Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Friday, September 28, 2012

Damn, I Wish I'd Said This -- Wowzee!

"Governor Romney and I are about the same age. Like millions of others in our generation, we came to adulthood facing the harsh realities of the Vietnam War. 2.7 million in our age group went to Vietnam, a war which eventually took the lives of 58,000 young Americans and cost another 300,000 wounded. The Marine Corps lost 100,000 killed or wounded in that war. During the year I was in Vietnam, 1969, our country lost twice as many dead as we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over the past 10 years of war. 1968 was worse. 1967 was about the same. Not a day goes by when I do not think about the young Marines I was privileged to lead.

This was a time of conscription, where every American male was eligible to be drafted. People made choices about how to deal with the draft, and about military service. I have never envied or resented any of the choices that were made as long as they were done within the law. But those among us who stepped forward to face the harsh unknowns and the lifelong changes that can come from combat did so with the belief that their service would be honored, and that our leaders would, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, care for those who had borne the battle, and for their widows and their children.

Those young Marines that I led have grown older now. They’ve lived lives of courage, both in combat and after their return, where many of them were derided by their own peers for having served. That was a long time ago. They are not bitter. They know what they did. But in receiving veterans’ benefits, they are not takers. They were givers, in the ultimate sense of that word. There is a saying among war veterans: “All gave some, some gave all.” This is not a culture of dependency. It is a part of a long tradition that gave this country its freedom and independence. They paid, some with their lives, some through wounds and disabilities, some through their emotional scars, some through the lost opportunities and delayed entry into civilian careers which had already begun for many of their peers who did not serve.

And not only did they pay. They will not say this, so I will say it for them. They are owed, if nothing else, at least a mention, some word of thanks and respect, when a presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander-in-chief. And they are owed much more than that — a guarantee that we will never betray the commitment that we made to them and to their loved ones."

Remarks by Senator Jim Webb before introducing President Obama in Virginia --

Thanks to Politico.


  1. That is just excellent. It needed pointing out, especially to our veteran Mormon missionary to gay Paree and his fellow Wall St. veteran millionaire.

    All our war veterans gave some; some gave all. Back home, meanwhile, others adhered to the timeless ethic of greed: "I got mine, you get yours and devil take the hindmost."

    1. I was very active against that war. A couple of friends opted to go off to Canada, not because they were cowards but because they were morally opposed to this war. Another friend who was all gung-ho joined the Marines and came back with his arm shot off and became a dedicated war protester. As Webb so eloquently says, " receiving veterans’ benefits, they are not takers. They were givers..." Romney, Bush and so many of the scions of wealth, who push for war but never serve, are not only greedy, they are cowards.

      It's just too damn bad that Webb is stepping down. We need members of Congress who possess his kind of integrity.

    2. L.P. I completely agree about Webb.

      I chose to serve on active duty from 1964-1976, then two more years in the Air National Guard. I could've been sent to Vietnam at any time, but was sent to Guam instead. I chose to serve and am glad I did. Yet, I don't and never have condemned those who because of opposition to the war on principled grounds chose not to.

      I have less respect for those who simply didn't want to be bothered and who would probably have done their best to dodge the draft even if there hadn't been a Vietnam War. I get a strong sense Mitt Romney, like Dick Cheney, falls squarely in that category, with George W. Bush's disinterest in serving covered only by the thinnest, most self-convenient service record I've ever heard of.

    3. My thoughts as well. As much as I opposed the war, I never took part in demonizing the troops or demonstrating against them when they arrived home. But I have no use for those who, because of family connections, evaded the draft while supporting and profiting from the war. Cowards all.

      Don't know if you've read "Family of Secrets" about the Bush dynasty and their close ties to the CIA. In general, I thought it was a pretty poorly written book -- a lot of innuendo with more circumstantial evidence than hard core facts and a hell of a lot of conspiracy theories. BUT, the part about George W's so-called military career is quite revealing. It's even worse than most of us realize. Dan Rather was right.

  2. Yes indeed. Lest we forget who, or rather, what Mitt Romney really is. Missionary my ass.