2005-06-16

Repost: Support our troops

I was asked to republish a rant that I posted on another forum back some time ago. Please keep in mind that this was originally posted approximately three months ago and was the catalyst that got me started on this whole blogging thing. Even though it was written months ago, the relevance is still there today, if not more so.
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WARNING – Tone, attitude, and language in this rant might not appeal to all people. It is a long read and was done more so to get things off my chest. If you don’t read it, I understand, but if you do, you might just agree.

Last night I went and had dinner at a place called the Japan Ginger Teriyaki restaurant in Issaquah. When walking in, I noticed that there were two army sergeants in fatigues sitting at a table talking as friends do. After ordering my meal, I walked over to their table and after excusing myself for interrupting their meal, asked if I could shake their hands and buy their meal for them tonight as a show of my appreciation for them being in the military. After about 15 – 20 seconds of stunned looks from the both of them, they said there was no need to buy their meal, but would I please come join them.

Of course I accepted and a conversation started that took the better part of two and half hours. They wouldn’t stop thanking me for just taking the time to say thank you to them, much less offering to buy their meal. They went on to tell me how rare it was for someone to do that in this part of the country. The things we talked about during that 2 ½ hours really got the fighting side of me riled up. I simply couldn’t believe some of the stories they were telling about how they’ve been treated up here in the “great” northwest.

One of the guys was 30 years old and had been in the Army about 8 years. He was married and had been for about 4 years with a newborn baby not even a year old yet. The other guy was a bit older and said he had been with the army going on his 18th year. He was also married and had 2 kids, one fixing to start high school and the other just starting college.

The younger guy told be about how he had just come home from Afghanistan about 4 months ago and was hurt by the way his wife had been living. Apparently, she hadn’t gone off base for nearly most 8 month deployment. Seems that she refuses to take off a pin that she received from USO when he left that says, “I’m a proud army wife of a deployed soldier”. Well shortly after he left, she went out shopping at the Tacoma mall and was verbally abused by some of the people with the mall when they saw her pin, berating her for being proud of a man who was participating in an illegal war and killing innocents. I didn’t here specifics of what was said to her, but you could see that this soldier wasn’t happy about the things his wife had told him. After that incident, his wife stayed on base for the rest of his deployment. Luckily, these bases are small cities and she could get everything she needed right there. He went on to tell me, that while patriotism was high in the areas immediately around Ft. Lewis, if you got out past the base, he too felt some of the sentiments of the people who hated the war and him for “participating”.

The older guy told a similar tale of how, when he goes out with his family, he always wears a baseball cap to cover up obvious military haircut for much the same reason. He went on to say that he didn’t do it because he was ashamed to be in the military, or that he was afraid of being attacked by the liberal minds in the area. He did it so as not to subject his wife and youngest son to the sentiments of “people who obviously don’t appreciate the freedom he helps provide.” His words, not mine! He didn’t want his son to see and hear people that thought being in the military, serving your country, and being patriotic was a bad thing.

Needless to say, I bought their meals and wished them the best after apologizing profusely for the attitudes of people I couldn’t influence. I went on to tell them that I knew many people that not only supported them, but prayed for them nightly. I wished them safety in their future deployments and again expressed my gratitude for them doing a thankless job. After another handshake and round of heartfelt thank you’s from the soldiers, they went on their way.

When I got home that night, I thought more about the stories they had told me. The more I thought about it, the madder I got. I don’t mean figuratively mad, I mean actually so mad that I wanted to put my fist thru my living room wall. These guys are placing their lives on the line to ensure that we have the freedom and prosperity and they are being treated like 2nd class citizens. These men and women place the freedoms and safety of strangers before their own and that of their families, and they are berated for doing it.

Who is to blame for this? Is it the Liberal media that takes every opportunity to point out the slightest mistake of the military? The same media that sensationalized the “tragedy” at Abu Garhib? Please! Tragedy my a$$. They put panties on their heads and made them stand in a naked pyramid. Was it wrong? Maybe, but certainly not worth the price the military paid for it. No other country has more oversight or regulation in the treatment of prisoners of war than the US. With all the countries out there that deploy actual torture methods like the breaking of fingers, legs, etc to retrieve information, our military is condemned for doing something that caused no physical harm to any prisoner. When the enemy is beheading and sending the video out for the world to see, our media chooses to concentrate on the fact that there were detainees with women’s underwear on their heads. What about the guy that they made stand on a box with electrical leads attached to his testicles saying that if he came of the box he would get shocked? THE LEADS WEREN’T ATTACHED TO ANYTHING! It was a psychological ploy. It’s not any different than a police officer telling a suspect that he is going to jail for life if he doesn’t cooperate. If attaching electrical leads to the enemy’s testicles brings just one of our boys home safe, then by god, I say, red is positive and black is negative. Light him up!

