I HATE Arrogant Stupidity
Now that I'm retired, I don't try to put on airs that I'm better than anyone else because I'm a veteran. I haven't worn a uniform since my retirement date. There's a sticker on my automobile because I use military facilities, and because I'm proud of my history. I don't JUST seek out friends among veterans, but get along well with most of my neighbors, veterans or not. My closest friends, however, ARE veterans - because we have strong ties of common experiences that were created by circumstances few others have experienced. We share a common bond, linked by service to our nation, and the common experiences that duty required.
I'm having a difficult time rationalizing the worldview of a few other veterans, especially those that seem to want to make a lot of noise about themselves. John McCain's attitude is "it's all about me", rather than his extremely limited and skewed history as a veteran. His actions as a lawmaker are not those that most veterans would agree with. That idiot popping off his mouth about "American attrocities" is another one that seems self-agrandizing. My mother did more to protect and defend the United States during her three years in Washington, DC, as a WAVE, than John Kerry did during his entire Navy career - and deserves more respect for it than sKerry ever does.
I learned very early in my military career that my primary duty was "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to bear true faith and allegience to the same", and everything else the military asked me to do was in support of that duty. Too few of today's post-Vietnam-era veterans - and even a lot of those that served in Vietnam, and elsewhere - with me seem to understand that. Those that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be the exception. THEY understand that, as Thomas Jefferson said, the rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" are ordained by God to ALL men. It is the duty of every member of the US military service to protect those rights from those that would try to destroy them, and to aid others who also wish to live free in the same tradition to attain the protection of those rights.
Too many people today, especially too many lawyers, believe that "rights belong to whoever has the best lawyer", rather than accept that some rights are inherent in a society that promotes individual freedom. Too many of that latter type of lawyer have been elected to governmental offices. They talk a lot, but say little, and do everything in their power to increase their power at the expense of the freedom and independence of the individual. Thomas Jefferson also said "that government governs best that governs least". The amount of government necessary to accomplish the limited duties assigned to it by our Constitution is the most government that we as free men should tolerate.
It's been the citizen, as soldier, that has protected and defended our rights as individuals since th Revolutionary War. Today's soldier is every much the citizen as those that gathered under George Washington at Boston and Trenton, that fought on the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, and served proudly both in time of conflict and during periods euphemistically referred to as "times of peace". Their devotion to duty ensurred that the rest of the nation could live without the threat of injury or loss of freedom. That devotion to duty is what ties all veterans - past, present and future - together as brothers. The nation needs to respect that devotion, and to honor it - not with empty phrases, but by sincerely understanding and accepting the truth of the sacrifices ALL soldiers make, regardless of rank or service branch.
Too many "citizens" today see the military as "the enemy", rather than their defender. Few citizens today understand the role the military has played in protecting and defending their freedoms, not only during times of armed conflict, but also during those periods when the big guns were silent. They don't understand that this nation has never truly been at peace, but constantly attacked by those who do not choose to recognize the truths we recognize - the truths of individual freedoms, the right to own property, the right to speak out against what we see as attacks upon our freedoms. This nation has grown and expanded, both across a continent and into international prominence, because of individual freedoms. Far too often that growth and expansion only occurred because there were strong men willing to do battle to support this nation's right to exist. This is equally true of the state of Israel, which is why so many of America's veterans honor that brave, small nation. We recognize our brothers in freedom, wherever they live or serve.
There are too many people today, and certainly too many politicians, willing to give away the hard-won victories we who served have won. That includes the idiocy of the "McCain-Feingold" attack on free speech, the constant attack upon the elected president of the United States by unelected members of the current government bureaucracy, the sheer stupidity of the "mainstream press" in attempting to warp and shape the news to fit a personal agenda that is dangerous to individual freedom, and the behavior of the political opposition in attempting to tear down the current Administration, unwilling to admit that such destruction will harm everyone, not just the Republicans.
Unlike most nations, we have never had a military coup. Our "civil war" was fought to determine whether we would be one nation or two, and that the laws of the nation would be equally applied to all. Any future "civil war" will most likely be triggered by the arrogant stupidity of those that feel they have the "right" to govern as they choose, instead of according to the will of those that have elected people to government office to represent THEM. Those that arrogantly believe they have the "right" to do whatever they can to achieve their "victory", irregardless of the Constitution or the will of the people, are tyrants, and will be dealt with as such.
In the meantime, this nation - at war with a foreign enemy for its very survival - will continue to be served by the corps of veterans, current and past, in defense of the Constitution of the United States, and the people it protects.