We hear the cliché, “Some gave all, all gave some.” A cliché’ to some, that is. To others, the saying underlines a truth seared into the soul. We hear the horror stories of troops that came home from a hellish Vietnam only to be greeted by the half-witted narcissistic jeers of the unkempt and the unhinged. Coddled flower children and assorted blooming idiots whose only concept of combat was a sit-in at the dean’s office had the stupid audacity to spit on men who lost friends and body parts in a far away land and call them “baby killers.”
Today, the yellow ribbon magnets are starting to fade even as the people who willingly stand between us and the 7th century rejects who plot our murder continue their mission. But what greets them upon their return home? If the story of Purple Heart recipient Anthony Maschek is any indication, the answer is unsettling.
In February 2008, while serving his country in northern Iraq, then Staff Sergeant Maschek was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. Engaged in a fierce firefight, Maschek was shot 11 times, receiving severe wounds to his chest, abdomen, and breaking both legs and arms. After a grueling but successful two-year recovery at Walter Reed, the Idaho native is currently pursuing his dreams at Columbia University which, unsurprisingly, is where the story takes an ugly turn.
Maschek attended a university town hall meeting on the topic of whether or not to continue Columbia’s 42 year-old military ban on campus. Exhibiting the strength of character that was exemplified by his service to the country, Maschek addressed the students, saying, “It doesn’t matter how you feel about the war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting. There are bad men out there plotting to kill you.” Some students yelled “Racist.” Others openly laughed and jeered the man who gave so much to defend their lives and their freedom. What is the level of moral depravity that leads to such vile behavior? Are the attacks of 9/11 so distant a memory that the people who willingly give their lives to protect us from another attack do not deserve at least a modicum of civility? Exactly what in the deuce has become of the much vaunted free and civil exchange of ideas that is ostensibly the hallmark of the university?
And since I’m on a rant, I might as well open both barrels. There is nothing, and I mean positively nothing lower in my estimation than the vile, semi-literate saphead who slanders and jeers one who has with his very blood secured the existence and liberty of his countrymen. Such self-serving nescience deserves a spotlight and tons of derision so that all around will come to know and understand the cowardice, the intellectual and moral laziness, the historical ignorance, and the unadulterated mental crapulence that passes for academic analysis and discussion. These people should be chained to a chair until they have met and heard the stories of every living Purple Heart recipient and then perhaps deported to Iran for a first-person perspective of what life would be without the US military defending their sorry hides.
Meanwhile, Anthony Maschek continues his study of economics at Columbia. He has a Facebook page, and a page on Linkedin.com. He has done a world of good for his country, and paid a high price. A hero and a role model, we need to celebrate men like him, and thank God above for a country still capable of producing such people.