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Subject: war veterans rss

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True Blue Jon
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What's the deal with veterans? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?
 
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Marco Grubert
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What I don't understand: why aren't firefighters worshipped ?
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Because they risked their lives in service to the country. I agree that they are generally 'worshipped' more than police and firefighters, though I wouldn't use that word. I think they're all kind of in the same boat and should be respected and praised equally.
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True Blue Jon
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ejmowrer wrote:
Because they risked their lives in service to the country.


I would nitpick here and say they risked their lives in service to their nation's government but your answer probably explains the phenomenon adequately.
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Marco Grubert
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ejmowrer wrote:
I think they're all kind of in the same boat and should be respected and praised equally.
Compare the ratio of "Support our troops" stickers to those of "Support our police/firemen". It is quite baffling.
 
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Leo Zappa
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Probably because the shit they had to endure is so far beyond what most people can even contemplate that there is simply an appreciation by the general populous for the veteran who could live through it all.

Not every veteran has seen combat action of course, so it is a bit much to lump everyone who ever wore the uniform into one group. I served, but I was never in combat (thank God!) and I hold those who have been in the front lines in a considerable amount of awe. My dad was a WW2 vet who was in combat (Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, ...etc) and between what he (and my uncles, all of whom also served) told me, what I've read, and what little I could gleen from my own relatively mundane service, I am simply amazed at the ability of these people to survive the horrors of war.

I agree that police and firemen should also be held in high regard, but I think it is very understandable why military vets are generally held in higher esteem. Put simply, combat is more stressful than either police work or fire fighting, and more dangerous as well. And for most if not all policemen and firemen, they get to go home every night, while a combat soldier has to stay thousands of miles away from home and loved ones for months or years at a time, possibly never to return. Even in peacetime, deployments to far away bases are very stressful. I think many people in the general population appreciate these differences between police/firemen and the G.I.
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Clinton Smith
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What's the deal with imaginary deities? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?

I'm guessing that you knew somebody would say that.
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True Blue Jon
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Artaxerxes wrote:
What's the deal with imaginary deities? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?

I'm guessing that you knew somebody would say that.


Great question. Start your own thread and I'll even attempt to answer it.
 
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quozl wrote:
What's the deal with veterans? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?


Worship was never a problem for Viet Nam vets.
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True Blue Jon
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DWTripp wrote:
quozl wrote:
What's the deal with veterans? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?


Worship was never a problem for Viet Nam vets.


I wonder if that's why. America has such a huge guilt complex about how they treated the Vietnam vets that now they go to the other extreme.
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Clinton Smith
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I sometimes wonder if the Vietnam vets were really treated badly. I wonder if it is just a myth, or urban legend, or propaganda sort of fiction created by some on the political right. Are there any Vietnam vets reading this who can cite specific personal examples of mistreatment? Can anybody post a link to a website with specific examples of mistreatment? I'm not saying there was or wasn't a phenomenon of disrespect of Vietnam vets; I just would like to see some actual evidence. Maybe I'll go do my own research...
 
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Marco Grubert
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Artaxerxes wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the Vietnam vets were really treated badly. I wonder if it is just a myth, or urban legend, or propaganda sort of fiction created by some on the political right.

I have wondered the same thing and it seems to be a bit of both. I have exchanged emails with Vietnam veterans who told me about how they were spoken down to upon their return or spat at. On the other hand the Nixon administration did a great job villifying the peace protesters and creating the popular image of them going after soldiers (which is SOP after a lost war- same thing happened in Germany after WW1).
 
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Clinton Smith
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I did a little searching and there appears to be a fair number of personal testimonies on forums where a Vietnam vet states that he was treated rudely or spit on.

Assuming that the claims are true we must next ask whether or not these examples constitute a large enough percentage of Vietnam vets for us to say that there was a significant anti-vet movement back in the 60s and 70s. I came across a reference to a book by Jerry Lembcke called The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam. Lembcke cited a Harris poll reported to Congress in 1972 that indicates 93% of returning veterans found their homecoming friendly, while only 3% found it unfriendly. Only 3% of Vietnam vets described their homecoming as unfriendly? I wonder what percentage of hippies were mistreated during the Vietnam era? I bet it was higher than 3%.

I still wonder if many of those stories are actually fabrications, though. The similiarity of so many of them seems very suspicious. They usually go something like "I walked off the airplane, some hippie (or old lady, in some versions) stepped forward, called me a baby-killer, and then spit on me." It strikes me as somewhat implausible that in every case the vet claims to have not retalliated. They didn't throw a punch. They didn't spit on the perpetrator in return. It just doesn't ring true, to me at least.

