Friday, November 11, 2005

For The Veterans Today, And Tomorrow

A Last Request

"Tommy" is here, because we'll need him "someday," and someday is always now.

"For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot"

Go here for the rest of "Tommy."

For more, go here for a little history of the British in Afghanistan, and a Kipling poem that ends:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen !

In my 21 Air Force years, I was a Cold War warrior. The only foreign combat I was involved in was breaking up a fight between some drunk British soccer fans at the train station after a match in Ipswich, England.

My oldest son, Bruce, seems to always be in action somewhere in the world - Iraq, New Orleans, Italy - serving in the Nevada National Guard, and Haiti, Guantanamo, Egypt, Germany... when he was Regular Army. There's not many similarities between his service and the service of the British Tommy Kipling wrote of - for one, the Tommy didn't need a lawyer if he imprisoned an unlawful combatant, or touched a prisoner's Koran with an ungloved hand - except we too don't appreciate their worth in peacetime as they train and prepare (and thereby prevent) war. And the many times we haven't had armed forces trained and ready to fight never prevented war - it just invited it.

The above is a fact, not an opinion. I have heard many liberals opine that if we got rid of our weapons, everyone would be our friends. "Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. No one is entitled to have their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, maybe the last sensible Democrat.

When Bruce and the rest come marching home again, and the world is all at peace, consider that it will stay at peace only if we are ready to fight and decisively win. We never have been ready to do that in the past, but there is always a first time for everything, and hope dies hard. Over a hundred years ago, Kipling penned his plea for respect for the soldier in peacetime, and reminded his countrymen of the terrible sacrifices endured in wartime.
What's changed?


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