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Front Page » Table of Contents » Military & Veterans

By Weeden Nichols on June 7, 2011

During my military career, I discovered some things about myself. Though descended from warriors, I discovered that I was not (and am not) a warrior. I discovered also that I had no taste for military undertakings that were not truly a part of defense. (Many military efforts are represented as defense but, seemingly, are really something else.) At any rate, I decided to be a soldier as a small child, during World War II. Even though I honestly cannot qualify as a warrior, I believe my service was valuable to the United States of America. I did not enter upon a military career for the retirement benefits, but certain promises were made to me nevertheless. One of these was free medical care for myself and my spouse for the rest of our lives following my retirement. Any dependent children would have been included also (my children are middle-aged, and no longer dependent). A few years ago, it was required that my wife and I subscribe to Medicare Part B, in order to receive medical care (a couple hundred dollars a month -- no longer free). Now it is proposed that the earned benefits of military retirement, particularly health care, be reduced again. Any who served for the benefits alone should be sorely disappointed. In my case, I still have the satisfaction of having served, and I am not surprised at broken promises.

By Randy Leer on May 3, 2011

Wow! So the deed is finally done. I really have a great deal to write in this article because this has been a complex situation for me. So I think the best way to do it is to just take you through it in the order that I experienced it.

So Sunday night I flip from my DVR and see that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I was so excited that I had to go to my office and get online and have the internet and the TV news going. The rush of endorphins and thrill of seeing it in writing that we had done what I questioned would ever be accomplished. I often thought that we would never be certain of his death. I thought that either we had already killed him without knowing it, or that he would die of old age and we would never know it. It was great to see it done. Then I thought, “What now? This certainly isn’t the end of terrorism. I know we aren’t going to bring our troops home. I know that Afghanistan is going to fall apart immediately after we leave… whenever that is.”

I thought about who I was when this first happened. I was just a 19-year-old green Sailor right out of Hospital Corps School and home on leave.

Read more of this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on April 21, 2011

The Civil War is the topic of the month, this 150th anniversary month of the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which initiated that armed conflict. Leonard Pitts, whom I consider a good man, and whom I respect greatly, has written that the real motive of the influential Southerners who were the Secession decision-makers was the perpetuation of human slavery. He cited documents and private correspondence to that effect. It may be true that the motives of the decision-makers were as Leonard Pitts proposes. In human history the pattern has occurred often, that people who did not create an evil, but profited from it nevertheless, perpetuated that evil. But it does not follow that those ordinary persons who volunteered to defend their homelands, or were conscripted according to the laws then in effect in their states, were traitors, or that their memories as veterans-of-war should not be honored.

My wife and I, between us, have eleven ancestors, of whom we know, on the Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot Index. These ancestors, for the most part, had humble and short-lived roles in that conflict, yet they are honored greatly. (We both, also, had ancestors who fought as Loyalists. They participated in good faith, but are not honored.) My wife and I both had ancestors who fought as Confederate soldiers throughout the whole four years of the Civil War, enduring wounds, illness, pain, and deprivation.

Read more of this post here ...

By Randy Leer on April 9, 2011

Yes, I know it is an absurd notion. However, it is a just and nonpartisan notion. Regardless of which party you are, you have to believe that our troops sacrifice allot. Our troops work long hours, weekends and holidays; and that is in peacetime. In combat they spend months in harms way. Sometimes they have only the most basic of supplies. They do not quit. They do not do a half-ass job. They do not go on vacation before their work is done. They stand their watch. They say to themselves, "America will not fall, not on my watch."

Read more of this post here ...

By James Bordonaro on March 28, 2011

In case you missed the President's speech tonight ....

The United States is part of a broad ______________ (any noun describing forced unity) engaged in a ___________ (ridiculous noun) to defeat the regime of _________ (any obnoxious Middle East dictator) who is brutalizing his people and presents a clear danger to the vital interests of ______________ (any multi-national oil company).

Therefore, I have called on our military to enforce a __________________ (focus group tested buzzword) while our coalition partners contribute on the ground. Let me stress, in this action the United States has the backing of many Arab partners such as _____________. (other obnoxiously wealthy Middle Eastern dictatorship)...