My conclusion is that a small number of Vietnam vets may have been treated worse than they deserved (and that is truly a shame) but not enough for anybody nowadays to get their panties in a bunch over it.


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Chief Slovenly
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Slate columnist Jack Shafer looked into it and wrote up a series of columns on it, the last one of which is here.

Takeaway: one incident actually did happen, enough so that the returning vet was catpured on TV talking about it afterwards, but the basic "urban legend" thesis has still held up.
 
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ejmowrer wrote:
Because they risked their lives in service to the country.


I risked my skin for $461 a month. Military personal that I was exposed to weren't any more inclined to glorious delusion of grandeur than any of the other 50 million Americans. It was a job, and a way to escape my little one horse town after HS. And all it required was the experience to take one small test, the lack of peeing the bed, and the capability to sign on the dotted line.

America likes to deify soldiers for some reason, when really I think they just watched one to many John Wayne movies. It's been a long time and not in my lifetime that I viewed a cause was actually worthy to risk life and limb. Saving the American way my ass.

//Gulf War Veteran.
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Cross_ wrote:
What I don't understand: why aren't firefighters worshipped ?


You've obviously never watched a group of firemen go grocery shopping.

"Wet clean-ups on aisles 4, 5, 6, 7, 8... Oh hell, just follow the women following the firemen."
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Leo Zappa
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tornspace wrote:
quozl wrote:
What's the deal with veterans? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?


Because they got shot at so I didn't have to, seriously.

Of course I see a big difference between veterans of, say WWII and veterans of the Iraq occupation. But that's a different thread.


Yeah - the vets of Iraq have generally been in active combat zones much longer than the average WW2 vet. Look at the 1st Marine Division during WW2 - they were in combat 275 days over three years. Look now at any US brigade in Iraq now - generally 300 days over a year's time. Remember, patrolling city streets and getting ambushed or blown to bits by an IED may not be as "patriotic" or "glorious" as fighting on the beaches of Iwo Jima, but it is just as stressful and can leave a Marine or G.I. just as dead. My point is that there's no difference TO THE VETERAN of any war, even if the conflicts themselves are different, both militarily or politically.
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quozl wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
Because they risked their lives in service to the country.


I would nitpick here and say they risked their lives in service to their nation's government but your answer probably explains the phenomenon adequately.


I have to agree..
 
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bbenston wrote:
Slate columnist Jack Shafer looked into it and wrote up a series of columns on it, the last one of which is here.

Takeaway: one incident actually did happen, enough so that the returning vet was catpured on TV talking about it afterwards, but the basic "urban legend" thesis has still held up.


It has held up among those who wish to let the antiwar movement off the hook...
 
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Pathirtle wrote:


You forgot to invoke the Marine who just killed a pregnant Marine. He's bad too...
 
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James Davis
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Artaxerxes wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the Vietnam vets were really treated badly. I wonder if it is just a myth, or urban legend, or propaganda sort of fiction created by some on the political right. Are there any Vietnam vets reading this who can cite specific personal examples of mistreatment? Can anybody post a link to a website with specific examples of mistreatment? I'm not saying there was or wasn't a phenomenon of disrespect of Vietnam vets; I just would like to see some actual evidence. Maybe I'll go do my own research...


Yes they were even in Australia. I have even spoken to some old anti-vietnam war protesters, they have said looking back it really wasn't the right thing to attack the troops like they did, if they had it again they would do it differently.

Firefighters are very well respected they put their life on the line everyday and they get recognised for it, even more for the volunteer bushfire fighter service.

There is a reason why police aren't so widely respected. Over the years people have lost faith with the police because of corruption (In Australia) and heavy handedness (Whether justified or not) which you see on tv from the American police and Australian Police forces, this leads to a bad image. Also the courts don't help the police force, the police are seen as a joke because they wont arrest low life criminals, because they know nothing will happen in the justice system. I have alot of respect for police they have to take alot of crap which they don't deserve.

I really gotta see if you can be a casual riot police officer.
 
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Michael Tagge
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MWChapel wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
Because they risked their lives in service to the country.


I risked my skin for $461 a month. Military personal that I was exposed to weren't any more inclined to glorious delusion of grandeur than any of the other 50 million Americans. It was a job, and a way to escape my little one horse town after HS. And all it required was the experience to take one small test, the lack of peeing the bed, and the capability to sign on the dotted line.

