I usually write a piece for Memorial Day. I didn’t write one this year because I had written a memorial piece just this past Veteran’s Day. But, within minutes of last week’s item posting on May 30, three things happened that made me regret my decision. First, I received word that a fellow Vietnam veteran had died a few days before. Then, I received a Memorial Day ecard from another friend. And, third, between May 31 and June 4, emails from regular readers filled my inbox wanting to know why I had not written one.
It is ALWAYS fitting to remember our military personnel that have died in the defense of this nation. I could NEVER forget it. I rarely talk about my own ventures into the world of combat. In fact, most of us older coots go out of our way to avoid it. Many of us didn’t serve in Vietnam because we felt our nation’s survival was at stake. We did it because, unlike now, the military draft was the law of the land and Vietnam was our “war”… our time to step up and serve, even though Congress never formally declared war. Most of us never thought much about the righteousness of it. It was our duty and we did it.
So, a week late though it is, here is my tribute to the nation’s war dead—from all wars, declared or otherwise. But, instead of the usual run-of-the-mill sentiments, I’ve taken a slightly different track. Our troops go whenever called to where ever our government sends them… NO QUESTIONS ASKED… the same as my Vietnam colleagues and I did. But, sometimes, especially since WWII, we civilians SHOULD ask more questions of our political leaders.
Opinions vary regarding this nation’s sending its best and brightest to participate in every stupid pissing contest on the planet. I’m against it. And, whenever I write about it, I receive the usual critical emails questioning my patriotism—most often, the bulk of them come from John Wayne wannabes whose closest encounters with combat have been in the safety of their living rooms watching old war movies like the Green Berets.
Our rights and freedom aren’t gifts from anyone, mortal or immortal. We possess both because a small group of patriots was able to convince people to take them from King George. And we still have them because we’ve always possessed the national will and military might to defend them to the death against all that would dare to deprive us of them. Because of this fact, America has become a huge banquet of plenty surrounded by a world full of people that are starving to death. And, the day we lose either, the will or our ability, we’ll be joining them, God notwithstanding.
Faith in a Deity—by whatever name people deem as fitting—is a personal choice that many people embrace. I have no problems with it as long as we don’t take it too far. But never ignore that the correlation between a strong nation willing and able to defend itself and that nation’s ability to remain so, is as close to 100% as it gets.
I feel that fawning politicians feigning God’s favor for the...