Monthly Archives: May 2012

Poppy

This will be short and to the point. Memorial Day is about this and this only. No flash or attempted fancy writing.

Total war dead in the history of our country…1,343,812.

The war that resulted in the highest number of deaths, the war we fought against ourselves. The total for that war was 625,000.

1,343,812 people died in war to ensure the rest of us could continue to live in freedom. Some of those died so that people in other countries would maybe have the same shot at living in freedom as we do.

This was written about WWI, but still holds meaning.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sgt. Hug

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Are all Service Members Heroes?

I will probably take a thrashing for this one, but here it is regardless.  Firstly, I’m a vet, a proud vet at that…rest of the story after comments.

With Memorial Day coming up soon, I had to touch a topic that has grown to bother me more and more.  It started years ago when our city started hosting an air show every Memorial Day weekend, and it is called “Salute to veterans”.  Sorry folks, Memorial Day is there to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and died in the service of our country.  We have a day for veterans, and it is called, you guessed it, Veterans Day, and that takes place six months after Memorial Day.  Memorial Day should be observed with a ceremony at the local memorial for the war dead, or at a local cemetery where war vets may be buried.  It should not be parades with Corvette owners and their prom queen daughters waving from the window.  It should not be the local high school band playing songs having nothing to do with anything.  It should not be a drunken barbecue either.  We should get rid of Armed Forces Day too, we have Memorial Day and Veterans Day, that should about cover it.  Active duty does not need special recognition (other than a thank you), not until their service years are over.

The topic that is really driving me crazy lately is the seemingly endless butt kissing, by calling everyone who served in the military a “hero”.  Sorry folks, not everyone who has served in the military is a hero, not even if that time is during war.  On the local radio station the other day, they had an Air Force member on the show.  The guy had been in for 1.5 years, and the station was so eager to suck up to him, that they started playing Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins…duh, which happens to be a Navy themed movie.  It was quite embarrassing.

No, the hero name needs to be about people who are winners of the Medal of Honor, or maybe the Navy Cross (other branch equals apply).  A hero is a guy who selflessly puts himself in the way of danger to protect his fellow Marine, Soldier, Sailor, or Airman.  A lot of times these people don’t survive what they did, but that’s just it, they didn’t think about the end result, only the help they could give at that second.  They deserve being called a hero.

Yes, we were at war in Iraq for a long time.  Yes, we have been at war in Afghanistan longer than any other war our country has been involved in.  Yes, people who volunteer to do a job that by nature could possibly result in them being maimed or killed.  Are they all heroes? No.  Fireman are not all heroes, police are not all heroes, and neither are all our military members.  At times do they perform heroic acts? Yes.  So do fireman and police.  But again, they are not all heroes.

I am a veteran of eight years service to our country in the U.S. Marine Corps.  I served in Desert Storm, which was a war.  Our position took incoming Iraqi rocket fire for numerous days until we could take out the source.  We slept with our rifles and in full uniform, knowing we would be up at some point in the middle of the night to make a dash for the bunkers.  Were we heroes?  No.  We were a bunch of guys who signed up in the Marine Corps because that was the branch most likely to get in a good fight.  We came from all walks of life, some guys were rock solid and some guys were dirt bags.  Some could be relied on, some could not.  Some would have your back in the most brutal street fight, some would not.  Were we all heroes? No.

Folks, I know this whole column goes against the current line of hero-worship taking place, but let’s keep some perspective.  I’m very glad there are people who voluntarily join the military, it is a hard way of life, always on the road, away from family.  It can be tough.  It can also be very personally rewarding, and a hell of a lot of fun!

Clearly I can’t speak for everyone, but as far as I’m concerned, if you found out I was in the service and you said to me “hey, thanks for your service”, I would reply “thanks, you bet, I would do it again in a heartbeat”.

Anyone who reads this and served…thanks for your service.

Sgt. Hug

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Wedgie

Let’s see BO is unable to run on his record, so what is he doing? He is trying to drive a wedge in the public, here is the list from just since the primary season began.

