He Hates These Berets! Stay Away From The Berets!

Wow. Talk about discipline. The guy who got his beret shot-off that is. He doesn’t lose a beat despite no doubt losing a few hairs on his head. And those around him. They all barely move. Amazing.

Then again I’ve been around two accidental discharges in my career and when the round went off mostly I just sat there in shock and awe for a second, and then turned in the direction of the boom. One was a guy standing behind me and over a bit at a cleaning table. The sound of his .45 echoed throughout the room as we all turned to stare at him, grateful no one was hurt. The second one was at the outdoor range – also during cleaning – but the guy was off by himself while the rest of us were receiving baton training about 150 feet away. He was with another agency – firing with us as a guest – and once we were sure he hadn’t shot himself or anyone else, we all did our best to look in the other direction not wanting to be witnesses in what would no-doubt be an investigation by his agency.

He didn’t get invited back though.

I’ve been lucky otherwise. Although there were two foreign officers from Nigeria I shot with back in the late 1980s that gave me a scare. They didn’t have an accidental discharge. Because we didn’t let them. Them showing up at the range barefoot and trying to slide the rounds in backwards (both true I swear), was enough for our firearms instructors to pull them aside for some special attention.

Oh, the commenters at Say Uncle note that they are probably firing blanks. Could be – probably are, although their not reacting is incredible either way. And I have to say that I’m not fond of any formation where you’re pointing the weapon at the back of the head of the guy standing in front of you while locking and loading.

Just not prudent if you know what I mean.

Worst Person In The World

I’m not Keith Olbermann – thank God – but I’m pretty sure this woman qualifies for that title.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to leave a soldier on deployment. You can do it with a letter. (He can’t argue with you. He doesn’t have a phone.) If you lay the groundwork early, saying to the soldier before he leaves, “This will be the end of us, we might as well admit it,” it’s that much easier. The letter won’t even come as a shock.

And if you have children with that soldier? You can handle all that with a letter, too. He’ll write it — because he cares about the kids, because he wants to work with you to do what’s best for them even though you’re leaving him — and you’ll give it to them. Here again, you will avoid a nasty confrontation. Who will they cry to? You? You’re just the teary-eyed bearer of the letter. Him? The one who’s sweating it out in the desert?

There will be no moving truck, no boxes, no house torn asunder. The soldier is peeing in a bucket as you pack. He doesn’t care who gets the couch.

Read the rest if you have the stomach for it, but it only gets worse.

Obviously the guy was better off after she left him, although it may have taken him a while to realize it (or not, he may have been doing the “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” dance during mail call).  Either way, how could he not be?  Just reading her words make me feel dirty and I cannot imagine how distasteful it would be just knowing her, much less being married to her.

Now I know she’s not the only bad military spouse out there. Military marriages are not easy. It takes a special woman, and more and more often, a special man, to stay with a Soldier, Sailor, Coast Guardsman, Airman, or Marine, through the stress of long separations, frequent moves, and almost constant worry about he safety of their loved one.  But fortunately the great  men and women who are willing to take on the joyous responsibility of supporting a military member far outnumber those who are not.  There’s a thousand good ones for every bad one.

And thank God for that because without them we wouldn’t have the fine military we have today.

Hat-tip to Hot Air where the woman’s article is analyzed by a real military spouse.

Question Of The Day

Is an Islamic terrorist killed by a weapon using this sight any more dead than if not?

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.
Scopes

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.

U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious “Crusade” in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as “the light of the world.” John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Trijicon confirmed to ABCNews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions “have always been there” and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian.” The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.

I’m thinking not, so what’s the big deal? Oh yeah, this is going to offend someone’s sensibilities. Probably not any US military members who would be using them, because they got bigger problems I am thinking – like sighting in on some guy trying to kill them. Of course, the Army will have it changed quickly since they can’t even come up with the guts to say the Fort Hood shooting was terrorism in their official report, much less have the balls deal with this none-issue. And I imagine the Marines, as tough as they are, will also fold because, well, they will just have to because our civilian leadership doesn’t want to offend the people it is killing.

