any more than does the US deserve its.
Mr. Bush: if you wanted to impress your pappy, couldn't you have taken up parachuting, or hang gliding, or something, instead of spending a trillion dollars, the lives of several thousand soldiers and half a million Iraqis, and wrecking a country to do it?Posted by Fletcher Christian at January 18, 2007 8:21 AM
Fletcher, please leave your Bush and Blair DS out of this. These posts, blogs and comments are not about them. These are about the Men and Women that do what they are called upon to do...for the sake of those that can not and also those that will not.Posted by Dave at January 19, 2007 6:44 AM
Henry V: "And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by from this day until the ending of the world,
but we in it shall be remembered.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother,
Be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition,
And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves acursed they were not here,
and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks,
that fought with us upon St. Crispin's day!"
W. Shakespeare, Henry V
Towards Coalition troops fighting in the Horn of Africa I feel absolute awe and gratitude surpassing anything I've ever felt before. Any one, any leftist caterwauling hate-filled Islamist-supporting coward, fills me with contempt like no hatred I have ever felt before. The real war is with the fifth column in America and the West. Or as Shakespeare has Falstaff, a spokesperson of the postmodern lying left, say after the battle --
Falstaff: Do I not shrink? Do I not dwindle? My skin hangs upon me like an old woman's loose gown.
Dave, that's the point, isn't it?
Yes, the military men (still, most of them are men) of both our countries do what they are called upon to do, without complaint.
Regardless, in the case of the UK military, of the fact that they are not given proper tools for the job because our Government finds funding legions of chair-warmers more important.
The point is that they should never have been called upon to do it, in this case, in the first place.
Neither the UK nor the US deserves its soldiers, sailors and airmen (and women). If more people had the guts, determination and discipline that these people have, then both countries would be better places.Posted by Fletcher Christian at January 22, 2007 2:17 AM