Category Archives: Military

War is Failure to Win

Why would I start out with such a title? Isn’t war about winning? The movie about the life of General Patton started out with a speech. Among his remarks, this was said.

“America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war.” “War is the supreme test of man in which he rises to heights never approached in any other activity.”

Patton also said this; “Many soldiers are led to faulty ideas of war by knowing too much about too little.”

General_George_Patton_bwPatton enjoyed war, more than others and even he knew it’s terrible consequences.

War is a failure for people all living on the same planet, who don’t understand how to get along with each other. There have been despots, tyrants, dictators, and rulers of every type. Throughout history, we witness one battle or war after another. The United States, since the beginning has been involved in fighting amongst itself or other nations, over 90% of the time.

Unlike what Patton quoted, Americans will never lose a war, he was wrong about that. Check out the war of 1812 for a start.

War is stupid.

Those who advocate it are either without conscience or unable to grasp the realities of it.

In 1860, with the Southern states ramping up their rhetoric and threatening the union, this is what William Tecumseh Sherman wrote:

You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing!

To advocate a pre-emptive war is the moral equivalent of shooting someone on sight because they might commit a crime. If you suggest or listen to the nonsense of a pastor who says, “God wants us to go to war“, you’re listening to the wrong people and misinterpreting the words of the Bible. You may as well be a heathen if you advocate going to war. War is only justified when all other options are unavailable, that means right up to the time they attack. Once they’ve made that choice, you can revisit the decision.

There are too many things that can go wrong in a war, especially when you have China as their immediate neighbor. Think Germany had logistical and manpower problems when they attacked Russia in WWII? Russia lost over 20 million people under arms with many more civilian deaths, fighting against Germany. In rough terms, they lost nearly 20% of their population. China has over 1 billion people, and approximately 300 million, which they could use in their military. Think long and hard what that means? They don’t have any more respect for the potential losses in their population than the Russians did in the 1940’s.

Here’s another person very familiar with the tremendous cost of war.

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A nun burned to death in the Spanish Civil War

Robert E. Lee

What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!My heart bleeds at the death of every one of our gallant men.
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President Donald Trump has launched a verbal volley at North Korea. On Wednesday, Trump said he would unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea.

Defense secretary James Mattis said on Thursday, “diplomatic efforts to contain the threat posed by North Korea remain the favored means for solving the crisis.” He noted that the UN Security Council, unanimously passed a resolution that tightened sanctions against North Korea.

Russia called on the Trump administration to keep calm, and on Friday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state media that his country was working with China on a “double freezing” plan to address the threat.

years_at_war_usa_chartIt may become necessary for the U.S. to go to war, but it shouldn’t do so without being first under attack. To shoot, bomb, or destroy someone, just because they have the means to kill you, isn’t justification to attack first. A person with morals doesn’t initiate conflict. Words are not conflict, even though they can aid an escalation of conflict.

Inside the borders of the U.S. we have strict laws which punish people who start fights or kill others. It doesn’t matter if someone swears at you or someone you know, or taunts you. They must first be the aggressor. Laws also don’t support revenge. Anyone advocating differently isn’t a moral person despite their claims to the contrary.

Whatever will happen, I hope cooler heads can prevail. Predictions of the outcome of any war are for fools and charlatans.

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A man shot and then run over by a tracked vehicle – Iraq

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Aftermath of Marines attacking Japanese soldiers

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What is Memorial Day?

I failed to post this yesterday as a follow up to the Memorial Day 2017 dedication I posted on Twitter.

Yesterday wasn’t about me or others that have served, or are serving in the military.

Its about those soldiers, sailors, marines, and air corps, who gave everything they had to the cause of bringing conflict to a conclusion, and to allow people the opportunity to choose for themselves as to how they want to govern.

All the criticisms of the military, our government, our industrial, technological, or wealth, has nothing to do with Memorial Day. There were many people who chose to use it to support their political, ideological, and critical view points. It has nothing to do with that at all.

