Real Support of our Military

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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby barfle » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:02 am

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
I was afraid that implication would be assumed. Don't really mean it that way, just noting the apparent situation. I don't know what the answer to the ambivalence toward the sanctity of human life is, but I'm loth to promote conscription as the solution.
I'm not all that sure I even agree with the apparent premise. It seems like there's some concern that rich legislators whose sons are typically not in the military would be more inclined to send that anonymous military into harm's way. The situation reminds me of one where you have the option of using deadly force when being mugged. You don't have a lot of time to think about it, but when the situation for the use is correct, then, by all means, it should be used, and immediately. You and I agree that the situation in Iraq doesn't meet that criterion, but for purposes of this discussion, let's just say it wasn't the best possible decision.

I would be just as afraid of a legislator who was timid about using the military because his son would be at risk as I would be about one who felt no reason not to use the military because his family was not at risk.

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
I understand what you're saying when it comes to the $hit jobs. Nevertheless, when it comes to crunch time, I wouldn't trust a merc with my life.
There's a difference between a mercenary (who may well be highly skilled, because he knows his profession and the reasons to acquire expertise) and a dishwasher who happens to have to carry a rifle.

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
I guess my preference is to have a professional, standing military, and not have to rely on reserves. What is currently happening to our reservists is unfair, personally and professionally. I for one, am willing to shell out the tax money to make it happen. Our military deserves adequate compensation for their willingness to sacrifice.
At this point, we have a professional standing military. I don't have data that says how many of them would have not joined, or quit early, if they had been forced to pull KP, etc., but even though I was an NCO, the simple threat of it was an element of my deciding to rejoin civillian life.
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:08 pm

Hi Barfle,

I'm more concerned about the general public than the overzealousness of legislators. It seems to me in this day and age, that it's the President who is more likely to send troops into harm's way more arbitrarily than Congress, and he seems to rely more on public support/opinion than does Congress.

As an E-6, I still had to clean bilges. KP doesn't hold a candle to cleaning bilges. That was far less incentive for me to leave the Navy than the swindling I got from my recruiter and the incompetence of my supervisors in general(there were a few stellar exceptions).

My experience with contractors(mercenaries) is that their heart isn't in it. To me, that meant in a life-or-death situation, I couldn't trust them to be at least as interested in my welfare(or the crew's) as their own. That was demonstrated to me repeatedly in their behavior. They work within a very narrow scope of reference(the big picture has little or no significance for them), and they tend not to venture beyond, simply because it's not their job. In my experience, teamwork and interdependability are paramount in a "battle" situation. I'd love to hear Haggis' take on this aspect.

Keep in mind, this is all just based on my experience.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby piqaboo » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:07 pm

"Piffle".... we can only hope thats the word she chooses....


This is what I have been told, comparing the Navy and Airforce.
Navy gets money, builds boats, runs out of money, begs for money to upgrade 70 year old housing, hospital etc.
Airforce gets money, builds shiny new hospital, nice housing, good Px, runs out out of money, begs for money to buy planes.
Guess who has better success in the begging portion?
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:14 pm

Airforce also possesses superior political capital. Congressional factfinding missions more often arranged on airforce conveyances than any other service. Airforce has some nice conveyances.
>^..^<
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby Shapley » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:55 am

Airforce One comes to mind...
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby barfle » Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:53 am

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
I'm more concerned about the general public than the overzealousness of legislators. It seems to me in this day and age, that it's the President who is more likely to send troops into harm's way more arbitrarily than Congress, and he seems to rely more on public support/opinion than does Congress.
Of course, that's because the legislators abdicated their Constitutional responsibility to be the ones who declare war, and geve the President far too much authority, ever since Korea.

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
As an E-6, I still had to clean bilges. KP doesn't hold a candle to cleaning bilges. That was far less incentive for me to leave the Navy than the swindling I got from my recruiter and the incompetence of my supervisors in general(there were a few stellar exceptions).
To be certain, there were several reasons why I decided not to extend my term of service. KP was a minor one. For the first several months I was stationed in Germany, we had civilian KPs that we paid something like $5 per month each. Then we lost some manpower and some of the guys balked at paying more, so the KPs were let go and the uniforms pulled the duty occasionally. I don't know about bilges, but cleaning the grease trap was bad enough.

