Coddling terrorists
Chosin

Follow the lie

CV has a good piece on different ideas about characterizing the service of wartime and war era vets. He is a thoughtful guy, and aside from that character flaw he brings up a number of things around this topic. He also mentions a story of one of the extremely rare occasions we were out on the town drinking.

Again, I was an Infantryman, but when I meet Airborne guys, they call me a “Dirty Leg.” (Yeah, just about everyone at Blackfive calls me that.) The Airborne guys probably take crap from the Rangers. The Rangers no doubt take crap from the SF guys who treat them like little children. (Some good examples of this in Blackhawk Down.) The SF guys probably take abuse from the Delta guys. The Delta guys no doubt look at this Air Force brethren sleeping in nice hotels and playing golf and wonder what they were thinking......

On the other side, I once went out to an Irish pub with the infamous and deplorable Uncle Jimbo of Blackfive and “In the Crosshairs.” As always, it was a night I will never forget, although the later portions of the evening will never be remembered either. Jimbo and I were talking to another veteran. Jimbo identified himself as an “Airborne Oboe player” (“it’s a bitch jumping with your instrument” he told us) while the other guy told how he was a cook. About 3 hours and several Irish Car Bombs later these two knuckleheads finally realized they had served together in the Special Forces. I found the whole charade rather funny, but now it seems sad that they felt the need to lie in the other direction because of all the phonies’ stories.

UPDATE: Matty O reminds that he was the Airborne Oboeist. I think that night I was in the 82nd ABN choir.

That's an interesting point and I think it boils down to not wanting to be "that guy" in the bar. The one who is talking smack like F John Kerry on speed about being a green beret, or a Navy SEAL until you ask him what group he was in, what team he was on etc. and it turns out he was wasn't shit. So like Matt and a lot of other folks I generally BS until I get to know someone. But it's BSing in a self-deprecating way, not a self-aggrandizing way.

When I was on a team and we were deployed or just out in a pack we would generally end up talking with pretty women or absent them messing with the minds of whoever was in the vicinity. The question would inevitably come up "What do you guys do?". For OPSEC and just the basic reason of not being douches, we didn't want to say "We are a Special Forces team, bow down before us lesser being". Well actually I did, but less arrogant heads prevailed. So we invented a game called "follow the lie". Basically when the question was asked anyone could answer and say anything they wanted and the rest had to follow the lie. So we were often a rugby team, or a barbershop octet or once we spent about an hour as a National Geographic film crew who were in Yakima, Washington to film the strutting behavior during mating of the North American sage grouse at night using special infrared cameras and film. Those chicks loved us.

Guys like Blumenthal are the exact opposite of that mentality. He is a wannabe and a shameless, coat-tail-riding POS. I have used my background to bolster my credibility when writing or talking about national security issues. But it's my background, not somebody else's. I don't claim to be an Iraq or Afghanistan vet because I'm not. I fought the drug war and we lost. Well and the Cold war too, which we won. But I don't really think it was fear of me that kept Gorbachev and the Kremlin awake at night. Anyone who serves our country deserves respect. anyone who lies about that deserves disgust. Simple as that.

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