America likes to deify soldiers for some reason, when really I think they just watched one to many John Wayne movies. It's been a long time and not in my lifetime that I viewed a cause was actually worthy to risk life and limb. Saving the American way my ass.

//Gulf War Veteran.

I was far from impressed with all the people who served beside me. The praise has a Machivellian flavor to it. Just like you don't go out in public and say you hate puppies and babies. Just something people in the public have to do or they will be called to the floor for it like when Obama didn't wear an American flag lapel pin.
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I have a great deal of respect for vets, but then again, I have a great deal of respect for working stiffs out of uniform, too.

There are good and bad combat vets, just as there are good and bad folks from all walks of life. The guys I served with ran the gamut, and some of them I would not care to associate with voluntarily, others I would risk my life for to this day.

There is something about being under threat of violence, where you have to depend on each other, and there is no "I quit" short of total disgrace that creates a bond that is hard to describe. If combat was merely a cold mathematical lottery without that human element, the brotherhood and the suffering, the inspirational and craven behavior, then I doubt vets would have the "aura" they do. It is a special bond, and not easily explained, and I think it has as much to do with seeing people stripped of the veneer of peacetime civilization as it does with the risk of violent death. We'll all die, but not all of us will see souls laid bare in the stress of combat. There are degrees within that category, too.

I get a chuckle out of those who want to lump us vets in a group and be done with it, especially when they are the sort of folks who get outraged be other forms of prejudice.

Sure, I want my efforts to be respected, but I think blind admiration is foolish, as are some of the misconceptions and stereotypes about veterans. Get to know a vet and form an opinion that way.
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quozl wrote:
What's the deal with veterans? Why do so many people worship them (or at least pretend to when writing about them)?


Rhetorically speaking, at some point we have merged the notion of supporting a war with supporting our troops and veterans. You will notice politicians who speak against a war carefully maneuvering around the supporting troops/veterans rebuttal. The concepts surrounding war and war veterans are intertwined so intricately that they are almost synomonous.

That said, you cannot speak out publicly against veterans without being unpatriotic, anti-war, against the current/past administration, a hate-mongorer, a hippie, an uneducated moron, a bigot, a coward, unhumanitarian, cruel, and foolish.

So people simply don't want to be these things so they support veterans and chastise those who don't.

Edit: And, of course, many people support veterans because they are simply good people who care about others.
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Re: war veterans
From Powerline Blog

A friend has sent us the eulogy given by Lt. Col Rod Coffey, Commander 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment (Wolfpack), Diyala Province, Iraq, at the January 22, 2008 memorial ceremony for his six soldiers and one Iraqi interpreter killed in a booby-trapped house in Sinsil, Iraq on January 9, 2008 during Operation Raider Harvest. Col. Coffey spoke to honor the soldiers that died in the operation:

Specialist Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo.;
Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn.;
Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, Nev.;
Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore.;
First Sgt. Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis.; and
Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.

Col. Coffey spoke as follows:

Gen Petraus, LTG Odierno, Major General Hertling, BG Boozer, BG Thomas, COL Riscassi, fellow squadron and battalion commanders and command sergeants major;

On behalf of all the soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment we thank you for coming to pay tribute to our fallen brothers in arms.

We are here to honor the memory and service of seven men, seven of our brothers in arms.

There is a story about loss in war where one character comments to another, “We are ready for the occasional empty chair, the fond farewell for comrades lost. But we are never, never ready for so many.”

I cannot, as your commander, in anything I say today diminish the impact of losing these men all at once. In fact because we lost them so quickly, it all seems like a bad dream -- that we will wake up tomorrow and they will all be back again.

Each of us, whether present at the scene that day or not, will remember when we first found out. We will remember our inner anguish when we got up the nerve to ask, “Who was it?”

Others will recall the steeled strength it took to calmly and professionally report and verify the battle roster numbers, knowing full well we owed them this calmness and professionalism, so their families would be taken care of.

Others of us will never forget rescuing the four wounded that day and getting them to a helicopter as fast as we could. All these things are true. All these things will be seared in our memories. It was a terrible day and we cannot change that.

We are not alone in mere personal grief, or our desire to honor the fallen. The presence of the general officers here is their effort to acknowledge the sacrifice of this unit and the bravery of these men. Although I have not been able to access every news report, the ones I have read indicate the nation supports us, mourns with us and honors the men we have lost in the recon platoon.

