Friday, January 06, 2006

Baby-Killers

I wanted to comment on this article at The Officers' Club earlier this week and make a snarky, ironic comment, but as I predicted, I . These people must find it very comforting to live in a world surrounded by people as foolish as they are themselves.

It's interesting how quickly supposed lovers of peace turn extremely violent when it suits them. It made me think of a friend of mine in the University of Minnesota Navy ROTC telling me, a freshman, about his first day in uniform three years prior. Somebody walked right up to him and called him a baby-killer. I'd think these types are just itching for fight, but then I notice they never seem to want to pick one with the Marines. These people have every right to say what they think. They are also cowards.

I'm with Educated Shoprat, who says that universities who don't want ROTC on campus shouldn't be entitled to federal funding. I'm waiting to see the academic elitist community get its own head handed to it in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights Inc. Sen. John Kyl wrote a nice opinion piece about that situation.

The military is not an option of last resort, contrary to the beliefs of some socialists who would have you believe there is a valiant struggle of proletariat vs. bourgeois in this country. The military is an opportunity, especially for people who might need a leg up. It's an institution that can help a person learn what it truly means to be an American.

Some people get it. A lot of people tell me thanks for my service and how much they appreciate what I do, even though it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don't need back-patting, flattering as it is. I'll accept it with a smile and a "thank you," but a knowing look and a nod is enough - or just internal acknowledgement - silent understanding that some of the things I do are difficult and hard for my family to understand. I don't know what my daughter and son will think the first time they're on the pier when the ship signals one prolonged blast and the boatswain's mate of the watch announces, "Underway, shift colors." I know my next deployment will be the hardest one yet for my wife, with a six-week-old baby to take care of without me for five or six months.

My mom is proud of me. My whole family is, of course, but Mom says it sometimes. Not many of them really get it, though. It's difficult to instill that sense of what I have to to in people. My wife understands, but only because she and many other spouses got underway with us one afternoon for a "family day" and she watched me as I had the deck driving back into port. She told me she was in awe at how different a person I am; in four years I don't think I had sensed that kind of respect from her, but she has had it ever since.

My dad gets it. He's a retired police officer and after thirty years, I still don't know how hard his job was, what he had to go through or how he and my Mom made ends meet. He got to ride my previous ship with me for the last couple of days of the last deployment I went on. We picked him up in the Bahamas (where he managed to drink me under the table) and for the next three days, he got to see what I do. He visted me on watch at night in the Florida Strait, got to shoot all the crew-served guns and watch the other cool things we do. When we pulled into Mayport, he was running all over the ship topside, getting all the pictures he could while I was manning the rails.

Lone Pony asked me about honor, and putting myself in the line of fire. I don't think of it. I don't think most of us do. The possiblility always looms out there somewhere, I suppose; maybe that's why servicemen party harder than anyone I've ever met. I've never met people who were more alive. I'm not worried about dying, I'm concerned with fighting and winning.

The price of freedom is constant vigilance.

3 Comments:

Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

Very well said!! I liked this paragraph: "The military is not an option of last resort, contrary to the beliefs of some socialists who would have you believe there is a valiant struggle of proletariat vs. bourgeois in this country. The military is an opportunity, especially for people who might need a leg up. It's an institution that can help a person learn what it truly means to be an American."

And if I haven't said it yet, thank-you sooo very much for your service.

07 January, 2006 01:00  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden bloody well said...

01 07 06

Hey Robosquirrel: It can be sickening, the judgmentalism from the ignorant. I feel honored to blog with someone who serves our country;) And most of all, I like your analysis. I am really sickened of these leftist academics who ignore the fact that their freedom of speech is protected by the military and always will be. These academics exploit the concept of free speech to a tee, yet don't wish to accept responsiblity for it. I also agree that the military does provide MANY opportunities for people. My brother was in the Air Force and he was trained as a military-combat weather man; a very cool skill to have. There are many other examples, as you know. So screw the jerks and have a nice weekend!

07 January, 2006 03:26  
Blogger Lone Pony bloody well said...

This was one of the coolest things I've ever heard: "I've never met people who were more alive. I'm not worried about dying, I'm concerned with fighting and winning."

Those are the kind of people I want to be around. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for answering me Matt. It made a great post. I really enjoyed the part about your dad.

07 January, 2006 20:30  

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