Must have happy faces on the dead bodies of our enemies, you know.

As to Muslims using the sight being offended. Screw-em. Give em guns without sights then and see how they do.

UPDATE:

Stormbringer has an excellent post about this in which he gives an historical prospective and also in which disagrees with me on the seriousness of the whole thing. I get his point about the Crusades and all, but I personally don’t believe you can inflame non-radical Muslims by something like this.  And absent a mass conversion to Islam by all Americans I don’t see how anything we do or don’t do will make any difference in the attitude of those radical Muslims already trying to kill us.  This is a religious war to them no matter how we see it and while I don’t believe we should be taking up banners with Crosses on them, I certainly don’t think worrying about some small detail like this makes a difference one way or the other.

Then again I’m sitting back here fat dumb and happy now so maybe it’s easier for me to brush this aside as political correctness gone wild and not a potential threat to the guys and gals out there fighting now.  So if it does endanger our troops then get rid of them.  I just don’t see how it does.

Some Tossed-Away Tidbits

1. Time waster of the day.

2. Time waster of last night. God help our troops being led by this waffling Carter-clone. BTW, in that speech there were 45 uses of the word “I” and zero uses of the word “Victory.” Make of that what you will.

3. The 50 Worst Cars of All Time. I had one of the AMC selectees.

4. Chris Matthews, calls West Point an “enemy camp.” Eh, liberals think our own military is the enemy – what’s new about that? Matthews is a slimy thing though that is for sure.

5. Tiger Woods’ wife beat him up? Good joke I heard. As she was swinging at him with the club, he yelled, “No, don’t use the wood, use the nine iron.” I don’t golf, but I was told that is funny.

Hat-tip to Three Donia for the photo at the top.

They Need To Say Thanks

VeteransDay

While I have attended a few Veteran’s Day ceremonies over the years cheering on the old veterans as they marched by, yesterday was the first time I ever participated as one of those old veterans.

And let me tell you I never knew what a wonderful thing I was missing.

Each year my son’s middle-school puts on a belated ceremony so that it doesn’t conflict with the one the town throws on November 11th, and while loving wife, also a vet, has always attended, I’ve always been out-of-town when it happened.

Well, yesterday I was in town and here’s how it went.

First the entire school shows up – several hundred middle school kids from 5th to 8th grades – along with parents and siblings and teachers and of course the honored guests. The band and choir are down on the gym floor and the students and the rest of the audience are up in the bleachers with the veterans in seats of honor down to the side so they can face both the entertainment and the crowd.

Colorful posters drawn by students decorate the walls with words of thanks and as the ceremony begins the Boy Scouts post the colors.

The school band plays and the school choir sings.  All wonderfully patriotic songs, of course, with the word God thrown in – dare I say it – liberally, throughout the program.  And interspersed between the songs and music selected kids approach the microphone to tell the veterans and their proud parents what Veterans Day and the men and women who serve our country mean to them.

And it was these speeches that really got to me because you could tell that these kids had written them themselves. From their hearts.  Each one having had a relative (or two or three) who had served or was serving now.  Grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters.  All remembered and celebrated by children who are barely teens  at most.

It was great.

But the best speech was the one by the young Iraqi boy – born in that far-away country but now living here in our little county in Tennessee – who thanked America’s veterans for freeing his native land and making it safer than it was before.  He said much more than that and very eloquently too,  but frankly it was hard to take it all in what with my eyes welling-up and my trying to hide it from anyone who might be looking.

Of course it wasn’t over with all that.

Next it was time for the veterans to stand and introduce themselves to the crowd.  And let me tell you we were a hodgepodge.  We had both a Korean/Vietnam War Army vet and a WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War Air Force vet in their uniforms – the latter with an oxygen tank and walker – and we had Marines and Navy and an Army Nurse and then loving wife and I, two Air Force vets from the Cold War. And each one stood up and told a small part of their story for the kids and the crowd to truly thunderous rounds of applause.

