Patterico's Pontifications


In Recognition of Our Veterans

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Thank you, thank you so much to all of the veterans, both in our personal lives and here in the Patterico community of readers. Although it sounds trite to my ears to say a simple “thank you,” it comes with the deepest respect and appreciation for your service to our country. Thank you that you chose to do something selfless and brave and noble. As a parent whose youngest just arrived back home from an eight month deployment with the Marines, I am inordinately grateful to any and all willing to give up a chunk of their lives to protect us and the very unique principles that make up this United States of America.


And while we know that there are those who will never understand the sacrifices made by others for them, there are those who understand all too deeply and painfully the cost. So a humble thank you also to those who have lost their loved ones who proudly served. May God keep you near, and through His grace, may He turn your mourning into joy in the way that only He can.



23 Responses to “In Recognition of Our Veterans”

  1. Thank you.

    Dana (d17a61)

  2. God bless our veterans.

    Is Tiff Reina someone vaguely important, or just an SJW nutjob looking for attention?

    JVW (6e49ce)

  3. I’m thinking it’s a troll account designed to stir up the hornet’s nest, and that she doesn’t really exist.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  4. No matter, JVW, Misty Blum is on a mission to help verts with PTSD. Check out her blog.

    Dana (5317a6)

  5. seriously what the heck is wrong with people, thank you all for your service,

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. If Tiff Reina is a real person with mental issues then I can understand it a little bit, but if some jerk created that account to rile people up then that person is the lowest of the low.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  7. Here is the report on Misty Blum’s husband, a Marine combat vet who took his life just four months after retiring from the military, and who suffered from PTSD.

    Dana (d17a61)

  8. The difference between today’s military and one that was truly the best in the world is clear when we compare Gen. Allen’s quote with General Patton.

    Patton: “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

    Allen: “the Republic hires them to be prepared to die for something greater than themselves …”

    Allen is concerned about public relations and what a bunch of ungrateful know-nothings will think about his nasty troops. Patton was concerned about winning, which conserves lives even at the expense of appearing fearsome, because Patton’s troops were fearsome and they won. Which isn’t to say that our troops today aren’t fearsome, because most of them are (I exclude JAG ideologues who are likely to be more concerned about carbon footprints and renewable fuels than soldier’s lives.) It’s to say that this concept of embracing highly functional warriors embarrasses those who (regrettably) command them.

    BobStewartatHome (b2bab4)

  9. Unless its a different Jake Tapper, he didn’t serve in the military. He wrote a great book called “The Outpost” about Afghanistan, but he’s never served.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  10. The progressive mindset assumes that the individual is subsumed in the body politic, and that they are just another disposable factor in the functioning of society. Wars of attrition are just another day at the office. Discarding battlefield victories for photo ops burnishing the credentials of politicians who pretend to negotiate world peace are taken for granted. Cities controlled by progressives are likely to prohibit parades honoring veterans, and they will even cancel appearances by the Blue Angels out of concern that they might suggest approval of a functional fleet air force.

    Given that our society does nothing to honor veterans and the sacrifices they have made, is it really surprising that some have trouble dealing with this once they are immersed in it?

    BobStewartatHome (b2bab4)

  11. Oh, look, the tolerant left is showing off their tolerance again!

    Jeff Lebowski (a37897)

  12. Spent 30 years in the military (I count the 4 years at a service academy in that) and, frankly, for all the crap one has to occasionally endure, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    No America, it’s not necessary to thank me. It was, all things being equal, a pleasure in it’s own way.

    Thank YOU for letting me serve.

    A10Pilot (0b1d19)

  13. Dad- USMeffingC 1955-1976, Vietnam 1967-68, and again 1970-1971.

    Spent 30 years in the military (I count the 4 years at a service academy in that) and, frankly, for all the crap one has to occasionally endure, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    It’s all time in grade, I don’t care where you spent it. You were there when we needed you.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  14. I salute all who’ve served, both the living and those lost to us!

    In comments here in past months, steve57 & I have discussed a naval historian and author whose books we’ve both read appreciatively, James B. Hornfischer. In recognition of this holiday and remembrance of my favorite veteran (my late father),I’m reprinting here the review I posted on today of his latest book, “The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945“:

    [Mr. Hornfischer’s latest book] focuses initially on the Marianas campaign in June-July 1944 — including the recapture of Guam, which as it happens was the first combat operation in which my dad served. As a very junior officer fresh from ROTC at UT-Austin, my dad commanded a landing craft from the USS Zeilin (APA-3), putting ashore Marines at Agat from the First Provisional Marine Brigade under heavy mortar and artillery fire. This book includes a thorough description of that action, offshore and on — albeit from a rather larger perspective than my father had at the time! But with this book at my one hand and Google’s satellite views of Guam at my other hand, I was able to figure out exactly the offshore reefs that played a big part in my father’s description of his personal experience.

