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The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Veteran's Administration Debacle

The news is full of the latest incompetency of the present occupant of the White House.   But, this is not the first time the VA has been identified as the Death Department for those who served.

When I was a young man, before I joined the Navy I heard stories from World War Two vets that were horrific about the treatment at the VA.  Basically, the rule was, and IS, you go to the VA to die!

But, let me put a different, more correct, spin on the situation.  The VA is used predominantly by Enlisted Personnel.  Officers, especially senior officers, NEVER use the VA.

President Obama selected a retired Four Star General to run the VA.  What does he care if Enlisted Personnel get lousy, slow, incompetent, care?  He cares about officers!

If the President really wants to solve this long term, on going, Kill the Enlisted Personnel, mentality at the VA, put a retired senior Enlisted person in charge!  A retired MCPON, or Sargent Major of the Marine Corps, or other senior Enlisted person!!  I have written before that our Senior Enlisted leaders are NEVER used in government committees or cabinet positions.  But, retired Officers are all over the administrations, and on fact finding panels!  Bring in the E-10's and put them in charge.

Don't be fooled, the divide between the Landed Gentry of the Officer's Community and the lowly Enlisted scum, is as wide and deep as it ever has been.  They need us to fight their wars.  But after the war is over, we are totally expendable.  And in fact, they would just as soon see us dead immediately after the last battle!  I have heard it said by the VA and even the President, that they NEVER EXPECTED so many of us to survive the battlefield of Iraq and Afghanistan!

The "O" comment uses us, will grit their teeth and suffer us, and even act sad when we die but they don't like us and wish we were not there. Except for the fact that they need cannon fodder to fight these wars, there would be no Enlisted Personnel in the Military.  Just Officers, in their pristine uniforms, with shiny medals, polished shoe, and their "Ladies" hanging on their every word!

So, put an Enlisted person in charge of the VA and maybe she or he will actually talk to one of the Veterans who are being treated so shamefully.

PS;  I nominate the MCPON who was a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman and the CMC at Gtmo!  He is probably the best qualified person to square this mess away!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day remembrances

Here I sit, in my electric recliner, at 0058 CDT, fully awake, thinking about the men I served with.  It is Memorial Day weekend.  The Indy 500 and the Coke 600 will be run today.  But who will really take time to remember the men who died defending freedom.  The men who went to far away countries to defeat truly bad people that wanted to take our freedom and our way of life away from us.

The American fighting men, and now women, do the bidding of the President and the Congress.  As I always said; "The civilian leadership of our nation tells me who to kill."  They go when ordered and do as they are told.  Many of them have not returned from those orders or they returned to a funeral procession.  Who remembers them?

Some also returned breathing but still dead on the inside.  What they saw and what they did, killed their humanity and they are left to live an empty existence until death finally claims them.  I had some friends from Vietnam that suffered from the living death.  Jim Smith was one of them.  His younger brother, killed in Vietnam.  Jim served three in country tours in Vietnam in the Brown Water Navy, trying to get kill who ever killed his brother while doing his best to get killed himself!  He was wounded twice.  But he did not stop breathing for may painful years after that war was forgotten.

There was Robert "Red" Mills, who was killed in the gun line off the coast of Vietnam because of his inexperience on the MK 42 gun mount.  A more experienced Gunner's Mate would never have done why he did during a "Hot Gun" foul bore condition.  His young life cut short, leaving a widow and two young sons.  Who morns Red on Memorial Day.

Freedom has been too FREE to the majority of Americans.  They have "No Skin" in the game!  They don't know anyone who died defending freedom.  And, since there is NO draft, they know they will never have to defend freedom themselves.  So, to them, Freedom IS free because it has never cost them anything!

For a few years after the Islamic Terrorists attacked America, there was some patriotism in America.  But, it has gone dormant again.  I am afraid it will never awake again, just like Jim, Red, and thousands of others that died to keep us free.

Memorial Day is THE day t remember our fallen heroes. If you knew one, honor his memory.  If not, you may not understand the true cost of your freedom.  And that may lead to the demise of our freedom!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Maybe it is time I quit!

That's right!  Maybe it IS time I sit down and shut up!  I have been retired from Active Duty for 25+ years.  I have been retired from Civil Service for for 4 ½ years.  My information is old, my opinions are archaic, and nothing is done the way I did it when I thought I was successful!

The fact is, how I was taught to do things, whether it was how to swab a deck or clean a Head or how to design a system for combat use on a surface ship.  I am a dinosaur!  And not the lady that had a TV show sponsored by Chevrolet in the 1960's either!  I am washed up, passed by, and unusable.

The Navy and Country I loved is dead!  Gone!  Buried!  And forgotten.  Nothing remains but gray headed old men with pot bellies, canes, and bad breath from too much coffee and beer!  We use harsh language, call females by politically incorrect phrases, and think anyone who uses marijuana should be beaten!  

No one listens to me anyway, except those who are of my generation and we are passing away fast!  Yes, I still think about the Navy constantly.  But, what I think does not matter to today's Navy.  For instance, when I tell one of today's Blue Jackets that we did not have 24/7 email and relied on sporadic snail mail, they look at me with glazed over eyes and a sneer on their face.   My experiences with "Shell Back" initiation or "Chief's " initiation are lost on today's Navy personnel.  Regardless of the fact that I believe these initiations build the team.  They would rather play computer games and text the person next to them.