It was all so very cool.

Of course loving wife stood and told her story which ended with her joking about marrying a veteran as well, and then my turn came and I stood and I swear never felt so humbled in my life.  (Yes, TRO can be humble when it calls for it.)

And actually the first sentence out of my mouth was about how I felt humbled and honored to be in the presence of so many combat veterans, because while every veteran sacrifices during his or her service, some are called upon to sacrifice more than others, and some, the ones who weren’t sitting with us listening to school bands and choirs and speeches, have been called upon to sacrifice everything.

And while I am immensely grateful that the good people of my little part of the USA thanked me and loving wife and the otherveterans, I just have to take still another opportunity to thank the combat veterans who were called upon, and are still being called upon, to sacrifice more.  Sometimes all.

Anyway, let’s not get all serious here, okay.

The main reason I am writing this is to recommend to all veterans that they attend and participate in these ceremonies.  It doesn’t matter if you are a brand new veteran or if you served in combat or not.  Every veteran is welcome.

And don’t wait until you are using a walker and carrying an oxygen tank to do so. Don’t worry about feeling that you don’t deserve it or that you might be accused of showing-off. You’re past proving yourself to anyone, my friend.

Do it because it is simply another service to your country and to your fellow citizens. Especially the children. Because they need to see you. They need to shake your hand and maybe even give you a hug. They need to hear your stories. They need to see the example of service and honor that you set and perhaps hollow it whether it takes them to the military or on some other path.

They need to thank you.

I Post The Picture Because As The Song Says, “Just A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down”

Nov 9 (2)

1. A Marine wife asks, “Life is full of mysteries, but chief among them in this Marine wife’s mind at the moment is, ‘Just how stupid does this White House think we are?” The answer is very stupid. Because he thinks all the military is stupid. And over half the American people. He KNOWS, however, that his supporters are stupid and he plays to that like a master.

2. “If you really care what you put in your body, Ruby’s is a good place for you,” says Mr. Beall, as the wait staff clears away the plates. “If you don’t care, hell, go to Hardee’s.” So says, Sandy Beall, the founder and chief executive of Ruby Tuesday’s. A restaurant we used to frequent but don’t any longer because their food really started sucking. Now the local one is out of business, which is good because even if their food is better and better for you, as is touted by Beall in this article, I wouldn’t eat there again. Why? Because that was an insulting thing to say. Yes, to Hardee’s, but also to the people who choose to eat at Hardee’s and who might have chosen to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s now and again. Look, I don’t eat at Hardee’s. I’m not sure I ever have. But when I do eat out, “caring about what I put in my body” is not high on my list. One eats out at a nice restaurant to enjoy a good meal, have a drink or two, and relax with friends or family . . . not to count calories. If you want to do that stay at home. And if you do like to eat out at a nice place,  but also like a greasy (insert fast-food chain here) burger now and again, you might just try Applebee’s instead of Ruby Tuesday’s. Their baby-back ribs are great.*

3. That cowardly shooter at Fort Hood was a Islamic Jihadist, not some poor soul suffering from PTSD. The liberal media and the administration are doing their best to spin it away as anything but Islamic terrorism, but the growing evidence just does not fit that narrative. And since this guy was probably alone, without some Al Qaeda-like support system, can we now say that we may, just may, be at war with Islam. At least the much larger than people are willing to admit radical part of it? Because the sooner we admit that the safer we will be.

4. Someone wishes the Berlin Wall never fell. Perhaps this is some kind of Stockholm Syndrome thing. Or just some nutty socialist who pines for the good ole days. Whatever the reason, I’m happy to say I was one of the many American military members serving in Germany before and when the Wall came down and if my CI/AT support for the Ground Launched Cruise Missile program (and other secret squirrel stuff) helped just a tiny bit then I am very proud. I do recall though, that after the Wall fell and East Germans began migrating into West Germany, many of the West Germans complained about some of them not wanting to work and wishing for a social system that did not exist any longer. Seems that dependence has lasted longer for some than others.

