Off topic – Go Navy – Go USA

In light of recent events ie: World Terrorism and the neutralization of Osama bin Laden I feel moved to post a short shout out to all the men and women who serve this country and continue to make it the greatest place on God’s green earth.  Thank you for your sacrifices and lets not forget your families that many leave behind who provide the support and motivation to keep you going.

As a former Naval officer in the Amphibious arm of the Atlantic Fleet stationed in Norfolk, VA having embarked Marines, beans & bullets as well as SEAL teams I have some insight into the functions and capabilities of our armed services.  I will say the SEALs undergo some intense (understatement) physical & mental training and vetting to earn their titles.  They have a demanding, grueling and thankless job with very little room for error.  As a result they always had the coolest toys – all the latest and greatest gadgets to do their trade.  Yes, as many current articles point out the secretive arms of the JSOC seldom get any public praise but are scathingly criticized, ridiculed and threatened when something goes wrong.  That’s a shame but I believe secrecy, lore and mythology are necessary not only to protect their operations (ie: own safety & effectiveness) but also to enhance their image and threat (fear) in the eyes of their foes.

I’ll admit I am a very curious individual.  A gadget geek, tinkerer, patriot, military vet, confessed romantic (imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc) and one who likes to know at least something about everything and how and why things work.  Resultingly I am conflicted when it comes to secrecy, especially when it involves the government.  However there is a valid need for it in national security, diplomacy and related endeavors.   This includes the military, State Dept., CIA, NSA, even the TSA.  You don’t have to like it but you must know the rationale and need for it then accept it.  That doesn’t mean don’t question anything but know what to pursue and what to accept for what it is.  We are a very unique nation composed of many nationalities, ideologies and motivations.  I consider myself an enlightened conservative with libertarian leanings and I am concerned about the future of our great nation.  We all take our freedom & liberties for granted.  Our political system has spiraled out of control, become chronically infected with corrupt personal self interests & enrichment and for the most part thrown service and the greater societal good out the window.  Political correctness and Victim mentality has displaced common sense, rational thought and effectively discriminated against anyone who dares to hold a different view.  The catch term equality has come to mean anything but.  It has been perverted to mean unquestionable entitlement for one and freedom robbing discrimination and public chastisement for another with a different opinion.   Brings to mind the great Roman Empire which rose to incredible world reach and influence then self destructed, imploding in its great enlightenment.   Abraham Lincoln exhibited exceptional insight and an ever more ominous warning when he said:

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger?  By what means shall we fortify against it?  Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow?  Never!  All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.  At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?  I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us.  It cannot come from abroad.  If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.  As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. 

I hope we collectively wake up before it’s too late.  I’d hate to have to experience the consequences of “You don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone”  That would be tragic.

Our great former President Abe Lincoln also had this more blog appropriate on topic quote:

“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”

Obviously a pretty wise man.

The men and women serving in our military today are facing a totally different paradigm than I did a few short years ago.  So many are put into extreme peril and life threatening situations as a matter of routine, it has become the norm and not the exception.  Way too many are coming back physically and emotionally maimed and scarred, or worse.  Deployment cycles have become a huge burden with longer deployments and shorter “off” cycles and are unsustainable as they exist right now.  Our country owes them much more than we’ve given them.  It’s a travesty of justice and an exercise in insanity if we expect our politicians to make any significant changes to provide the services and support they deserve.  After all these are the same politicians that are going to fix social security and healthcare yet have given themselves a totally separate retirement and health care benefit plan from the rest of the nation.  This needs to be fixed.  Politicians should not be an elite class of people separated from those they “represent.”   With possibly the exception of the President and maybe the Supreme Court the majority of public servants should only have the publicly available benefits and services the government provides to the public citizens it serves.  How else can congress be expected to remain honest, do the right thing and actually fix a broken system.  Anything else is pure folly.  I understand there is a need to be able to attract qualified talent to public service, especially appointed and sworn roles but Congress should be at least the minimum exception when it comes to compensation and benefits.  They’ve already proven how easily they can, will, and have perverted and corrupted the system and should not hold the purse strings to their own compensation.  Educate yourself, question authority what you hear from the press and exercise your right to vote.

Support, encourage, hire, train, teach, and anything else you can do to show your appreciation to the military veterans who have given so much to secure and continue the freedoms we enjoy today.  That includes your freedom to disagree – try doing that in some Asian or some Middle Eastern nations…

Here’s a link to one of the stories that inspired my post today, read it if you like.

The secret team that killed bin Laden

Good Lord willing we’ll be able to soon pull out of Afghanistan and bring our military home.  They are way over worked and over stressed.  Likewise I am encourage by all you who read this and start doing some critical thinking and becoming forces for good.

~ Larry InDeed

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