Read more of this post here ...

By John Atlas on February 3, 2011

John F. Kennedy famously said: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

With you I am watching the people of Egypt and other Arab nations try to step out from under the boot of tyranny. I hope it’s not too late for Obama to seek out and support the civic activists throughout the Middle East who want justice, and to live in a free society.

While many in the Islamic world, including those in the streets, are dangerous anti-American and anti-Israel religious fanatics, to the surprise of most Americans I bet, many others are concerned about getting things like good jobs and their children an education.

Many involved in the demonstrations are poor, factory workers and jobless. But also on the front lines are professors, members of soccer clubs, workers in human rights groups, and in places like the Al-Nakheel Association for Women and Children. They are journalists, lawyers, religious moderates, secular leftists, union organizers, bloggers, filmmakers and artists, some of whom, from their space in the civil society, have fought the despots, without much help from the United States, and usually paid dearly.

Read more of this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on January 24, 2011

At a military training camp in Seoul, many of the reserve office training corps cadets prepare for another day. With their K-2 assault rifles, they prepare for battle by attacking their imaginary enemy with passion and weapons. If you take a closer look, you will realize that many of these cadets are not men, but women taking a large step for women's rights by putting pressure on a glass ceiling that obviously exits. While reading this article, I was upset by the comments section below. Many male military/civilians believed that this was not a stepping stone, but an upset and a stupid move on the military. Their complains, this is too much work for women, allow them to do the soft things, and let the man handle the "hard" "excruciating pain" of fighting for their country.

According to the Korean Herald, one of the women had a lot to say about her new entry into the Reserve Office training corps, citing "changing people's perception" as a goal in her military career, ""I applied to the ROTC to show that not only men but women also have the same opportunities because we are the same people. Through joining, my goal is to change people's perception and open the door for women a little wider," said Park Gi-eun, a student at Sookmyung Women's University."

Read more of this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on November 10, 2010

Many people have been exasperated by the Obama administration's appeal of a recent court case that repeals DADT and I understand that frustration. During the 2008 campaign and in his State of the Union earlier this year, Obama promised to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that has been in effect since the Clinton Administration in the 1990s. Many worthy soldiers have been dismissed from the military because of this unjust policy and many gay rights activists rightly see this military policy as discriminatory practice. Many of my gay friends have been disillusioned at Obama's slowness on this and other gay rights issues. I share their frustration, but I also like Obama, and wanted to learn more about what Obama's strategy is on repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. So I did some research on the web and I asked around some knowledgeably people and this is what I found.

Read more of this post here ...

By Danielle Lee on October 11, 2010

With today being National Coming Out Day, there is quite a bit of talk about repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy of the United Stated Military. I remember how momentous it was when President Bill Clinton signed into law the in 1993. I was a second year Army ROTC cadet in college. Though not a signed member of the US Armed Forces, I was being fully indoctrinated into military ethos and customs. Like the men and women who joined the Army, I was given a 4x6 inch card.

It asked me two questions: 1) "Would you be willing to bear arms and go to war?" (the conscientious objector question); and, 2) "Are you homosexual or have you ever engaged in homosexual acts?"

Why? Because “Homosexuality is INCOMPATIBLE with the US Military“. Stop now. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Read more of this post here ...

By Darrell Hamlin on May 19, 2010

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal should step aside as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Clear evidence exists that Blumenthal has engaged in a pattern of misrepresenting himself, and allowing others to misrepresent him, as a veteran who served in Viet Nam during the war.

Blumenthal points to other times when he has more clearly indicated that he served in the Marine Reserves during the war without implying that he was deployed into the combat zones of Viet Nam. Thus, Blumenthal argues, he simply “misspoke” on multiple occasions when he referred to his service in Viet Nam.

I don’t buy that he simply misspoke, and I don’t think it matters all that much if he did. Based upon primary results so far, this is not shaping up to be a good year for candidates or parties that aim for getting through one more election cycle with the same old approach.

Read more of this post here ...

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