Our military represents the best of this nation

8
388

Given the highly polarized and angry climate in our country, not to mention the unjustified hatred we seem to have for one another these days, it seems almost pointless to express any opinion about anything anymore, especially since everyone seems to be “dug in,” whatever the issue.

But, as a retired veteran, I cannot let stand the recent comments against our military, made, allegedly, by Mr. Trump. And while it is fair that he and his many, many supporters vehemently deny any of these accusations, it is the sad state of affairs that documented video, audio and printed history, not to mention the accepted credibility of the report’s author, make the recent report consistent with Mr. Trump’s previous attitude and behavior.

But Mr. Trump himself is not even the issue anymore; the attempted tainting of our Armed Forces is.

In the chaotic environment of today, it appears that all our democratic institutions are under attack and they seem to be weakening by the day. Each of us must decide for ourselves who is responsible and for what reason, but many of us feel that the Republic is in peril. Yet, the last bastion of honor and integrity, the U.S. Military, appears to hold … though not without what appears to be efforts to embroil them in this chaos as well.

Hearing now even the slightest suggestion that anyone, anywhere would ever think, let alone say, anything negative about our military … and their families … is shameful.

My own admiration for the military began at the knee of my dad, uncle and cousin’s WWII generation, those who suffered silently under the weight of the Great Depression only to be met head-on with the unfettered violence of WWII. At maximum sacrifice, they not only saved the world from global insanity and oppression, they came home to build the world they should have had … and quietly gave it to us.

That admiration grew when I learned how silently those Korean veterans suffered through the anonymity of their own war and came home to do the same.

Then came Vietnam, when most of my generation, whether volunteer or draftee, did their duty … at least for each other … all while the whole rest of the nation cursed them for what they did while never understanding that the Vietnam failures were a result of both political and senior military leadership and not those who carried the burden in the field.

And it means even more now given that, with only less than 1% of our population in uniform, these youngest women and men not only willingly carry the burden of multiple combat tours and the stress that goes with that, but the constant worry that their own government will not have their back while they are in the field nor care for them upon return. The words “bounty” and “suicide” have real meaning to them … as it should to all of us.

For all of this, I joined the military as well. Knowing what I have learned over time: that I may never be as heroic as those that preceded me, I had always hoped I could at least be as brave. Mercifully, I was never a combatant and simply did the best I could as a second-tier cargo pilot, that time of which gave me the sense that my time in the Service was the best of my professional life. I will always consider it a privilege to have served alongside of those who “Stood the Post.”

It is they who have guaranteed our perpetual freedom.

But again, that anyone would disparage the military, especially those that have given their lives, goes even beyond the definition of “disgust” and “reprehensible.”

1. I vehemently disagreed with Senator John McCain on many, many issues. And I raised the devil with his office the day he attacked airline pilots (my profession) on the floor of the Senate during an economics debate. Yet, he will always be a hero to me for his sacrifices in the POW camp in Vietnam … not because he was shot down or even tortured … but because he would not leave his comrades even when given the chance. Military ethos at its finest!

2. In the late 80s, in a very difficult labor dispute, President George H.W. Bush backed a corporate raider instead of our employee group. The result cost us our company and my career. Some of us recovered later, but not all did. Yet, while a part of me will never forgive him for what he did, he will STILL be a hero to me for his time in WWII.

Not because he was one of the youngest volunteers in Naval aviation or that he served in many combat operations or even that he survived being shot down in a dangerous bomb run. It was because the greatest regret of his entire life was the loss of his two crew members on that very mission, something he carried with him until his last days.

“… Greater love hath no man” — something perhaps only those who serve in the military (and some First Responders) understand and appreciate more than anyone else.

Duty, Honor and Country are not just words. They are the heart and soul of our military. They are what this nation is all about.

Everyone has a right to think, say, and do as they see fit, be it politics, religion or anything else. But shame to everyone and those around them who remain silent who treat the Armed Forces of these United States with less than the respect they deserve.

Sadly, I ask that my last name NOT be used because of the ugly environment we live in, one where there are only “sides” and no one seems to have respect for anyone else. Disagreements about my opinion I understand, but the expected harassment that is sure to come is something neither I nor my family can endure. The end result of all that is that I don’t wish to be the focus of something that deserves attention in its own right.

Bill

United States Air Force (ret.)

[The writer’s name is being withheld at his request.]

8 COMMENTS

  1. Personality flaw? President bone spur? How about Thank God President Trump closed down travel from China early on when this virus was detected – I mean very early.. Early enough that they called him racist and xenophobic which means really racist, I guess.

    It is unthinkable that a President Clinton, Obama or Biden would have pulled the plug that early. Not even sure about Bush. But Trump did and our little community with so many direct connections to the world’s busiest airport has almost certainly experienced fewer cases and fewer deaths. Even if he dithered for 2 or 3 weeks (like the Dems would have done) we would have had hundreds or thousands more cases brought home by ticket agents and flight attendants.

