Friday, July 30, 2004

Those who talk about it........

Ever remember how in High School, the guys who talked the most about sex were the ones that weren't "gettin any"? The more you talked about it, the less of a chance you were physically involved with anyone.

A parallel could be drawn with those who have served in the military and in combat. My dad, who served and saw horrors at Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Sipan, Guam, Phillipine Sea, the Solomans, and eventually sailed into Tokyo harbor, spoke painfully little about his experience. He was proud of his service, and proud of the job he did, but rarely ever talked about it. He reminded me of the Mel Gibson character in "The Patriot" who although his actions were in one light heroic, in the overall scheme of life, they were painful to recall.

He always held the belief that only through an infinate forgiveness of God could he ever enter Heaven, because he had taken lives and killed young men during the war.

He never even suggested that anything might have happened beyond the killing required by combat (no Mai Li - type abuses or Kerry Konfessionals seemingly common in Viet Nam 25 years later)... but he was pretty sure he would be sentenced to Hell for his actions in war. That's how he looked upon serving his duty, and fighting the Japanese in World War II.

To the man, my experience has been the same with every other veteran I've met. They don't talk. Even my brother-in-law who is serving in Iraq as we speak avoids conversations of the conflict and merely nods in appreciation and thanks when someone calls him a hero.

John Kerry, on the other hand, speaks at length of his performing his "duty to his country." He is not shy about discussing his involvement in Viet Nam, and identifies himself through his actions during that conflict. It made me wonder.... Why? Why, when most veterans are not ashamed, but hesitant to even discuss their years at war, why does Kerry speak about it as if it were just one more semester at Yale?

Then it struck me. Kerry's time in Viet Nam was LESS than a semester at school. My brother in law Brett has been in Iraq for nearly a year, my father spent over two years in the South Pacific, and even my other brother in law (who served on the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise in Viet Nam) was in the war for several tours. The veterans I have known were emeshed in the war for a prolonged period of time. They saw war day after day for many, many months, and have a true sense of what being a warrior was/is all about.

They didn't serve 4 months and run away.

Like Al Gore before him, John Kerry seems to have gotten a taste of war, and now claims he is a war hero.

I might remind you of two other war heros who haven't "sold out" their experiences or "capitalized" on their hero status - George Bush Senior and Bob Dole. Neither would allow those around them to make much of their war experiences. Mention it, yes... for they were not ashamed of the fact that they served and served admirably. But the most Bob Dole will make of his experience is to apologize that he can't shake your right hand.

With the exception of John Kerry and John McCain.... I have never met a veteran who wore his service on his sleave or cashed in his war experience for personal or political gain. For that I'm grateful.

If I were to meet Mr. Kerry, I would probably spit upon his medals and throw them back in his face. How dare he demean the memory of so many brave men and women who were FULL TIME soldiers and claim the same status as them. Even GW has never tried to place himself upon the level of our full time servicemen and women. He accepts the reservist status he chose, is proud of it... but never is so presumptious as to compare himself who spent years in combat!

One last thing to keep in mind. When Mr. Kerry volunteered for the Swift Boat command, the swift boats were being used outside the deltas and rivers and OUT OF COMBAT. Kerry, when he volunteered, never expected to see combat. It was only AFTER Operation SeaLords went into effect that (and Kerry's assignment) that the swift boats were placed in "hot spots."

When GW Bush volunteered to fly in the 147th, (May 27th 1968) the 147th squadron was actively participating in Viet Nam, and the chances of him being sent were HIGH. He knew that, and chose that fighter wing, knowing he would most likely serve in combat. Not for 2 years would the 147th be removed from active participation in Viet Nam. He later switched from the t-33A to the F-102A, another combat-ready aircraft often used in conflict.

IN SHORT ---- KERRY CHOSE A POSITON THAT WOULD KEEP HIM SAFE, and only through unforseeable circumstances, had to see combat...... BUSH CHOSE A POSITION THAT WOULD PUT HIM INTO COMBAT, and only through unforseeable circumstances, didn't

By the way ... about that band of brothers........ check THIS website out, to see how many are for Kerry, how many see him as unfit, and how many have no opinion.... according to the photo in the KERRY Campaign commercial

This post is dedicated to my father CHARLES DAVID BYRNE of LCS 112, which served valiantly in the South Pacific (and for a hell of a lot longer than 4 months and 12 days)during World War II. Rest in peace, Dad.

Check out for information about LCS 112

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