5.  No link needed because if you haven’t heard about it, then you have your head stuck so far down in the sand that you deserve the rectal exam the Democrats are about to give you. The putting on the rubber gloves part happened this weekend when the House passed their version of Obamacare.  All Democrats and one lame-ass Republican who is more worried about his own seat than his country, but hey, that’s politics, right?  Anyway, it’s not over yet, but seriously if you are not out there calling, writing, and talking to your representatives it will be soon.  Do you really want the government making life and death decisions on your health care? Seriously? You’ve been that happy with what they have done so far in other, much less intrusive, parts of your life?

Hat-tip to Theo for the babe and to Maggie’s Farm and Instapundit for some links.

* Full disclosure – I do not work for Applebee’s.  Nor in the restaurant business at all.

And Now For Something Serious

mil_fallensoldier_0707

From a military wife and mother with bigger fish to fry.

Last week, there was a problem with some children I know. Child A had thrown Child B’s necklace and broken it. This was, obviously, not a good thing to do. But, Child B’s mother made the comment, “What do I tell my child? How do I explain to my child why this happened?”

Recently, I’ve also heard this question in regard to nursing your child in public. “How do I explain what you’re doing to my child? I don’t want to have to answer that question.”

These questions make me want to scream. I just didn’t know why. I was telling Gary about it, and my reaction to it, when he said, “And I want to know how to tell a soldier’s kid that his dad isn’t coming home from the war.”

Yup, he hit it on the head. I’ve got more important things to worry about. I’ve got friends who are deployed. I have friends who’s spouses are deployed. My children have been to more funerals (for non-soldiers) in their short lifetimes than I had been to before I was 21. My children have more important things to worry about than a necklace breaking.

Read the rest, cause it’s all good.

And it reminded me of something I read over at The Corner recently. Some conservative readers were writing-in about how they were sending their kids off to college and were worried they would come back as liberals or, in one case, a Red Sox fan (New York kid was going to Boston College or something). And it was all in good humor of course until someone wrote in and said something to the effect of, “I just saw my son, a U.S. Marine, graduate from boot camp and he is now heading-off to Iraq. And I’m so proud.”

Well, to say the least it put things in perspective.

There are small things that happen in our lives. Broken necklaces, women popping their boobs out in public (when did this become a bad thing?), my college son’s car being flooded and me having to deal with the insurance and buy him another used car. And they are things that annoy and that parents have to deal with when they would much rather spend that car money on a planned vacation for example. But in the big picture they mean nothing compared to the sacrifices of the parents and spouses and children of the men and women serving our country now.

Many who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

And it’s important to remember that.  If for no other reason that it gives you a good comeback to some mom whining about explaining breastfeeding to their kids.

I mean it’s not hard.  For example here’s me to my three sons as they grew up –  “They’re boobs son, and they’re for nourishment and, later on, fun.  It’s all good.”

See, it’s easy.

The Standard Question Is “Where Do We Find Such Men And Women?”

daddys-girl

When we should also ask, “Where do we find such families?”

When Abby and the kids got to the base, Staff Sgt. Bennethum unbelted Paige and lifted her out of the car. Almost immediately his commanding officer ordered the soldiers to fall in.

“Gotta go,” Staff Sgt. Bennethum said as he joined his fellow soldiers in formation.

What he didn’t realize was that Paige was hot on his heels.

When he got into formation, Paige grabbed onto his right hand and wouldn’t let go.

“I called to her a couple of times, but she wouldn’t budge,” Abby said. “I don’t know if the officers didn’t see her because they were in the back row, or they simply didn’t say anything about her being there.”

“She just wouldn’t let go of him,” she said.

I’d like to think Staff Sgt. Bennethum’s commanding officer saw Paige and decided that her being there was just fine.

It takes a special kind of person to be a military spouse. And perhaps an even more special kind of child to be the son or daughter of a warrior.  And let’s not forget the special kind of parent it takes to send their greatest treasures off to defend our country. God Bless them all.

Hat-tip to Don Surber.

