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May 2012

An Open Response to Chris Hayes

I came across the bit of pseudo-intellectual mental masturbation you called a thoughtful discussion just before going to be part of an honor guard for a parade and memorial service for those who fought and died for freedom.  Part of what they died for is your right (and that of your fellow panelists) to display your intellectual and moral shortcomings to the world, and I would have that no other way.  That said, I think your apology has far more to do with realizing you stuck another shortcoming into a 220 socket and flipped the switch, hurting both you and your struggling network.  As such, I'm afraid I can't and don't accept it as I don't believe it.  In fact, I have a reaction that -- given that we do strive to keep this site family friendly -- I will render by quoting some Brit friends and their phrase "Sod Off." 


Also, The Sniper has an excellent response to another bit of pseudo-intellectual piffle.

Holidays and the Line.....

Today, we spend a bit of time talking about making sure that this isn't just about barbecues and another day off.

Many of you who visit here are spending today like any other holiday; holding the line.

But being a soldier, and being a veteran, is like being a cop.  For those of you in the Infantry, Artillery and Cav, un-bunch your panties for a second and allow me to make may way to making my point before you pass judgment on my brothers who may have had to break up a party or two that you guys called "just having fun" that may have involved a pig, some roller skates, 7 sorority girls, two bottles of Jack Daniels and a tennis racket (all of which fit in a BEQ room nicely)

Cops, just like soldiers, wake up everyday, maintain our equipment and our bodies, sand-table our next OP, put on that same equipment and go out and do our work. We do it because someone has to hold the line between tyranny and freedom and good and evil.  It can be rewarding and fulfilling, but often, it is thankless and dirty and the work never pays what it should.

Some people call me "old school" for such absolutist thinking.  I think that kind of thinking makes it so we can do the work of defending this country in bad neighborhoods with worse people and do it all hours of the day or night around the world.  We end up missing more birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays than any of our friends, who never quite get what we do for a living.

And many times, when we do this kind of work, we lose friends along the way.

And that loss makes today a little bit sadder...

Continue reading "Holidays and the Line....." »

Memorial Day 2012

The image referred too by LW is indeed iconic, but at least to me, none portrays the true meaning of Memorial Day like the following image.  I’m not trying to engage in dueling images, it’s just this one means so much to me.   I posted it last year, and I’ll probably post it every year I draw breath.  It best encapsulates the day’s meaning for me.

Memorial day

Freedom isn’t free.  And it doesn’t come without a horrendous cost.  God bless the fallen.  And God comfort their families.

[In memory of SP4 Stuart Lee Barnett, KIA 8/26/70, Republic of Vietnam]


Twitter: @McQandO

A Single Image

Today, take a moment to read a good post, view an iconic photo -- and share it far and wide.  If you want to remind people what Memorial Day is all about, all you have to do is show them this particular photo.  To my mind, no single image captures what lies behind the day better. 

We have today, because they gave their tomorrows. 


Attack on David Bellavia and a veterans charity

Politics can be pretty disgusting on a good day, but this is a new low. My good friend, combat veteran and legitimate American hero David Bellavia is running for Congress in NY's 27th District. He would be an Allen West-ian breath of fresh air in the House and God-willing and the creek don't rise we will see him there. He is running against a rich guy (and kicking his ass) who is willing to throw money and now disgraceful allegations at David and a charity that we both helped found, the Warrior Legacy Foundation (WLF). There have been claims made by proxies and political tools of David's opponent Chris Collins that WLF is a scam designed to line David's pockets and defraud donors.

He raises money from those sympathetic to veterans to pay himself for the privilege to run for office and this year it’s the 27th District.

David's answer is here.

I was not surprised to read an attack on me in a letter written by an active member of the Clarence Town Republican Committee. Clarence is my opponent Chris Collins’ hometown; the Committee is his home political organization. However, I am deeply disappointed to see that the Collins machine’s negative assault on me has already begun.

It is disgusting that my hard work on behalf of my brothers and sisters in arms, the military veterans of this country, would be the target of a cheap political attack to further Chris Collins’ candidacy. I find it deplorable and unworthy of any further response.

My answer is right here.

These allegations are complete, unmitigated BS and the WLF never paid David Bellavia a dime in salary or for his personal expenses. As a matter of fact the has traveled extensively and volunteered huge amounts of his time for the organization and the veterans we help. WLF has a grand total of zero paid staffers and all the money goes to help wounded veterans w/ a tiny amount of unavoidable overhead. There will be an official response from WLF saying the same forthcoming. For the record, this is the kind of stuff WLF supports.

So now right before Memorial Day, when we honor those who have given their lives, we get sleazy, false, unfounded slime thrown at a group of veterans who are helping other vets. The question becomes what type of person is doing the sliming? David's opponent Chris Collins was born in 1950 making him 18 years old in 1968. I know where my Dad was in 1968, he was with the 11th Armored Cav in Vietnam serving his second combat tour. Where was Chris Collins? Avoiding service with student deferments? Hanging out at the frat house? Not inhaling w/ Bill Clinton? Inquiring minds want to know sir. Where he was not is in uniform serving his country. But that certainly didn't stop him from cutting in front of a group of veterans in a 4th of July parade last year. There is no requirement for anyone to serve now and plenty of folks took deferments during Vietnam. But if you are going to attack those who raised their right hands and put their lives on the line you ought have some better answers, and to be perfectly frank some respect.

I wholeheartedly and proudly endorse David Bellavia for Congress and look forward to seeing him kicking ass and taking names in DC next January. As does Bev Perlson of Band of Mothers who adds this

Shame on Chris Collins! How dare he attack a Brave Warrior such as David Bellavia, who literally engaged in hand to hand combat with this brutal enemy that our noble Warriors continue to fight! I know David personally and I am very familiar with all the good work of Warrior Legacy Foundation! It is an honor to be able to say that and I am betting this Collins character wouldn't know what honor is if it slapped him across the face, which is what this mother would like to do! Please support David Bellavia in his run for Congress. It is Warriors like David that will save this great republic of ours! He is a Brave and Noble Warrior and Chris Collins isn't good enough to clean the bottom of his battle worn boots!
-Beverly Perlson The Band of Mothers

Memorial Day

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty..." - President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Friday, January 20th, 1961

This weekend is about honoring those who paid that price...