Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Gave All?

I opened my email this morning (on the 10th, I write my posts a week in advance) and discovered another one of those chain-letters forwarded to me by a very close friend. I usually read them or in some cases like this one I view them and then I discard them. I do not forward any tof these chain-letters. If you  have not gotten your blessing, promises, pot-of-gold, double rainbow, or if seven years of bad luck has plagued you it is because I deleted your forward and did not send it on.

Now let me say three things if I may, first of all I am not saying to stop sending me things if you wish. Some of them have been interesting, informative, and even inspirational. A couple, such as this latest one has even been the basis for a post. I am just saying beware if you are the superstitious kind and don't want the chain broken; I will break it.

Second, usually, these chain-letters are filled with maudlin, sappy, tear-jerking themes set to just the right musical background to draw upon your emotions in order to enlist you in their particular cause or crusade. These chain-letters have a tendency to play upon your fears, suspicions, frustrations, and patriotism.

Third, much of what is sent is just simple propaganda with little support or evidence of accuracy or validity. Granted they might all be based on something true but by the time they get to me, the maudlin emotionalism has embellished them beyond recognition.

This latest one was no different. At least in the intent to play upon emotions with the hope of convey a point. This one came with the instructions which read: "Please listen and watch this …If you don’t feel a tear coming in places…or feel a few “goose bumps”…or sit in silence at the end …then ??? And... Please listen to the music and the wordsThe song is quite moving . I never heard it before."

Now, let me say first, that I am a former Marine. That's right a Jar-head, a leather-neck, or a bon-a-fide member of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. Semper Fi! Once a Marine, Always a Marine! First to Fight - First to Die! Oops, sorry about that, I got carried away.

Second, I couldn't wait to join the Marine Corps as Viet Nam was winding down in order to go "kill" my share of "commies" and do my bit for the good ole USA. I volunteered for gunner's school to be a door gunner on a Huey Helicopter. (Thank God He is sovereign and wiser than me - I didn't get the billet, but was sent to FT. McClellan Army Depot where I became a 5711 - Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warfare Specialist) All I am saying is I love our military and I am pro-military.

Third, I have had some 39 years to develop, mature, think, mull over, and rethink somethings from the day I walked into that recruiters office at 17 years of age. I had previously bought all the hoop-la about fighting for our country, dieing for Mother, apple-pie, and the flag, and ET Cetera. I was willing to give my all and was proud of and thankful for those who had given their all.

The song in this video is not bad. The chorus goes: All gave some/some gave all/some stood through/for the red, white, and blue/and some had to fall/and if you ever think of me/think of all your liberty and recall/some gave all.

Not a bad chorus, certainly very good sentiments. So, you say, why the post? Because I am troubled at best and offended at worst with the line, "some gave all." Really, its the word gave that bothers me. Did they really give all? Or, was their all "taken?" Yes, if you allow for the fact that many of those who died in all of our wars since 1776 bought into and believed that they were fighting for liberty, the American Way, apple pie and the flag, you could then say they gave all. I think it was really that their precious life was taken from them by someone on the other side of the battle field.

You say what do you mean? I believe that when the constitution was drafted each state was responsible to provide a militia or an army to protect its citizens from invasion by foreign or domestic enemies. I am not sure we have a mandate to travel the world to enact or enforce policies. Setting aside 9/11 for a moment, we have not had a foreign country or enemy invade our shores demanding that we rise up and defend our country, our citizens, our freedoms, or our American Way. 

We have sent troops around the world to help rescue various countries, governments, and regimes. We have sent our troops to their death fighting to establish or enforce policies that were or had been determined by those in power within the Federal Government. I have never been made privy to the decisions that our government has made in regards to the policies that have been determined which have resulted in sending our troops into harms way around this world. I think we have fought wars, engaged our troops somewhat empirically in order to force our decisions on others. I don't know why FDR entered WWII (other than Pearl Harbor) or why Truman entered the Korean Conflict, or why Kennedy entered the Viet Nam Conflict, or why Bush sent troops to Afghanistan or Iraq. It wasn't to defend our liberty, the American Way, or our freedom. Those things weren't being threatened. As long as we maintain a superior armed force and have the will to fight to win, we probably don't have to worry about our freedoms, liberty, or the American Way being taken from us.

