Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Posts Tagged ‘military

Veterans Day 2016…

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The Wall Street Journal offers a  nice collection  of this Veterans weekend from across the nation.   Here are  some pix  from across the country.   My observation is that small towns and rural areas still tend to have special events and celebrations organized by residents,  while metropolitan areas now have government-run events.   I prefer the homespun variety myself,  partly because there are actual veterans involved and they know what it means to serve.

Action star Chuck Norris is a vet himself and  understands it  well.   Bill Federer grasps why there are  no atheists  in foxholes.   More photos  here.

For me,  Veterans’ Day is special,  because every generation of my family has seen military service.   Some of them died because of it,  all of them suffered to some extent,  yet none of them regretted it.   Most people in my family regard it as the only honorable service possible to have in government.   Those who don’t,  basically whine and complain,  but don’t serve anywhere.




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November 13, 2016 at 11:54 pm

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Raymond Haerry, R.I.P.

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Mr. Haerry ran away from home and  ended up  on the USS Arizona,  right in the middle of history.   He was one of only six known living survivors. Living through Pearl Harbor and World War II to die at age 94 looks like total victory to me.


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October 9, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Military coup in Turkey…

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The Turkish Army is apparently  attempting a coup  against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  who is claiming he is still in control.   That is highly doubtful,  as the state-owned broadcasting system is clearly in the hands of the coup,  and Erdogan,  a tireless self-promoter,  has not been seen in several days.   I’d say that,  based on the little we know at this point,  the coup may well succeed,  as the police are no match for the military.

It is important to remember that Erdogan,  who took power in 2002,  has cashiered out many senior military members,  knowing that the history of Turkey is that the secular-minded army has long been a stabilizing force in the country.   Erdogan has been playing footsie with Russia and Iran and instituting Islamic policies bit by bit.   He also was aware that the Turkish officer corps knows many Western military personnel,  and has long worked well with the British and the Americans.

Secretary of State John Kerry from Moscow said the U.S. hopes there will be peace and stability in Turkey,  a typical diplomatic response.   Dollars to doughnuts His Oneness will not be able to keep his mouth shut and will at least hint that the military coup is not a good thing.   I say this because the Turkish president is a big fan of the Muslim Brotherhood,  as is Obama,  since he promoted Mohamed Morsi,  the Egyptian president who was ousted by Egypt’s military in 2011,  and was a member of that group himself.   His Oneness claims the Brotherhood is a a moderate alternative to more violent Islamist groups.

Congressmen Darrell Issa and Louis Gohmert have renewed the push for a bill to officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,  an important move in light of what Retired Navy Admiral Ace Lyons  told the  National Press Club last year.

UPDATE:  News reports are that Erdogan is seeking asylum in Germany, which indicates the coup has succeeded.   Others say he is merely on vacation,  so we can’t tell.

UPDATE:   His Oneness wants all parties to “support the democratically elected government of Turkey”.   Isn’t that the same thing he said about Morsi in Egypt  in similar  circumstances??

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July 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

D-Day still remembered…

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Have you remembered D-Day?  If you’re a recent product of the public education system,  you may never have heard of it.   Christopher Kelley’s article on  the subject will clue you in,  and perhaps encourage you to join me in a toast to all those young men who dropped from the sky and slogged through the water to save Europe.   Some places still remember them,  and still pay them honor with much more feeling than the perfunctory,  bored speech His Oneness gives on any occasion involving the military or America’s exceptionalism.

War is a terrible,  hideous thing.   But as John Stuart Mill said over a century ago,  “War is an ugly thing,  but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety,  is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

UPDATE:   Too many people have forgotten it,  but  none of these  have.

UPDATE:  Neither has Victor  Davis Hanson,  who places it in an historical context.

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June 6, 2016 at 11:55 pm

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Memorial Day 2016…

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Vandals have been busy this weekend,  at  Petersburg National  Battlefield,  the  Vietnam War   Memorial in Venice,  a  Purple Heart plant bed,  in Anniston, Alabama,  and  in Henderson  where they have caught the culprit.   The Chicago Tribune ran an ad luring subscribers,   but  featuring the  U.S. flag backwards.

On the other side,  we have U.S. Army Rangers in Afghanistan  singing for us,  Steve  McCann giving  thanks, and officers aboard the U.S.S. Bataan saluting the  new greatest generation.   These  four veterans  serve in Congress,  and we are lucky to have them.   When they talk about war,  everyone should listen attentively.   Some families have made stupendous sacrifices for  their country through the years.

Valerie Strauss educates us on  the difference  between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day.   Walt Whitman wrote about  the reasons  for this day many years ago.   Considering how poorly  people did  on Jesse Watter’s quiz,  many of us could use the information,  since schools apparently don’t teach such politically incorrect nonsense any more.

A tiny community in Illinois has given Civil War soldiers their identities back by  obtaining new  headstones for their graves.   My ancestors were mostly on the opposite side,  but all who served deserve honor and remembrance.

James Roberts sees this Memorial Day  as different  from others.   The rather poisonous atmosphere may be different,   but the occasion is the same for me.   How did you celebrate?   Are you at the lake or beach in party mode,  or have you  spared a thought  for the meaning of the day during the festivities?   Did you buy  your flags  yet,  or are you waiting for Flag Day or July 4th?

James Pinkerton offers a  lovely tribute  to Arlington,  calling it his church.   End with Pres. Ronald Reagan’s  inspiring words,  rendered by the Hillsdale College choir.






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May 31, 2016 at 12:19 am

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An advisory role…

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…in war-torn areas,  actually looks  like this.   His Oneness can claim to have no boots on the ground anywhere,   but it is a bald-faced lie and a dangerous one.   Too few troops is far more risky than too many.   Mr. Obama  will ultimately  be responsible for  more deaths  and injuries to our special operators  than George  W. Bush ever was.   The operators know this,  they know their commander-in-chief does not respect them,  and yet they go anyway.

Part of the problem is the insanely restrictive  rules of  engagement,  which place our military personnel at risk while also forcing them to consider and weigh the consequences and possible repercussions of actions,  thus exposing them to more danger.   If you must fight a war,  then you must let your troops fight,  not simply send them to be sitting ducks so you can say you are not a war president.   It is impossible to conduct a war  when you have no clearly defined goal,  no policy to support,  no clue as to what victory looks like,  and no apparent appetite for actually achieving any victory other than the protection of your presidential and personal legacy.

By the way,  if,  like the elites,  you don’t think soldiers are very smart,  watch  this video  of Marines’ reactions to W versus that to His Oneness.

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December 28, 2015 at 11:51 pm

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Wreaths needed…

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Wreaths Across America  is a nonprofit organization responsible  for placing wreaths on 230,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.   It is currently still short of the funds needed for about 30,000 of them this year.   You can sponsor a wreath for only $15,  but the group will cheerfully accept any amount to help pay for the wreaths.   They have volunteer truckers who deliver the wreaths,   and others who place them on the headstones.   The group receives no government funds.

I sponsor some in memory of deceased family veterans.   Since every generation of my family has served in the military,  I have more than a few names to choose from,  as do many people who live in the South.   Consider providing a wreath at Arlington for someone whose family can’t do so.   I promise you it means a lot to them.



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November 29, 2015 at 10:13 am