    The Marianas (Tinian, Saipan & Guam) then became the bases from which American B-29 bombers began striking Japan, and the atomic bomb missions that ended the war were launched from there. Those missions made unnecessary the planned amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands, but in discussing the plans for that invasion, Hornfischer makes a point that I’ve always found especially compelling given my dad’s particular situation at that time & place:

    The success of this retrograde stealth bomber [referring to a new single-engine wood & fabric kamikaze biplane design] in sinking a fast, well-armed warship [the destroyer USS Callaghan] suggested to the Navy the grave danger that even antique planes (often discounted in intelligence estimates) posed to shipping, and especially to the slower, lightly armed transports packed with troops, which would be the primary target of the kamikazes off Japan.

    In a later paragraph, discussing the admiral in command of amphibious operations for the Pacific (for whom the Zeilin was the designated relief flagship), during the planning for Operation Olympic, the planned landings in Kyushu, Hornfischer writes:

    Kelly Turner, too, had held grave doubts. He was privy to the estimates of burgeoning Japanese defenses — nine hundred thousand troops on Kyushu, ten thousand aircraft, more than half of which were kamikazes that would strike not cruisers and battleships but troop transports while their essential cargoes were most vulnerable, at sea with their supporting vessels.

    The Zeilin was just such a troop transport. In fact, built to a WW1 design since superseded by newer, cheaper transports with much smaller displacements, the surviving transports in the Zeilin‘s same class were the biggest, plumpest targets on the seas. And indeed, at the war’s end in August, the Zeilin was just returning to the western Pacific, after extensive repairs from a kamikaze strike in February 1945. She was headed back to the Philippines to embark troops for the invasion of mainland Japan.

    Reading this book therefore made me even more grateful — on a personal, literally existential basis! — that both the Japanese and the Americans (and their allies) were spared the catastrophes of an opposed invasion.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  15. “It’s all time in grade, I don’t care where you spent it. You were there when we needed you.”

    And even beyond the above, you were there in case we needed you.

    God bless all of you.

    And, yes, Beldar, an invasion of Japan would have been an order of magnitude worse for Japan (not to mention us) than the bombs were. At least that’s a reasonable conclusion based on extrapolation of the Japanese actions to up to then.

    Which is why I really detest the academic know-it-alls who insist the bombs were excessive. I bet not a one of them ever served.

    Dan S (e312ac)

  16. the notion was first put forward by alperovitz, who just wanted to give the soviets some skin in the game, about 20 years after events,

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. Greetings:

    My thinking about Veterans’ Day runs along several different tracks and “BobStewartatHome”‘s addresses a couple of them. Whether for offensive or defensive reasons, application of compulsive force is the essential element, “le raison d’etre”. General Allen’s “don’t ruffle any feathers unnecessarily” speak evinces the JAG, JAGette, and JAGoff “rules of engagement” swamp in which he finds himself mired and where he consumes his ration of Kool-Aid. I have resisted the “miracle of the all-volunteer military” since its beginning and continue to do so. Like so many “progressive” programs, I find it an encouragement to the “free riders” among us and a contributing factor to the infantilization of American manhood. Whatever the shortcomings of the previous military draft and its subversion, it seems much more “socially just” in terms of spreading the pain across a larger demographic.

    On a less philosophical track, there’s something about America getting a day off based on other people’s veteran status that strikes me as a tad weird. The TV oozes advertisements of near universal “sales” opportunities based on the veteran status of the very few. I’ve seen on one add, from Midas Muffler, that offered a specific benefit for actual veterans. WHile I would be the last to argue about a paid day off or some economic savings, it’s just not the kind of idea that would pass muster in any of the logic classes I had inflicted on me.

    Lastly, and I hope none find this overly disturbing, I’m not a fan of all this “thank you for your service” that seems to be morphing into a bit of a ritual. Agreed, I find it easily endured, but I also find it not terribly well thought out. As my favorite Platoon Sergeant mentioned a time or two, “You got paid, didn’t you?”. I think that this assessment was aggravated a bit by the use of veterans in the recent California elections. Thirteen years of Catholic education (with no do-overs) taught me to beware of halos. When a progressive subversive (or should that be subversive progressive) like Tom Steyer can surround himself with a bunch of veterans to implement his political will, I find myself just a bit annoyed.

