Thank you for your service. Thank you very much.More
I have this tee shirt I wear every Veterans Day. It says “Navy Veteran” on the front, and it has the Seal of the Department of the Navy on the back. Normally, I only wear it at home, because I don’t think I deserve free meals for my service (if I went out for lunch), given so many before me never knew they were eating their last meal. Yeah, there’s Memorial Day for them, but it still doesn’t feel right for me on Veterans Day.
Still, we were driving back from our latest cruise today (maybe a future post), so I wore the tee in public. When we stopped for food or gas (or just to stretch), I got a few “Thank you for your service” and handshakes from people. I also gave out a few myself, as other veterans were traveling too. The strangest part of driving home today was when we were on the bypass around Statesboro, Georgia this afternoon. There I was—a Navy Veteran, wearing a Navy Veteran tee shirt, on Veterans Day, driving on Veterans Memorial Parkway. How cool—or surprising—is that?More
The military used to be one of the most highly respected organizations of our federal government. Over time, however, it has suffered from the criticism of a Progressive society. Barack Obama made some of the most drastic changes to the military and in so doing exacerbated the negative perceptions of society toward the military:
A curious thing happened in the second half of the Obama era: The commander-in-chief began viewing the military less as an entity designed to destroy enemies but a tool with which to achieve progressive goals. Warriors were turned into social-justice warriors. Men and women with risible-to-nonexistent military records were made heads of the services. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (who had logged all of two years’ service as a junior officer) named ships after Cesar Chavez and Harvey Milk.
I originally wrote this while in Iraq, on March 23, 2005. I have lightly edited it for this post.
The DVD was in, I had seen Star Gate many times, and was bored enough to have the voiceover of the director and someone else while watching the show. The two men were talking to each other, and to their unseen audience. They were talking about those who risk their lives in the military to keep the country safe. They both expressed the obligatory platitudes, the nice things you’re supposed to say about those in the military. There was nothing to indicate insincerity; they seemed genuinely in admiration of people who march toward the sound of cannon.More
My heroes don’t wear capes or spin webs. They have both a single origin story and a million individual ones. There is no mega-media company to pay billions of dollars to claim their name because it is not for sale. They do not believe in prequels or sequels or having a separate “universe” apart from the real world.
They answer to names like “Jar Head,” “Leatherneck” and “Devil Dog.” The only colors they see are Mother Green, Desert Tan, Dress Blue and Scarlet and Gold.More
All good martinis yesterday, and none today. But we have three doozies for you. First, Jim and Greg discuss the new Project Veritas expose, clearly showing reporter/anchor Amy Robach blasting her bosses off air for refusing to air her story exposing Jeffrey Epstein and his powerful connections for the past three years. They blast ABC […]
To ask this question is forbidden. As I was told by one of my Ricochet colleagues the other day, “
I’ve seen a lot of that sentiment. No one respects the uniform more than me but I also know that the uniform is not a cloak of holiness. Like the rest of the society it draws from, the US armed forces has its share of people whose actions do not represent the uniform in a good light. The Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth is full of them.More
4:30 am. Monday. Temperature -20F. Ray Barracks, Friedberg, West Germany. It’s the coldest winter since the Battle of the Bulge. That was in 1944. This is 1978.
Every Monday and Friday, our mechanized infantry battalion, 1/36 Infantry, 3rd Armored Division, has battalion P.T. or physical training, calisthenics. The other days, its company level. But on Monday and Friday, the whole battalion turns out on the battalion parade field for P.T.More
Meet Conan. He’s the amazing dog that led Delta Forces A- Squadron into the tunnel pursuing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He’s recovering from his injuries and is one of many courageous dogs who are serving with our armed forces. The military holds these dogs in high esteem:
The multipurpose canines, usually German shepherds or Belgian Malinois, are capable of a variety of tasks, including attacking the enemy and bomb-sniffing. They are often the first into the breach in a fight, giving them special significance among the special operations forces with which they operate.
Start the week off right by joining us for the Three Martini Lunch. Today, Jim and Greg celebrate the U.S. forces who tracked down and eliminated Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader responsible for some of the most heinous and grisly murders, rapes, and oppression we’ve seen in recent times. They also pile on the […]
We demand a great deal from our military, and we have many reasons to be proud of them. They risk their lives to defend our country and preserve our rights so that we might remain free. But I came across an issue that I find disturbing, particularly because ultimately it could weaken our national defense. […]
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is a tall, boxy, tracked, lightly armored vehicle designed to carry a small squad of soldiers while a driver, vehicle commander (squad leader) and gunner maneuver and fight the vehicle. It looks a bit like a tank because it has a turret with a 25mm rapid fire cannon, which can kill peer vehicles but not tanks, due to heavier armor. A unit was out training at night, when a Bradley slipped or got one of its tracks too far over the edge of a bridge in the Fort Stewart, Georgia, maneuver areas. Three of the crew died in the accident and several others were injured.
When the Bradley went off the bridge, it fell upside down into a creek, with running water. Vehicle rollover is a known danger, even for all armored vehicles. There is a standard reaction every crew member practices repeatedly, drilling a response designed to keep you inside and not crushed. If this crew reacted perfectly, and the accident investigators will look into every possible cause, they still found themselves upside down in the middle of the night in water.More
Nationalism is the subject of the moment, and both the term and the idea come with more baggage than Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian after an afternoon of shopping on Rodeo Drive. I’ve had a few things to say about this controversial topic myself, but I am delighted to feature as this week’s special guest […]
Both Syria and Turkey have been purchasing oil from ISIS seized oil fields in Syria. The Syrians, Russians, and the Turks have shown no interest in ISIS. The Kurds and their US advisors have done their best to destroy ISIS. The Turks will kill both Kurdish fighters and civilians. There will be no mercy from […]
No Greater Love is a documentary by a 101st Airborne chaplain interviewing his fellow soldiers about their time in Afghanistan. It is currently included with Amazon Prime for streaming. It’s the best insight into modern soldier experience as I’ve seen.
No dramatizations. Just the soldiers’ own accounts punctuated by pictures and the chaplain’s video camera footage. From combat and strategy to difficult recoveries and processing memories, it is brutal (though no violence or injury is shown) but worthwhile.More
Two news items caught my eye this weekend, both of them in Stars and Stripes. One story was from Korea, and the other from Germany. Together, they told a story of rebalancing our forces in the world.
The first story is about the activation of a group of new Army Reserve units in Europe. This was a growth in the total number of units or end strength in the Army Reserve. Instead, this was a relatively typical rebalancing of types of units in different parts of the world.More
This weekend, Candice Owens uploaded her latest podcast, an interview with Vice President Mike Pence. As he brought the interview to a close, he made a comment that prompted reflection. Vice President Pence grounded his optimism about our nation’s future in the fact of 5.5 million young people have signed up for military service, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the latest cohort of recruits was born after that date, and for at least the past four years, recruits have had no living, personal, memory of that day.
We really do believe that your generation, this rising generation, the generation that has come of age after 9/11, that responded—5.5 million Americans volunteered to serve in our military since 9/11, thousands paying the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom—this is a generation we believe in.
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. More
It’s not part of Ricochet’s portfolio, but I just listened to a very interesting podcast interview of General (retired) John Kelly. Hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine, it covers his career with the U.S. Marine Corps, which included his participation in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and as the Commander of U.S. […]
Bring back the draft. The only thing left and right agree upon these days is that left and right cannot find anything to agree on. Political violence is on the upswing, and there are fewer parts of life each year that are apolitical. It would be foolish to expect to find agreement on everything, or a […]