Truthfully, we should be more concerned about the Federal Government which is controlled by a minority of left-wing wackos taking away our freedoms, liberty, and destroying our American Way of life. We have more to fear from them than we do any other country. American won't be destroyed from any enemy or army from without, it will be destroyed by enemies from within.

This brings me back to may point and to a conclusion. I don't know think those who made the ultimate sacrifice and died gave their all. I think their all was taken from them by politicians and bankers who desire to establish and enforce their clandestine policies under the banner of America, Mother, Apple-pie and the flag. The question is would I enlist today like I did on October 17, 1972? No. I have no desire to go topple a government, hang a sitting President, or prop up a government that seemingly cannot stand on its own. I would not go nor would I encourage friends or relatives to enlist. (I would not defy a draft order nor would I recommend anyone else to do so - a lawful order is a lawful order)

However, if a foreign enemy invaded our soil, particularly my beloved Washington state, I would be the first to rally to the cause. Now, would be the time to join up, fight for right, and to fight for America, the flag, apple-pie, and motherhood. Until then bring our troops home, reward them well, train them continually for the scenario that we hope never comes true.

So, the photos of the Marines were wonderful! I love the Marine Corps and still stand when either the Star Spangled Banner or the Marine Corps Hymn is played. I love our troops and those who enlist to provide a military to protect our borders. But, I choose to first, not to buy into the fact that many of our troops gave their all, rather than their all was taken from them and second, I won't forward the chain-letter. Yep, I deleted it.

The preceding opinion is mine and mine alone. Only one email chain-letter was harmed in the making of this editorial. This is why I stay out of politics and stick to theology.


Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I did an article on my "main" Weblog about being black e-mailed. Then I did another one. Guess I'm too small-time to make an impression, but I had to have my say that I resented the threats. Not only bad luck, but some para-Catholic superstition that had one of their saints apparently attached to the message.

Like you have received, some of these have content that isn't bad. But they spoil it a couple of ways. One is the FWD: FWD: FWD: ad nauseum so the blasted thing is cluttered and difficult to read. The other is the threat that if you don't forward it to your entire address book, you'll miss out, or that Jesus will drown a kitten (well, some sound almost that bad).

I never served, but my father was in the Navy in WW2, my brother was in the Marines. A retired Marine sends me "semper fi" stuff, and I send the occasional one to my brother. But most of those don't have fake blessings or threats, just USMC pride.

Darlene said...

Great post, Greg. Very thought provoking. I get irritated with emails that are really good ones, but at the end are threats that Jesus won't love you if you're too ashamed to forward it. Those always get deleted. My nephew will be joining the Marines in June. Thank you for your service.

Pat Donovan said...

This makes me sad, not because your wrong but because your right.
I sent nearly 30 years in the defence of our country, ready to kill or be killed to defened those I love. The world is a complicated place and I to am not privy to all the information that the government has to base there decisions on, but I hope it was not in vane.
I believe God is in control of all things, and I hope that my sevice to my country will be veiwed as honorable to God.

Michael Wright said...

Nice post, and a true thought. Sobering in a lot of ways. Thank you for your service to our once-great country.

Penned Pebbles said...

Awesome post! "America won't be destroyed from any enemy or army from without, it will be destroyed by enemies from within." So true!

I am also a devout chain letter deleter! Blessings!

Cathy M. said...

Foreign policy decisions confuse me. Why do we ignore most atrocities while reacting with military action to others?

On a related note, I live in a major military town where every car dealer, tattoo parlor, and gin joint waves gigantic flags and billboards welcoming home the "heroes" when all they really want to do is pick their pockets.