Sunday, January 17, 2010

Truth be told

There is some news I want to share with you. America is at war. Congress side stepped their duty and gave the President the power of declaring war. This is not new, and is not the topic of this post. But in times of recent war, America's non-combatants tend to idolize and hero-worship all of our Military members.

It wasn't always this way. In the 1960s-70s during the draft, everyone held the military members in low esteem. Sailors and soldiers were looked down on by US society. You called us the Military/Industrial complex. You called us murderers and baby-killers. You called us war-mongers and racists. We were "The unwilling, doing the unnecessary, for the ungrateful." You watched us die on the evening news. And some of you cheered. You had intimate knowledge of Lt. William Cally and his actions on March 16, 1968, in My Lai, in the Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Viet Nam. And you judged us as all the same. We conducted "Zippo Raids" and we "Fragged" the non-blood thirsty and justice minded members of our own troops. We dragged off the young women and raped them. We were "Dope smoking, Heroine Addicted, Uneducated, Killing Machines" and we did not fit back into society. None of the skills we learned in the military had any value to the civilian sector. "Hide your women and children, the fleet is in." Hippies put flowers in the muzzles of our rifles, after we murdered 4 innocent college "War Protesters" at Kent State University in Ohio. We needed to be "DE-Programmed." We were a "Burden on Society". A "Necessary Evil." I read these words in News-papers and Magazines of the day.
But by 1990, something changed. I know of several changes. "The draft" was gone. The military was an "All Volunteer Force" The military was no longer a cross-section of US Society. It should have been filled with single minded Patriots. Men and women who would do anything for America. People who would willingly become cannon fodder, just for the good of the country. We all took an oath. The words and their meaning are simple and easy to understand.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God. "
Yet somehow the military is still filled with people of every race, creed, IQ, political view point and sexual preference.There are mensa members and dullards. There are Mesomorphs and 98 pound weaklings. There are peace-niks and war-hawks. But please note that the oath of enlistment never mentions "Dying" or "Heroism." Of all the thousands of military men and women I have known. Absolutely none of them ever meant to die for their country. Most, but not all had considered the possibility of making some other dumb bastard die for their country. I never once awoke and thought to myself, "This would be a great day to die for America."
But there are heroes in the military. But not everyone in the military is a hero. It goes even further than that. Not everyone who dies in the military is a hero. Training accidents, street crime, car crashes and disease take their share of military members. Nothing about their service or demise sets them apart from the other oath takers. And the same goes for the men and women who were murdered in Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.
Was their loss of life tragic? Yes!
Was their loss of life stunning? Yes!
Was their loss of life saddening? Yes!
Was their loss of life maddening? Yes!
But, was it heroic? NO!
Many of them were dead before they knew they were under assault. The end of their lives was no more heroic than if they had died in a McDonald's Drive Thru. In fact those brave men and women who were wounded or killed, don't qualify for a PURPLE-HEART medal unless the US government stands up and declares that the coward who shot them is an Islamo-terrorist. Tartar sauce! They didn't even qualify for hazardous duty pay.
But because civilians now believe military members are all heroes, rather than what they believed about us in the 60s, 70s and 80s, is not what has me on the soap-box today.  No, what is chapping my back-side is posers. People pretending to be something they are not. You might be familiar with the term. To the biker brethren, a poser is person who trailers their motorcycle to a rally and changes into leather and denim at the hotel, before they show up and act a fool to impress the crowd. They may have quit shaving two weeks before, and they may even be sporting new ink. But their loud mouth and ridiculously shinny boots will be a dead give-away every time. And their antics reflect as negatively on motorcyclists as 1% clubs do. Maybe even worse.
However, I have another kind of poser in mind. Men and women who pose as real heroes. Decorated military heroes. The latest case comes from San Diego County, California. Where a former Marine Corpse Enlisted man showed up at the 2009 Marine Corpse Ball, dressed as a Brigadier General, with medals of valor, legion of merit and purple hearts. Plural. Read the article here.
But unlike biker posers and rockstar posers and pseudo intellectuals posing as intelligent. It is a crime to pose as a medal winner, when you are not. This is not just a case of  "Padding your resume." Or "Over Stating" your service to the country. Or even just a case of egomania. It is not even about bringing discredit on the real military heroes. All of those things are true. But heroic service to America brings benefits to the recipient and their dependents. And posing as such is fraud. Plain and simple. And I urge you to report any and all incidents of STOLEN VALOR. Please go to REOPORTSTOLENVALOR.ORG today.
Off the soap-box. For now.


Ms. A said...

For your last comment to Blasé on blogging about kids/grandkids... Thank you! He's not nearly as likely to rip you a new one!

Blasé said...


I raised two babies who are grown-ups now. WTflyingF??

Posers! Some folks think they can even get a tattoo and do one-arm pushups and that makes them tough or something.

I've been told that in today's military, if someone feels like they are getting too much grief from their Superior, they can throw out the 'flag' and the Officer has to back-off. WTflyingF??

Unknown said...

My husband is a Vietnam vet and tells stories of the hippies that spit on him in the air port when he left. And as a soldier he could not respond, had to take it.

It is a different worldnow, for sure.

Ms. A said...

Just thanking someone that I thought said a nice thing for kids and grandkids and wasn't as likely to be spanked with a nasty comment. Instead, I was spanked and cursed on his blog. So much for trying to be nice. Sorry KW! said...

I like the truth that you impart, and thanks for visiting!
True heroes are few and far between.

My ADHD Me said...

I will be there listening any time you need to get on your soapbox.

AND, as usual, I wholeheartedly agree and thank you for all you do and have done.

Blasé said...

Don't let HH fool you, Ms A. He can be a feisty old bird if you push his buttons just right.

He may give you a hug, but end up crushing it at the same time. Of course like me, it's done in fun.

You know I only spank you because I love ya!

Becki Jacket said...

I would get worked up over something like this very easily. Do you need a cookie to ease your troubled mind? Cookies help me all the time!

Thanks for all your kind words and support on my blog by the way. :) It really does help.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, KW.

Anonymous said...


Edie said...

We all have our soap boxes and yours is a very good one. I am wholeheartedly in agreement with you on this.

Mr Anonymous agrees too. :)



Great post KW! That's horrendous to feign being a military hero. I am glad it's against the law-it should be.

As to societal views re the military, I think it is just a case of the pendulum swinging the other way. I, too, read a great deal about the actions of the military during Vietnam and was stunned by some of the views/actions of the day[of the military].

I think violence was not so accepted then as it is now and that is the reason for the change of views. Also, people don't tend to mind their military being brutal as long as it's not against the nation's protestors.

Jim Morrison had lots to say about military might, and got a lot of flack for it, but he was way ahead of his time.