Getting hauled out of bed to paint rocks lining the driveway to the motor pool in the snow pretty much sealed the deal, even if the drunken perpetrator lost a stripe in the deal.

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
My experience with contractors(mercenaries) is that their heart isn't in it. To me, that meant in a life-or-death situation, I couldn't trust them to be at least as interested in my welfare(or the crew's) as their own. That was demonstrated to me repeatedly in their behavior. They work within a very narrow scope of reference(the big picture has little or no significance for them), and they tend not to venture beyond, simply because it's not their job. In my experience, teamwork and interdependability are paramount in a "battle" situation. I'd love to hear Haggis' take on this aspect.
I don't know what the contractors around you did (heck, I have very little idea of what duty on a nuke sub entails anyway), so it's impossible for me to comment further.
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:21 pm

Originally posted by barfle:
I don't know what the contractors around you did (heck, I have very little idea of what duty on a nuke sub entails anyway), so it's impossible for me to comment further.
Please, don't let a tiny detail like that keep you from commenting!

:p

As for grease traps vs. bilges, did anyone ever pee in the grease trap you had to clean?!!

:puke:

<small>[ 06-08-2005, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:31 am

I’m of a mood today.

My friend’s son (a USAF Pararescueman “PJ” for short) lost a comrade. He didn’t know him but comrades they were, and my heart hurts.

Things like this remind me that I don’t have any problems; the truth is very few of us do. They are, at worst, “situations”, and at best “opportunities”.

A “problem” is taking fire when you’re in a helicopter heading off to rescue comrades. A “problem” is trying to keep a wounded comrade warm in the thin cold air on a mountain long enough to pull him out and all the while knowing you’re going to fail.

I’m embarrassed feeling good about life and looking forward to the holiday.

These are the men who make my happy life possible, men who will jump out of a plane in the middle of the night and fight on the shores of the River Styx on behalf of people whose idea of sacrifice is taking a few minutes to sort the plastic from the glass on recycling night; that puts things in perspective.

My friend, a retired USAF CMSGT, a former Combat Control Team member, who participated in the rescue of the U.S. sailors during the U.S.S. Mayaguez incident in 1975 and many other life threatening operations (except Somalia, he lived in a damn hotel in Mombassa while I sweated my ass off in a tent in Mogadishu) told me that nothing he ever did terrifies him more now than a knock on the door.

Most of us never have to worry about who’s at the door, or why they’ve come. My heart never leaps when the doorknocker falls; my stomach never flips when the phone rings.

I am a modern, happy American. Most of us have no idea.

Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July and take a few seconds to pray for those who are not with us and those who will never be with us again, except in memory.

The PJs motto is "That Others May Live"

<small>[ 07-01-2005, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: Haggis@wk ]</small>
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby Shapley » Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:56 am

This looks like a good place to post this:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8476975/

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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby barfle » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:40 pm

While never directly in harm's way myself, I know I was trained both physically and mentally for that situation, as was every other member of the armed forces. I have some friends, one quite close, whose names are on the big black wall in DC.

I know at the time, my parents were quite concerned about my well-being (and the quite real possibility that it could cease without notice). I was also concerned about my safety, but I can only imagine the anguish of being told your son or daughter has died, whether they were soldier or civilian.

As I've noted several times on this board, I make it a point to take visitors to Arlington National Cemetery, just to view the thousands and thousands of grave markers, and to let them know that they, my visitors, will be forever indebted to those heroes who lie there, as well as in so many other places around the world.

We have two holidays every year to commemorate their sacrifice: Memorial Day and Independence Day. One is to remember their loss, the other is to celebrate their accomplishment. We cannot repay them, but it's important to remember their sacrifice, and to do our best to make certain that their legacy is not forgotten. That's as political as I'm going to get, at least in this message.
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Re: Real Support of our Military

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:44 pm

Adm. Stockdale was a real hero, in many senses of the word. I read about his death this morning.
Thanks for posting the link, Shap.
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