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Who's the Patriot?  Soldier who fights or citizen who protests

This question came up the other day and after much thought I think I have an answer.


The soldier is and some will say the protester is also. Lets examine that for a moment.


I at one time I could fully agree, today, well somewhat but very little and here is why.


1) We have an all volunter military, there is no draft, no lottery. EVERY swinging Richard and every bouncing Betty is there by choice and not by chance. No one is drafted overnite to step off plane in some stinking country on the other side of the globe and wondering how the hell did I get here.


2) The Protest: What Zactly are we protesting here?????????????????? ANYONE? I spent the better part of my life in the military. From a PFC dog face in rice paddy's to a Field Grade Officer who spent nearly 10 years in the Army's Doctrine and Training Command. And, albeit I support the soldier I have a boatload of problems with our war in the Middle East. Yet, knowing as much about the military as I do I can assure you I would be hamstrung if I had to stand in front of a group of people and lead a protest against the war. In fact I would have a hard time justifying my position, even knowing what I know.


That said what ZACTLY are they protesting????? 1) THEY DO NOT KNOW, they are ONLY rehashing the 60's and 70's anti-war protests. 2) If you ask the them the FIRST answer you will get is 'we do not want our troops killed'. That is smoke and mirrors. Few if any know a active duty soldier let alone anyone who was killed or wounded there. Past that I doubt if 1 out of 100 can give any reason why they are protesting other than they had nothing else to do that day.


The year was '75, my wife and I were down in Austin, Texas to visit some friends of hers. She had just graduated from UT Austin a few weeks earlier. We were down on 6th Street on a Sat afternoon. The streets are full of people (it might have been 4 July weekend). Here come the police on horses asking everyone to get move there is a protest march enroute. 


We all move to the curb and in a few moments here comes a group of scraggly looking hippies carrying signs saying 'End the war in Vietnam, burn your draft cards, etc etc etc. I shout at one of the lead protesters on my side and tell him I want to ask him a question. He side steps over my way and I tell him that Vietnam is OVER, there is NO DRAFT. As I am telling him this I reach around to my back pocket and pull out my wallet and show him my military ID card. The guy says are you BSing me? NO! He turns and yells at another guy for him to come over. We start talking and a police officer comes over and asks if there is a problem. The guy I talked to first asks the police officer if what I said is true. Police agree. The protest falls apart in a few moments.


Point being they did not know then and they do not know now.


Finally there is the 'behind the curtain on the world stage' goings on. I may have SOME (VERY LITTLE) insight and understanding, only because of my background. Just how much understanding does some guy who flips burgers at Mickey D's or even a college professor have. This is NOT WWII, Korea or Vietnam this is a war on terrorism and we cannot even nail it down to one country. Its not Japan, Germany, Korea or North Vietnam or the USSR in the cold war.


Fact is this involves half or more of the worlds countries, a religion and who know what else. I don't fully understand it and the guys and gals protesting sure as hell don't. Nor does some mother like Cindy Shehan. Her son was a volunteer. Few folks care more about the soldier than I, but bottom line they chose to be there. And a hellva lot more have died in car wrecks trying to text message someone than have died in Iraq.


Bottom Line: Far as I am concerned the war protester of today does not have a single leg to stand on and most of all does NOT have a dog in the hunt.

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