    Think about it. 300 people on a 10-hour flight from China where one infection becomes 300 and the 6 or 8 flight attendants serve drinks and meals and remove trays. Then 300 have connecting flights or interact with ticket, baggage or restaurant or rent a car people. We would have an enormous number of infected workers coming home to Peachtree City.

    Give Trump credit for preventing that.

    • Yes, he did prevent that situation. That didn’t end up changing very much because COVID-19 was already running rampant across the US, I will admit that it probably helped flatten the curve. However, I will still criticize trump and the CDC for not recommending masks from the beginning, they had pieces evidence that masks were effective but didn’t want a run on masks and as a result we are still having debates about masks 6 months later. I will also criticize Trump for not taking precautionary measures. He knew about the potential consequences of COVID-19 in February, he could have warned people to stay home and don’t take a trip if you don’t need to. That could have prevented the disaster that was lockdown, the later we take action the more drastic it has to be. He could have organized a national supply chain, states were fighting over ventilators and masks. If he did his job as president and led the nation through a crisis we could’ve had supplies where they were needed quicker and more efficiently. Why did Trump continually contradict Fauci? Fauci is an expert on pandemics. Trump should have be listening to the experts, both epidemiologists and economists, to determine what the best course of action was and act on it. Instead he tried to downplay the pandemic and that was maybe the worst choice possible. Look at where we are now, ~22% of the world wide deaths from COVID but only ~4.25% of the world population lives in the US. This isn’t perfect, for example, poorer nations might have more deaths from COVID but aren’t testing enough to find them all, but it’s good enough to show that the US has a disproportionate number of deaths.

      • Be best to not repeat any statistics. India simply doesn’t notice or care, Russia lies about everything, China underreports, lies and also doesn’t care and the U.S. overreports so the hospitals get that $9,000 – therefore the stats are meaningless.

        I still think Trump did a better job (not perfect, but better) than the others would have, but Biden is on TV now outline his plan for the virus, so I will listen to that and get back to you if his plan is good, comprehensive, free and understandable. If it is I will vote for him, I promise. That should make all you critics happy.

        • I don’t care who you vote for, but I disagree that we couldn’t have done better. South Korea and Germany are doing much better than we are. It’s doubtful that anyone could have gotten the US to that level, but there’s a lot of room for improvement

    • Oh Robert, the article’s subject matter is about how the military and those that serve were disparaged. Try to stay on point when taking a defensive stance for the President. But since you went there, any knowledgeable person knows that the he didn’t act quickly enough and as a result, “it is what it is” right?

      However, in your hypothetical airline scenario, you propose a-what-if scenario with a flight from China, like most Trump defenders typically do. But what you fail to understand is the SARS-CoV-2 strain “GH” that we are experiencing now … came from Europe and it is the most prevalent here in the US.

      The original strains of “L” (Wuhan) and then the first mutation “S” was late 2019 and early 2020. Presently the S-strain is in limited areas of the US and the L-strain is all but disappeared. So you see, your defense is bogus and had we had the proper guidance, strategy, and leadership from the outset, we would no doubt be ahead of the curve instead of running behind it.

      • Yes, you are correct. Almost President-elect Biden patiently man-splained the two different strains during his town hall meeting with Anderson Cooper. It was sad to see so many hostile questions from the audience – especially the rather hefty chick who accused him of doing nothing or not knowing enough. Of course she was confused thinking he was the current vice-president, but no matter.

        Biden went on to explain that his man in Europe – John Kerry was instrumental in lobbying the current administration’s health officials to convict Trump to ban European travel and publicize the “S” strain of the virus. Good job, Joe.

        I look forward to President Biden taking the reins of leadership – hopefully Trump will let him in early to preside over the introduction of the Biden vaccine and finish off the “S” strain and start defending against the inevitable next “BS” strain.

        Make America Dependent upon Democrats Again.

  2. Bill, have no doubt that President Trump did not say the disgusting things ‘leaked’ to the media by yet another unidentified source. This tactic has been used so many times by the leftists since the last presidential election you kind of have to be stupid to believe them anymore. President Trump has shown nothing but respect and support for our military. Have we forgotten his immediate and deferential action when one of the Marine honor guards hat flew off as Trump exited Marine One and the President reflexively bent down, picked it up, and handed it back to the young man? Former presidents would not have done such a thing; they were ‘above’ such actions.

    Trump’s gutter words are a personality flaw but without that flaw we would be sitting quietly as our media, including big tech and their leftist allies in DC totally controlled all that we see and hear. His attack on McCain was personal as McCain had attacked him. In the end, I feel no need to defend our President’s choice of words because the fact the so many with power continue to try and take him out is all the proof that I need that his actions are for the rest of us. We either stand for liberty or we sit by meekly as it is taken from us, bit by bit. “A people willing to sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.”

    • Bill can believe his own ears.

      The president clearly called John McCain a loser for being so foolish as to be captured by the north Vietnamese.

      The president clearly belittled Gold Star parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, after their son made the ultimate sacrifice.

      President bone spur has been very clear with his sentiments toward our military. Please stop watching and repeating the spin from Fox News for your own sanity!