I can't even get my own Grandsons interested in my Sea Stories!  I took them for a tour of the USS Alabama and you would have thought I was torturing them!  Never again.

No, as Master Chief Bobby Scott said at his retirement from the Navy, "It is time for me to swallow the anchor and go ashore."

"Request permission to go ashore!"  See you in Heaven Shipmates!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Characters of the past

You know I think most of the time about my Navy career.  I have written about many of the characters I knew and loved.  But here is one I just recalled to active memory.

There was a Master Chief Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) named Al Ackley.  Al was  a salt!  He had plenty of sea duty, much more than the average EW.  He was on the USS Frank Evans when it was cut in half by the HMAS Melborne. He was on the USS Forrestal (CV 59) when they had the BIG fire that still is taught in Fire Fighting School.  And he was on the USS Belknap (CG 26) when it was hit and nearly sunk by the USS Kennedy (CV 67).

Al and  were Detailers at Bupers in Washington DC.  When AL told me about his exploits, I told him:   "If you get stationed on a ship I am stationed on, I am going UA!!"  Al had more than his share of bad luck!  But he was fun to be with and had some great sea stories.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Soon, it will be Memorial Day, again.  Cars will race, families will gather for cook outs, and Boy Scouts will place flags on the graves of our fallen.  Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in combat and those who served and survived, only to be ignored and hated by the Nation they fought for.

Pastors will say some meaningless words from the Pulpit praising the "Service" of our Veterans, not realizing that Memorial Day was established for he "Fallen".  No, Memorial Day is a Holiday that has lost it's meaning.

Why is that?  In my opinion, the first contributor to the demise of Memorial Day is the fact that we have a All Volunteer Military!  For the rank and file citizen of America to honor the Heroes that died for this freedom, they MUST have some "Skin in the Game"!  Only 1% of the population of the United States of America serve in the Military!  You can see how easy it is for the 99% to not understand the significance of Memorial Day.

Second issue is the attitude of the Politicians in Washington.  Again, the large preponderance of them have never served in the Military.  And if they did, it was in the rear with the beer and the gear!  They tell the American people that he Military is wasteful.  They are over paid, and their benefits are much better than they deserve!!  Tell that to my next door neighbor.  She is the widow of a serviceman who was killed in the recent hostilities in Afghanistan.  He left a young bride and two young children under 7 years old!  Are her benefits too much?  No!

The third reason is our society does not respect those who sacrifice.  Those who join the Military are looked down on and thought of as those who could do nothing else.  If you choose the Military as a career, you are a no load who is robbing the American taxpayer!

Students refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance!  They won't stand for the National Anthem wand they won't remove they hats or place their hand over their heart.  If a Patriot calls them on it, he will probably get attacked by a gang of punks with their collective pants around they ankles!  Our society respects nothing that is patriotic, dedicated to our Nations morals, or is not self-serving.

If this causes you to think, if just for a moment, then maybe you could take a moment out of your 4 day weekend and visit a National Cemetery.  Look at the grave stones.  Look for the Hero's that served in more than one conflict or war.  I marvel at the grave markers of the Vets from World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam!  Ir the young World War Two Vet that joined the Military when he was 16 or even 15 years old!

Freedom is not free.  Just like tour salvation from sin, it was bought with the blood of someone.  Jesus died to pay the price for YOUR sins.  His blood bought your freedom from the penalty of sin.  Those who died sacrificing their lives for your freedom also paid a price your should have.  Again, our freedom to do what we want, is not free.  And maybe you could find it in your heart to honor this brave men and women who gave you that freedom to hate them and dishonor them.  But, I guess you think you are just to important to care!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thou shalt not kill, or was it murder?

As a career military man, this topic has come up more than once and it is a common topic among the talking heads on television and on the radio.

The Old Testament Commandment is translated into English as;  "Thou shalt not murder."  Murder is the killing of innocent humans.  Killing is a different matter.  Killing is terminating the health record of a deserving guilty human.  Guilty of what?  Let's see.

First of all.  As a military man, I kill who the Politicians in Washington tell me to!  The Viet Cong, The Khmer Rouge, Iranians, Islamic Terrorists, who ever.  The civilian leaders of out government tell the military who to kill and who's stuff we are supposed to destroy!  That is what we do.

Now, if an enemy combatant surrenders, throws down his weapons and put his hands up, it is my job, as a military man, to defend that prisoner I now have control of.  I have to protect him, feed him, provide him medical assistance, and follow all the conditions of the Geneva Convention,  Even if the country or religious group we are fighting does not follow the Geneva Convention.  We are better than that!

In the civilian world, it is the same thing.  I live in a state that has a "Stand Your Ground" law along with a "Castle Doctrine" law.  But, if someone breaks into your home, and then, when you confront them with your Benelli M2, they wisely throw down their gun and put their hands up while screaming; "I surrender!"   If you shoot that intruder, you are committing murder!!  Why, because the THREAT HAS CEASED!!

Why do I bring this up?  Because watching a talking heads show today, they called our Military members murderers!  And that caused my blood to boil.  So, I thought I would set the record straight!!  And now it is.