1. He comes out in support of the Occupy Wall Street gang. Why? Because it plays right into his fiddle of hating the rich and successful. Right into his view that taxpayers should be footing the bill for the poor, or unwilling to work.

2. He says “if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”. Why? Because he can try to drive a wedge between the races.

3. He makes a phone call to Sandra Fluke to praise her on taking a stand for what she believes in. Why? Because he wants to drive a wedge between the genders, and gain votes for November.

4. He comes out in support of gay marriage. Why? A further wedge, because many conservatives believe in marriage being between a man and a woman. Again to shore up votes.

5. He now has the TSA performing random checks on the highway at truck way stations and bus stations. Why? Because they think trucks are the biggest security threat, not airplanes. Remember when he said we need a civilian security force that’s just as big, just as well-funded as the military? I would say the TSA is in training as that force.

I’m probably missing some example, but those come to mind. I don’t think BO has any intention of trying to fix things, I think he hates this country and is doing everything he can to cause social strife. I mean it was his own words when he said he wanted to “fundamentally change America”. And his hag wife says that BO getting the nomination was the first time in her adult life she was proud of her country. How about his friendship with Bill Ayers? How about his admittedly be drawn to communists in college. This man hates the country, pure and simple, and he will do whatever he can to help with its demise.

Yeah, call me extreme, but I’m a micro-spec compared to the president. He must be defeated in November, because if he wins reelection, you can bet some bad stuff is going to go down when another term isn’t holding him back.

Sgt. Hug

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Three Keepers

Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Cino De Mayo.  These are three days, that for the life of me I can’t figure out why people get so excited about.  Unless you have some direct tie to them, they are celebrated in the U.S. for one reason, to drink obscene amounts of booze.  Seriously, what other reason do you need to drink beside the fact that booze exists.  But these aren’t the only useless days on the calendar, here’s more..

1.  Valentines Day.  A day men are made to feel like dirt if they don’t conform with society and spend a bunch of money and buy candy for someone who may not need it.  The garbage hits the shelves a mere number of days after New Years Eve.

2.  May Day, though not a spendy day, why on earth do people of a freedom loving country want to even bat an eye at a day that is revered in the communist/socialist world.

3.  Labor Day.  Here is a novel thought, let’s ditch the day and simply call it “end of the summer long weekend”.  Again, labor movements are tied in with communists/socialists.  A good way for workers to celebrate…cash the paycheck that you earned.

Here is the kicker, two of the most revered days in the Christian world are Christmas, which we start hearing about endlessly for two months prior.  And Easter, which has been turned into a hard-boiled egg and buckets of candy hunt…which are on the store shelves for about a month prior to the day.  Don’t get me wrong, though I’m not really a religious guy, Christmas is huge in foundation.  Easter may even mean more than Christmas when it comes to depth of meaning and impact.

Outside of the obvious mass world following of Christmas and Easter, let’s look at a few that are unique and important to our country, and our country only.

1.  Memorial Day.  Simple, this should be a somber day to memorialize and remember those in the military who have given their lives in the defense of this country, or in the process of enabling those of another country desperately trying to find freedom.  I don’t think it should be a day for air shows celebrate those who are living…we have Veteran’s Day for that.  Let’s have services at the cemetary and place flags at the graves of those who gave the ulimate…their lives.

2.  Fourth of July.  Simple, we stated our intention to become a free country, no longer under the yoke of the British.  Let’s cook out and drink on this day…it really is a celebration, one that needs to be remembered so it doesn’t happen again.

3.  Thanksgiving.  Simple, a feel good day that acknowledges our bountiful ways and who helped with some good farming tricks.

Those three days are purely American, there may be other small ones not coming to mind, but they are the big three.

I have become cranky with age and cynical about anything that requires a month or more of loaded store shelves to celebrate.  And for all our sake, I won’t even get into the relentless fund driving/begging for money by organizations that last a month each.

Sgt. Hug

 

 

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