Monday, November 27, 2006
"Suppose you were an idiot ... and suppose you were a member of Congress... but I repeat myself."- Mark Twain
Representative Charlie Rangel "I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it."
As Jimbo said in a comment on Froggy's post, there simply is nothing like a pissed off Navy SEAL ripping on an asshat like Charlie Rangel. See post below.
I just can't let Rangel's words stand.
Face it, veterans, active duty soldiers, reservists and guardsmen, Charlie Rangel just delivered the most heinous of insults - that you do not serve because of a sense of honor or duty or sacrifice or cause or brotherhood, but because you simply lacked options. You serve because you weren't good enough to do something else.
Daniel Unger wrote this letter on September 12th, 2001, about why he wanted to fight and defend his country. He died just a few years later protecting Iraqi civilians during an insurgent mortar attack.
Chris Adlesperger left college to enlist in the Marines. He wanted to be a warrior. In one engagement, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. He was killed a month later leading a fireteam into an insurgent stronghold.
Specialist Nathaniel Aguirre wanted to serve his country (he didn't want to wait four years to finish college and then go in as an officer), and, as a medic, was saving lives in the middle of an ambush when he was killed.
Do I need to keep going? Those are just three of the most recent heroes honored here. None of them were high school drop outs living on the streets who couldn't get a job as a fry cook at Harold's Chicken Shack #46 (btw, fry cook is an honorable job, but I had to pick something). The judge did not give them a choice of go to war or go to jail.
Representative Charles Rangel dishonors their memory. Dishonors what they fought for. He dishonors my service, my soldiers, my friends who died fighting this war. When I was a Sergeant, my pay was about $1267 per month. I once made the mistake of calculating my hourly rate (and I included housing allowance and hazardous duty pay, too). Most months, I made close to about 3.75 an hour before taxes. I think that was a dollar or more below minimum wage back then.
To be honest, I had more options than most people should have a right to.
It's a good thing that I have so many options, otherwise, I might have run for Congress in order to support myself.
Update: You can always tell when we're ticked off. Jimbo, Froggy, then me. I think we came at the issue from different angles with the same result. Consider it a trifecta.