We have a soldier now on trial for murder. A soldier at war on trial for killing the enemy, now someone please explain that to me! This soldier, just the day before, watched 2 of his comrades die, and he himself wounded, at the hands of an insurgent pretending to be dead then releasing a grenade in a room. Did the soldier bow out of the fight after being wounded? No, he was back at his duty the next day. A day that may for ever change his life for the worse. When entering the room, an insurgent was found pretending to be dead. I don’t blame the soldier for killing him. They had just got out of a firefight, there was no way to know if the guy was armed and prepared to do harm. Let us not forget, these are the same people that will walk into a crowded restaurant or bus and blow themselves up to injure and kill others. It’s an honor to them to die in that manner. So god bless that soldier for helping this insurgent be “honored” by his peers. However, there was a journalist imbedded in the unit that happened to get video of this insurgent being shot. That journalist released the footage and I’ll be damned if the liberal America didn’t jump on it and begin to systematically smear this soldiers reputation. How easy it is to judge when you aren’t there! Who really knows if the actions of that soldier didn’t save a life that day? I say to the soldiers still over there, if you happen to be in that circumstance, 2 in the chest and 1 in the head!

We have a navy seal commander also on trial for “abusing” prisoners. This seal commander has been recognized by his peers and commanders as an exceptional leader and soldier. The report that got him in hot water, that he was observed “punching an insurgent in the arm”. For craps sake, I got hit like that in middle school, but none of those bullies were placed on trial. The person that made the report was a seal member that was kicked out of the service for stealing and “underhanded personality”. Yet the media took the story and again used it as a stick with which to beat our military.

I sometimes wonder what side our media is on. With the exception for Fox news, I don’t trust any media outlet, and I’ve even questioned Fox news from time to time. CBS? Man what an appropriate name for that network because I definitely SEE BS every time I turn it on. Newsweek magazine has become nothing more than an anti-American rag. I don’t know when journalism became synonymous with Anti-patriotic, but it is. Our problem is that, as a country, we are too honest and open. We air our dirty laundry for the world to see and our media outlets take that and use it to beat our fellow country men to a bloody pulp. They don’t focus on what we are fighting, they focus on any little thing they can find to demoralize our public. Terror attacks against our people abroad get a small blurb on the back page of the news, but a soldier punching someone in the arm takes front page for weeks. The media keeps a running tab of the soldiers killed in action, not to honor the fallen or express sympathy for the families, but to demoralize the John Q Public. Where is the running tab of the innocents that were taken?

I’m not saying you have to support the war or President Bush for that matter, but for god’s sake support the men and women who are risking their lives so that we can sleep safe at night. Take the time to say thank you to a service member if you see one. Buy them a beer, I guarantee you will get a good story in return. Give them hope that they are fighting for a people that appreciate their sacrifices. Let’s try to make the anti-patriotic in this country the minority. Support your troops cause the life they give, they give unselfishly for you! Take time to write the media outlets and let them know that you, for one, support our military and are PROUD of them. We can’t sit idly by and let only the liberals and anti-military post replies. Our children learn from what they read and see. If we don’t take action and make the other side heard, all they will see is anti-American sentiment, and make no mistake, I see anyone that posts negatively against our troops as anti-American. I see every war protestor that is at an airport or outside a military base as anti-American. We need to take our support out into the public, not just those areas around Military bases. The louder our voice, the more that will hear and be influenced. It’s time we not just take a stand in support of our troops, but rather, get mad at the fact that they are not treated like the heroes they are!

God bless each of you in the military. God speed and safe return to each of you. Look me up when you get here; I will have a cold beer and a handshake for each of you I see!

2 comments:

Barb said...

This was just a good the second time around. And it needs to be said by all of us more often.

Spiccoli said...

Right on bro. Whether one agrees with the president and the war or not, one should recognize and appreciate the contributions of our fighting men and women. While I personally thought that the war on terror would be better fought elsewhere than Iraq, I have always thought that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be viewed with the utmost respect. Precisely because they are doing their duty in the face of danger. Even in times of peace, which we seem to be running out of, these people are there to defend our freedoms and make the ultimate sacrifice at a moments notice. Blame the policy makers if you don't like the war, Iraq or Viet Nam, whatever. But never, ever blame the grunt on the ground. He's doing his job. And don't tell me that he could/should distinguish a just or unjust cause for himself, because that's not the way it works. Our military is great because the chain of command works. It gets me mad too when people discount or even degrade the contributions of our servicemen. On the flip side, I get annoyed when someone tells me that if I don't support the war in Iraq, then I must not support our troops. That is a load of shit. I have friends on the ground in Iraq and other hostile places in the Middle East. I can quite easily separate the two. Because it takes courage and honor to do your job and follow orders in the face of danger and adversity. I appreciate those qualities. Our men and women didn't decide to invade Iraq. But that's another topic. I would have concentrated more force in Afghanistan for a while and flexed a little more for Kim Jong Il. Now I'm way off topic.

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