Category Archives: Military

Backing Up Those Backing You

I got this in response to a blog I wrote last week:

Hi, Dr. Laura.  I am my kid’s dad!  I’m writing in response to your blog, “Idiots on Parade“.

As a 15 year member of the world’s greatest Air Force, and third generation protector of this great nation, I want to thank the residents of Lebanon, Missouri for the support and dedication they have displayed, as they laid one of their own “true patriots” to rest.  My travels with the Air Force have allowed me to see that there are still many, many Americans who are grateful for the service that my brothers and sisters in uniform perform on a day-to-day basis.

Many of us spend an unknown amount of time putting our necks on the line so that ALL Americans – even the folks in Berkeley –can continue to enjoy the freedoms they have today.  Having been stationed in California for the last three years, I have seen first-hand the many demonstrations that have taken place in protest of the war.  At first, when I see these demonstrators, my blood boils because I wonder how anyone could feel this way when many young men and women sacrifice a lot on a daily basis.  But once my blood pressure returns to normal, I remind myself that what they are doing is a good thing.  What I mean by that is they are exercising their constitutional rights – the very same rights that we in the military are sworn to uphold and protect at all cost.

So, I want to thank the residents of Berkeley for their indirect support, I want to thank the residents of Lebanon, Missouri for their direct support, and, most of all, I want to thank all  of my brothers and sisters in uniform for the outstanding Job that they are doing on a day-to-day basis.  There is no doubt in my military mind that we have the best and greatest people serving in the volunteer force known as the United States military!

Sincerely,

One Proud Air Force member and
AMERICAN Technical Sergeant,

A. Carpenter

Idiots on Parade

So, there I was, innocently watching the news on Fox News Channel, when the screen split in two, and on the left side was some guy talking about his group’s letters to all military, basically telling them to go AWOL.  On the right side, was a military representative who was denying the other guy’s assertion that one out of four Marines and other military believe that 9/11 was President Bush’s doing.  He extolled the virtues of a volunteer military who see the truth, because their boots are on that ground, and who have first-hand experience with the realities in the Middle East conflicts. 

I then went to my computer to check my emails, and received the following:

Dear Dr. Laura:

I’m the proud 2-year resident of Lebanon, Missouri.  Today, our city buried a hero, Army Specialist James Finley, who was killed in Afghanistan.

You probably recall the protests and fits that the wacked-out liberals threw in Berkeley, California when the Marines opened a recruiting station.  I’d like to contrast their behavior toward the military with the behavior I saw from my fellow citizens in Lebanon today.

In Sunday’s local paper, the Mayor asked everyone to line the route the funeral procession would take to Specialist Finley’s final resting place.  Local businessmen purchased flags for people to hold, and gave them away by the hundreds.  Even though it was lightly raining, several THOUSAND people lined Jefferson Street to express their condolences and respect for the service of one of America’s true heroes.  Hundreds of Patriot Guard riders, fire trucks from several departments and hundreds of mourners made up the several mile-long funeral procession.  All business in town (including Wal-Mart) closed for an hour to allow their employees to pay their respects.  Bankers in suits stood next to men in work clothes, all silently holding their hands over their hearts and displaying flags as the procession passed.  I did my best to capture the procession and the number of people with my small camera, but the images don’t do the scene justice.  I hope the Finley family took some small comfort from seeing thousands of their fellow citizens paying respect for their son’s sacrifice.

I’m proud and honored to be living in a community where duty, honor and patriotism still mean something.  On July 4th, a 3-story tall flag is hung from the County Courthouse.  On July 12, we have our annual “God and Country” fireworks celebration, and on September 11, we will have a formal ceremony with a military fly-over to recognize everyone who has given the ultimate in keeping us free from terrorism.

Those in Berkeley may feel like they are accomplishing something with their protests.  Here in Lebanon, we truly know how to recognize a hero and what it truly means to be an American.

Respectfully submitted,

Benjamin

Medal of Honor Awarded To a 19 Year Old Hero

President Bush presented the Medal of Honor to the parents of Specialist Ross McGinnis.  Spc. McGinnis, at 19, is the youngest of the five servicemen who have received the Medal of Honor for valor during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

His training called for him to warn his comrades that a grenade fell inside their Humvee, then jump from the gun turret to escape.  Instead, Spc. McGinnis jumped INTO the vehicle, deliberately placing his body between the grenade and the rest of his crew, thus losing his life while saving all of them.

Of the five servicemen who have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, three died absorbing grenade blasts to protect their comrades.  What can you say that would be adequate to describe this courageous sacrifice?  Bless you, thank you, and Hoo-ah!  These are the role models our schools should teach about when issues of character and bravery are discussed.

Military Training Good for American Youth

Recently, the news has been filled with reports regarding the military’s acceptance of increasing numbers of felons into their ranks. 