The United States, for all its flaws, shortcomings, and mistakes, has at its core a desire to keep the world safe enough for people to choose for themselves a way of life. Written in its foundational documents, are the basic humane principles of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

When a person enters the military, they become part of a history of a nation that wants to protect those foundations. and has been willing to do so at great personal risk, significant loss of life, wealth and reputation. To argue we gave blood for treasure is to ignore that no amount of industry, or military victory, has offset the price we spent, or the blood we spilt, not just for ourselves, but many other nations as well.

Our history as a nation has been to cede back the lands, rebuild the basic civil foundations, and for decades, donate vast resources & money in order for the weak to become stronger. We are not a conquering people, we’re a liberating people.

How do I know this to be true? I’m one of the millions, who over the centuries, left my home, voluntarily gave a portion of my life, to be trained, skilled, and willing to defend this country. We desired no lands, sought no riches, and did things few are willing or able to do.

I have this one day of the year to thank those who were required in the course of their service, to lay down their life to benefit, defend, secure, the liberty of others, including me. That’s Memorial Day. A day which we as a nation should remember those who died for us, yet we so soon forget in our normal, comfortable, and mostly peaceful journey.

 

Veterans Health Care – My Experience

If you’re a U.S. military veteran. or a family member of a veteran, then this blog post is for you. Those whom are also interested in government managed health care, and haven’t first hand knowledge, this may help you.

Most of what I’m going to discuss is only one man’s opinion, but in a sea of opinions, I’m going to do my best to accurately inform anyone still reading past the opening paragraphs.

CH-46s on runway destined for Viet Nam

CH-46s on runway Kaneohe Hawaii, destined for Vietnam

I’m a Vietnam era veteran. That means something specific, and to anyone that has also served during a time of war, but wasn’t a directly involved participant, meaning they weren’t in the designated country, served in a non-combat role, their benefits may differ from those serving during peace time operations.

The VA has different designated levels of assistance, depending on the time someone has served. They provide service for all in some capacity, but you may need to pay more for services rendered, depending on your current income, and when you served. Those details are available online, and if you aren’t aware of them, please follow this link.

VA heath care and the Affordable Care Act.

If you read the information, don’t fully understand it, and need more help, you can drop a response at the bottom of this post, along with your real name and how to contact you. Nothing you send will be automatically posted. I have to review comments before yours goes public. If you send personal information, I’ll not publish it. Of course I’m hoping I won’t be deluged with questions or some scammer trying to take advantage of my willingness to help explain what the VA can provide. I may just post a link, if I see the answer already available for your specific question.

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Me standing outside of a TAC – 1975

I want to encourage any veteran or family member that hasn’t been involved with VA health care to not defer or postpone the services which you’ve earned. Of course, if you’re enlistment or your appointment with the military wasn’t based on what you might later receive, it’s natural to ignore your benefits.

I enrolled about 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve been in for two annual physicals, and an eye examination and a new prescription with glasses.

I went into the Atlanta VA hospital yesterday on a scheduled surgery. It was a same day, recovery at home afterwards type of care. I went in at 9am and was out by 5pm. 0900 & 1700, military time.

I can tell you my experience was as positive as I’ve had. As it has not been my first or second hospital rodeo. I think my national and international health care provided experience gives me a basis from which I can make comparisons.

I’m at home recovering today. The surgery appears to be completed without complications. I’ve had two calls from the VA. The last one was from one of the doctors who assisted in the surgery. She left her pager number on the discharge sheet in case I have a problem.

All of that without copay or out of pocket expenses. That of course is based on my time, duration of service and current level of income. If you’re a veteran or a close family member, I urge you to become acquainted with the VA. Be sure you’re not missing out on health care services. If you’ve read or heard horror stories, which I’m not going to suggest aren’t based on fact, my experience doesn’t align with those concerns. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

Find a VA location near you.