The governors of the states of Virginia and Nevada and Wisconsin and Oregon and New Mexico have ordered the flag of the United States of America and the flags of their respective state flags be flown at half-mast on the day of our men’s funerals. We are not alone in honoring them. Again, I don’t have news stories for all of our men yet but those I have read indicate hundreds have attended their funerals.

And why this reaction? Why hundreds of people at funerals? Why governors issuing decrees for flags to be flown at half mast?

Because we are all in awe of their great sacrifice, courage and devotion to duty and each other. These men, our men, are fallen on the field of battle. Forever more that is their legacy. Their names are now enshrined on the scroll of America’s hallowed dead. And where they died, where they shed their blood, is sacred ground to us.

We still cannot help think why. Why do we have to lose such good men?

Part of the answer is only good men like these volunteer to serve and defend their country. Here’s two brief examples of their motivations:

SPC Davis had his car packed and had been admitted to the University of Oklahoma when he changed his mind and decided to enlist in the army. His family believes he did so out of pride for his father who had served in the military and had passed away in 2003. There he was -- the excitement and opportunities of college life and getting a degree ahead of him -- and he heard that call, the call to defend and serve his country. At the last moment he could not go through with the easy choice. He chose the harder life of a soldier in a time of war.

Of SSG Gaul his stepmother noted, “Being a soldier was his life. It was what he truly wanted to do.”

I could mention every one of them and tell a similar story. I wish I knew more about Roy’s story, for the courage and guts displayed by our interpreters on a daily basis is an inspiration for us all.

It is still a natural human instinct to ask….But what did they die for? Wasn’t it a waste?

There are several answers to that question but the most basic and simple is they died for us. They entered that house so you and I wouldn’t have to. At that moment they saw it as their duty to clear that house and they acted with discipline courage and bravery. The character of our fallen heroes in the recon platoon is revealed by the actions of the living that day.

As many of you know they were essentially lured to the house by someone that we later discovered had ties to Al Qaida. One of the members of the platoon, on the roof when the blast occurred and the building collapsed -- and wounded himself -- ran down the local who had had lured them to the house ……And then when he found him, did nothing more than detain him.

That professionalism, that discipline, that honor and self-sacrifice speaks of extraordinary nobility of character in the entire platoon. Another soldier, the senior squad leader at the scene with calmness and strength took over the role of platoon sergeant as if he had been doing the job for months.

I could go on and on about the enormous character demonstrated by that entire platoon and entire company that day – a strength and determination that continues to today.

And then there is the unfeigned determination of the recon platoon. It’s not put–on. It’s not fake. They are not trying to be something they are not and failing to express their emotions about this. But the speed with which they have rebounded and insisted to me that they go out on missions again is awe-inspiring.

I do not know where such men come from, except to say they are the kind of men who have made America great and will continue to preserve it.

The act of going in first, the act of willingly doing your duty in a dangerous environment, is by its very nature an act of heroic self-sacrifice for the sake of others. These men we honor today had that spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty to an awe-inspiring degree.

And so I need to speak of what else they died for, and what I believe our honored dead would now expect of us.

I’ll begin by saying what they would not want. They would not wish to be seen as victims of a misguided war, victims of stop loss – or victims of anything else for that matter.

We know we are fighting extremism here in a thousand ways. And as the hometown news articles are getting written several of these fallen heroes are on record stating they believed the war in Iraq is a noble cause.

For those who want to support us by getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible, without a victory, I have but one comment. You’re too late. We have sacrificed too much and all we ask of you is the necessary time to finish the job.

Our children and yours, our grandchildren and yours will be safer for it.

This squadron and the formations on its left and right have in the balance sheet of history, already achieved far more than extremist reckless hatred will ever accomplish.

SSG Dozier once asked his father Carl, “Is it weird to really want to do this?”

His father Carl, filled with pride at what his son had become said "No," "This is what you're trained to do."

On another occasion this brave man, SSG Jonathan Dozier told his father he was prepared to die, “But,” he said, “I don’t want to die for nothing.”

So I ask you Wolfpack to make this promise with me: SSG Dozier, will not have died for nothing. We owe him a victory. We owe him a win. We owe him our own lives if necessary.

If the enemy comes out to fight he will be met with a disciplined lethal ferocity he has never before endured. If he plays the sly game of intimidating, beheading and torturing the innocent people of Iraq when he thinks we’re not looking he will be met with a cunning, a sophistication and a relentlessness that will lead to his utter defeat.

This is my promise to you as your commander and from all of us to our honored dead.
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