To “Thank” or Not to Thank

I heard a good conversation with the author of this article, “Please don’t thank me for my service,” on WMAL yesterday. To these vets, thanking soldiers for their service symbolizes the ease of sending a volunteer army to wage war at great distance — physically, spiritually, economically. It raises questions of the meaning of patriotism, shared purpose and, pointedly, what you’re supposed to say to those who put their lives on the line and are uncomfortable about being thanked for it. Recommended reading. It provoked thought. What say you?

“Rein in Disability Pay”

A good solid thought-provoking piece about a professor at West Point, named Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gade– himself a disabled vet– who says ditch the cash: “The disability checks designed to help troops like them after they leave the service might actually be harmful.” This one’s worth some time. I’ll be very interested to hear what you think.

Draftee Retires After Forty-Two Years

This is a great story. We salute you, sir. Well done.

“Did You Kill Anybody While You Were in the Military?”

Courtesy of Mike B ’73, a piece on the “Complexity of Student Vets” from Inside Higher Education. … The question is one that young veterans on college campuses routinely face, McBain said Friday during a presentation on student veterans at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education here. Read and comment, if you would, please.

Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

Respect for Our Fallen

Not a country fan, but I love this song by Trace Adkins. 

Cruzada de los ninos, or, so you thought you had a military retirement

Updated Nothing in life is free. Someone is paying for creating the America’s greatest humanitarian disaster of this century: a modern Cruzada de los niños. The logistics for transporting children from Central America apart from their parents is enormous. Consider how much goes into moving 100,000 soldiers from America to Kuwait. The folks paying for all of this expect to be repaid with American tax dollars. These children, now our wards, need food, water, clothing, shelter, and will get an education. And likely medical and mental health care – because these are the ones who survived the trip. Instantly, close to a […]

Now that the VA problems have been solved

…by the firing of Eric Shinseki, our veterans are getting the very best of government-run, socialist medical care. Right? Right? Readers: what were your best and worst VA experiences? Or a funny one?

Shinseki fired: feel-good non-measure wins against taking Action

Shinseki is out as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Now that the politicos can claim something has been done, America will return to its Brigadoon-like state. Another feel-good non-measure wins against taking true action.