    Certainly veterans “gave some”. Just as certainly, “some gave all”. But a sentence worth of verbal gratitude from a complete stranger puts me off more than it helps me out.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  18. yes, I see the point, it’s partially because of the raw deal given veterans of the conflict in indochina, which extended into laos and cambodia,

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. was it sherman that said war is hell, eisenhower waxed eloquently about the loss inherent in it, it’s a neccesary evil, but the suffix still applies,

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. Which is why I really detest the academic know-it-alls who insist the bombs were excessive. I bet not a one of them ever served.

    Dan S (e312ac) — 11/12/2016 @ 8:19 am

    There were not a few elements within the Japanese armed forces that were looking to prolong the war to their version of Gotterdammerung. We were looking to finish it. Looking at just that, the bombs were not excessive. Given everything else, well, perhaps we need to place a few academics on the front line of a battle like Okinawa or Iwo Jima. That would do wonders for concentrating their sloppy minds.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  21. One aspect of the draft and service during Vietnam, and probably dating back to WWII, that shouldn’t be overlooked is the extremely low pay of the military in those days. My first year in the USCGR was spent as an E-5 (OCUI2, Officer Candidate Undergoing Instruction 2nd Class) followed by my commission as an O1 (Ensign). These were relatively high paying positions in the military, and yet my W2 shows that my pay over those 12 months of duty averaged just $300 a month. In comparison, pay for graduate Research- or Teaching Assistants was in the $450 a month range, and included tuition. A starting full time engineer was paid around $800 a month. Enlisted men, the core of any service, spent several years in lower grades as they gained experience and training, and were paid much less.

    Conscription and low pay made it possible for Congress to “afford” a relatively large military. Under the Draft in the early days of Vietnam, the relatively small portion of the younger male population that was chosen to “serve” were almost by definition politically powerless, they couldn’t even influence the local draft board. This made the budgetary savings possible and of little concern to the political leadership. This army on the cheap meant that there was one less reason for the U. S. to decline the opportunity to engage in ill-considered foreign adventures, like Vietnam. The real monetary and personal costs were thrust on a very small portion of the population, those who served, and the beneficiaries were the “Best and the Brightest” residents of Camelot, who could indulge their egos while attempting to wage wars of attrition against foreign tyrannies.

    The role of the Draft Boards were diminished in late 1968 when the Draft went to a lottery system based on date of birth. Many automatic deferments like graduate school deferments were eliminated. It shouldn’t have surprised the administration that all hell broke lose. Why, it became apparent the any young man might be forced to serve, not just those selected by their local draft board.

    So the Draft wasn’t just a way to facilitate the opportunity to serve our country. It hid the true costs of maintaining the military, and made it politically easier for Congress and the Administration to engage in large military projects. I would support a Draft, but only if the pay of those chosen was comparable to civilian wages and if it included both men and women. Not because the men and women should have the same duties, they shouldn’t, but because all the those voting in our Republic should have a little bit of their skin in the game. The only downside is that it would force our political leaders to deal more truthfully with the electorate.

    BobStewartatHome (b2bab4)

  22. Greetings, BobStewartatHome: ( @ 11/12/2016 @ 10:20 am )

    I don’t disagree with your general initial gist. However, the monthly pay bit kind of ignores those imminently enjoyable three hots and a cot for those inductees who so benefited. Real costs but also real benefits. When I was inductee into the lowest caste of the military hierarchy, I was pulling down about $75 a month. In the civilian economy, I was making that amount per week and carrying my own visible means of support. Factoring in the limitations on access to any markets (leave, passes, etc.), my personal economy wasn’t that much of a punishment.

    My initial draft lottery number came out in the 300s and I enjoyed reading about it while simultaneously enjoying a monsoonal bath. But certainly that was a step forward in terms of the always necessary “social justice” we all crave. I remain unaware of what weeding out went on after induction as I would guess that birth date generated an interesting “bell curve”.

    As to the inclusion of womenfolk in the draft, I don’t agree. From a combat arms perspective, it seems to me that they, like homosexuals, would more likely cause more distraction than “value-added”. If they ever break out of their segregated sports ghettos and come up with a couple of world champions, I would be willing to do a re-think. But there’s a pretty clear reason why there’s no political agitation along that line.

    Bottom line though, life is real and life is earnest an inventing real life workarounds to avoid life’s reality is a philosophically weak position from which to start.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

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