I still believe that each and every male and female who reaches the age of 18 should spend two years in military training.  Our young people are spending more and more of their precious twenties still being dependent children and/or getting into all sorts of trouble with sex, drugs, and violence.  Two years of military experience would toughen ‘em up, teach them self-discipline, give them an outlet for their immense unfocused energies, and provide an opportunity for them to become more mature, thinking individuals.

Helping Military Families

I work very closely with Operation Family Fund, a non-profit organization that helps the families of military and civilian personnel injured or killed in the global war on terrorism.  But there are families of deployed service members who haven’t been injured or killed who also need support – they may be feeling lonely or just are just having a hard time dealing with the deployment of their loved ones.

Army Community Services (ACS) is a great starting point for any new military spouse. They assist with everything from the transition into military life to community outreach, job placement, relocation, and financial planning.

Their website:  https://www.myarmylifetoo.com/skins/malt/home.aspx?mode=user gives all the information you need for yourself or someone else struggling with the deployment of a family member. 

A Hero in Waiting

Shawn Sage must be one incredible young man.  The 17-year old California high school student, who has been raised in the foster home system of Los Angeles, decided last fall that he wanted to join the Marines at the end of his senior year.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles Superior Children’s Court Commissioner refused to let him do early enlistment and earn a $10,000 signing bonus.  Why?  Because young Mr. Sage is a foster child under the age of 18, and the judge in the case is a foster care administrative judge who opposes the war.

But that did not stop our young hero.  The resourceful young man heard about the State Assembly’s “Write A Bill Challenge” contest.  He entered it with a proposed law that would allow foster parents to give consent.  Kudos to the Assemblyman who introduced the legislation.  And when Mr. Sage turns 18 in June, he says he will still be joining the Marines, but this time as an adult who needs no consent.

As a winner of the contest, Shawn Sage gets to fly to Sacramento to testify before the Assembly.  In true “Semper Fi” fashion, he says:

 “I didn’t do it for the signing bonus, because I’m a motivated kid.  I am hoping to join the military before I graduate.  I want to serve my country.”

Three cheers for a hero in waiting.

What Makes A Hero?

Two weeks ago, Sgt. Wayne Leyde won $1 million from a scratch-and-win lotto ticket.  ABC News reported that he was driving near his home in Mead, Washington when he stopped at a store by the side of the road and bought a ticket, a Coke, and beef jerky.  Using a penny lent to him by the store clerk to scratch his card, he discovered his winnings.

As a 26 year old member of the Washington National Guard who has completed two tours in Iraq, the obvious question was:  “Whaddya gonna do now?”  His answer was:  “It was a commitment I made…and I’m going to stick to it.”  He plans to return to Iraq to service with his band of brothers.

“For right now, I’m going to hold off [spending] and let reality sink back to earth.  This is a true blessing.  I’m going to turn it around and see if I can bless other people with this,” Leyde said.

A parent emailed me just the other day to tell me what her six year old said in response to overhearing her talking to her husband about how little the military is paid for their extraordinary service.  The child piped up with, “They don’t get paid, because you can’t pay people to be heroes.  They just are.”

Meet Sgt. Wayne Leyde:  an American hero.

Worse Than “Unacceptable”

The Thursday morning press conference with Senator John McCain started with him stating that the attack on the military recruiting station in Times Square was “unacceptable.”  I hear many leaders and spokespersons use that relatively limp term, “unacceptable,” and I’m sick of it.  At least President George W. Bush has called 9/11 types and actions for what they are:  evil!

There are churchgoers in Kansas who go all over the country attempting to disrupt funerals of our fallen military with disgusting signs that suggest that these children of America died because there are homosexuals among us.  There are cities like Berkeley, that spend their time changing local laws to allow protestors to interfere with local military recruiting stations, followed up by “You are not welcome” notices. 

If all those who volunteered honorably and bravely for our military decided all those folks were right, and then laid down their weapons and came home, then what?  Who would protect us against an imminent invasion by Venezuela?  North Korea?  Russia?  China?  The world-wide Muslim jihad?  Would the Kansas churchgoers protect us?  The city council of Berkeley?

I have two magnetized bumper stickers on my car.  Both are yellow ribbons.  One says “Protect our son,” and the other just says “Army.”  At the mall this past weekend, both were ripped in half and dumped on the roof of my car.  My deepest regret is that these people did not wait around to destroy my symbols of respect and motherly concern for all the troops, including my son in combat in Afghanistan, while I was there.  Trust me, just saying limply, “That is unacceptable” would not have been the action I’d have taken.

I feel sorry for all of those whose military-age sons and daughters have not volunteered for military service, but instead hook up and smoke dope in most of our quite liberal colleges and universities instead of learning the values of life and death, honor, sacrifice, courage, brother/sisterhood, and compassion.

To whomever defaced my representations of support for America’s finest, I have this to say to you:  in spite of your disgusting, ignorant, cowardly self, my son and his band of brothers would still protect you.