5 Fitness Benchmarks Every Man Must Master

savelife2

And, no, they don’t include power-drinking.

“Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity. He also should be able to chin himself a reasonable number of times, as well as to dip a number of times, and he should be able to jump a reasonable height and distance.”

Swimming, running, jumping, and upper-body strength are the keys here. There was a time . . . a short time . . . that I was the master of my domain in these things. A time that, naturally enough, corresponded to my time in the military. Since then I have pretty much gone to hell.

It sucks getting old.

The American Military Is The Best In The World

Stews

But they don’t have hot brunettes marching in baby-blue miniskirts and boots while holding automatic weapons, do they?

Via Theo.

Remembering Woodstock (And How Meaningless It Was)

vietnamsoldiers

In comparison to the 109 brave Americans who died for their country while those losers partied.

Newsweek described them as “a youthful, long-haired army, almost as large as the U.S. force in Vietnam.” One of the promoters saw what happened near Bethel (nearly 40 miles from Woodstock), N.Y., as an opportunity to “showcase” the drug culture as a “beautiful phenomenon.”

The newsmagazine wrote of “wounded hippies” sent to impromptu hospital tents. Some 400,000 of the “nation’s affluent white young” attended the “electric pot dream.” One sympathetic chronicler recently described them as “a veritable army of hippies and freaks.”

Time gushed with admiration for the tribal gathering, declaring: “It may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological events of the age.” It deplored the three deaths there—“one from an overdose of drugs [heroin], and hundreds of youths freaked out on bad trips caused by low-grade LSD.” Yet attendees exhibited a “mystical feeling for themselves as a special group,” according to the magazine’s glowing essay.

That same tribute mentioned the “meaningless war in the jungles of Southeast Asia” and quoted a commentator who said the young need “more opportunities for authentic service.”

Meanwhile, 8,429 miles around the other side of the world, 514,000 mostly young Americans were authentically serving the country that had raised them to place society over self. The casualties they sustained over those four days were genuine, yet none of the elite media outlets were praising their selflessness.

So 40 years later, let’s finally look at those 109 Americans who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam on Aug. 15, 16, 17 and 18, 1969.

The important part comes later so link on over to learn about those brave men who died for their country. Of particular interest is that 56% were volunteers versus 43% draftees, and that 92% were white 8% black, and a “disproportionate” number were from the South.  It sort of belies some of the stereotypes put forth in most Vietnam movies and the left’s take on that war in general I think.

** I should add that I believe Woodstock was meaningless in general.  Seriously, it was just a bunch of teens and 20-somethings listening to music, drinking booze, smoking pot, and using LSD and other junk.   I’ve got nothing against young people making fools of themselves – I sure did more than once – but ascribing some significance to that nonsense past Woodstock possibly being the first gigantic naked mud-wrestling venue in the world is just moronic.

Our Troops At War

pict65

Some great photos of our troops in Afghanistan. I rarely post photos of our troops here, mostly because I sort of feel unworthy what with me being an Air Force vet who served during the peace of the Cold War, but also because there are so many mil-blogs out there who are run by folks who are either on the ground or were pounding it recently and know so much more about it than I. Still, sometimes I just have to do it and it’s especially important this July 4th weekend since these guys and gals are, after all, responsible for the independence we are celebrating.

God bless them and bring them home safely soon.

Hat-tip to Maggie’s Farm.

Always Remember

d-day

Today is D-Day.

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

Thousands of brave Americans,along with thousands of our brave allies, led the way to defeat evil and insure freedom for millions. Their grandsons and granddaughters are leading the way and fighting the same fight for freedom now.

God bless them.

Never Forget

american-flag-on-grave-thumb3233385

Their sacrifice.

Reason Number 3,237 That The Military Is Better Than The Media

They military has the decency to stand* for any President no matter how they feel about him.

* Don’t give me any crap about the military being “forced” to stand or they would get in trouble.  I know better.  99.9999% would stand just because it is respectful no matter how they felt about the current president.  Not so, the media.

Hat-tip to Ace.


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