Memorial Day

By Mick Mouse · May 18, 2013 · ·
  1. Mick Mouse
    Just another holiday, right? Another opportunity for a long weekend, and a short work week! Take a minute and think about this day. Memorial day has a long history, has been celebrated at different times and in different forms by every state in the Union, and it is one of those quintessential American holidays that (should!) bring us all together as one.

    In an age where everything has been tainted by politics and constant reminders of how "different" we are, Memorial day is quite simple. Thanksgiving has been lost to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Christmas has lost its innocence to complicated religions and petty bickering about phrasing. All Memorial Day wants us to do is to remember where we come from, remember those people who we have to thank for getting and keeping us here, and to have a really great barbeque, with maybe some fried chicken!

    There is a lot to be said for a day like this. Forget the spring cleaning chores and stress, buy ground beef in bulk, a few dozen hamburger buns, some family-sized bags of chips, and all of those condiments that are absolutely necessary! Go out to a nearby park and claim one of those tables that sit out there empty all of the time. Take the dog. Hell, take the neighbors dog!

    Take the kids, because they are what we did this for.

    And while you are doing all of this, spare a thought for all of the men and women who have made this possible. Those who have truly given that "last, full measure of devotion". And say a prayer for those of us who came back broken beyond repair. Tell a vet "thank you". Go to a hospital and let them know that they have not been forgotten, and that their sacrifice has not been in vain.

    Remember us.

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  1. aquatic
    You're a vet I believe, so thank you. But, most of our military "sacrifices" ARE in vain. What is our government doing in most of these countries around the world? We should not be there.

    I like to think that the Revolutionary War and Civil Wars were actually not in vain. They had a real reason to fight. The British were trying to control the US from abroad. Now look at what the US is doing. The exact same thing the British did 200 years ago. Invade countries for no reason. Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. All we are doing is creating more enemies. Wouldn't you fight back if someone decided to land an army on America?

    I also have problems with people who enlist. Most are signing up because they believe they have no other career options. They sign up knowing they could possibly kill other people, but they will receive a paycheck and other benefits so who cares.

    If anyone speaks out against the military and government you will get bashed because of all the patriotic propaganda around. They call snipers heroes. They have country songs about bombing other countries. It goes on and on.

    I find that drinking beer and barbecuing is a weird way to celebrate memorial day anyway. I understand people fight for freedoms, but it should be more somber. That's my thoughts.
  2. Mick Mouse
    I believe that you may be confusing politics with the military. The two are completely different. America does not "invade" other countries. In the wars and actions of which you mention, this country was there by the express wishes of the government that was currently in power, as is the case in every war we engage in.

    And while there are a limited number of people who join the military because "they have no other career options" they are few, and they tend not to last long, usually leaving once their initial contract of service has expired. And that is assuming that they make it through their initial training to begin with.

    It also seems as if you have one of the more typical civilian misconceptions of the military, in that we are all rabid, wild-eyed baby killers who can't wait to commit some sort of atrocity as soon as we are turned loose. The fact is that, just like people who join up in the police forces, you may spend your entire career never having to fire your weapon in anger. Regardless of what name you hang on them, there are only two basic jobs in the military-trigger pullers and clerks. It takes, on the average, 2 to 3 clerks to support every trigger puller, therefore, it is not only quite possible, but even very likely, that you will never fire your weapon in anger, should you choose to join the military in some other position than combat arms.

    " who cares?" Spoken like a man who has never taken the life of another man. Do you think it is that easy to look into the eyes of a man and watch as the life drains out of them? Do you think that it is easy knowing that every single shot you fire is blowing fist-sized chunks of another mans body away? Have you ever seen the unbelievable amount of intestines there are in the human their owner is desperately trying to stuff them back into his body cavity? Or had your arms buried up to the elbows in your buddy, trying to hold him together until a damn clerk can get to him?

    Do your store away little tidbits of knowledge , such as always use a knife to the kidneys, rather than cutting a throat, because the shock will cause the target it inhale rather than exhale. You see, you do things like this when you take out sentries at night, and an exhale is almost twice as loud as an inhale, so you put your hand over his mouth, slide 9 inches of razor-sharp steel into his kidneys, and twist. You have to step back somewhat quickly however, because his bladder and bowels will immediately loosen and you will get shit all over you if you aren't careful.

    Do you see every single one of their faces at night, when you try to sleep? I do. its funny, sometimes I can actually smell the blood still. A bright, coppery smell. I will tonight, anyway.

    But seriously, stop and give some thought to what you are saying. And then remember that you can say it, without fear, because some of us "care".

    The soldier is not the one who decides to fight. The soldier is not the one who makes policy. The soldier is the person to whom the civilian turns to when diplomacy, reason, and common sense have failed. WE clean up your messes, not the other way around.

    And that is what Memorial Day is about-to remember the brave men and women who willingly put their lives on hold and then in harms way so that others will be able to enjoy the right to bitch and complain. To remember all of those who have been collected by the Gods of Battles and War, and to honor their sacrifice..

    And while I think that 'Ol Honest Abe was one of the biggest traitor bastards in the history of this country, the son of a bitch DID have a way with words.

    "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a NEW nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ALL men are created equal.

    Now, we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate-we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can NEVER forget what they have did here. It is rather for us, the living, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who havw fought here have thus far so nobly advanced-that from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

    THAT is why we do it. And that is why you should honor our veterans.

    And we, as Americans, like to do that with large quantities of beer and burnt meat, cooked outside over a bullshit fire while the old lady bitches in the background, the kids run around like the little monsters that they are, and the DOG sits and waits patiently, knowing that as soon as that bitch looks away, dad will be slipping her a burger of her very own!
  3. Booty love
    I didnt know you were a vet? What branch did you serve in? I was an F-16 crew chief in the Air Force. Im sadly not a vet though. I gave them 4 years and got a bad conduct discharge for a failed drug test. I will regret that for the rest of my life. Happy memorial day TR! And thank you for your service. :thumbsup:
  4. rawbeer
    America does not "invade" other countries. In the wars and actions of which you mention, this country was there by the express wishes of the government that was currently in power, as is the case in every war we engage in.

    With all due respect this is simply untrue of Iraq. We most certainly invaded Irag against the express wishes of the government that was currently in power, Sadam Hussein's. We did the same thing to Germany, and we have intentionally disrupted and destroyed the governments of many countries (Iran for example) through clandestine means, although most of those cases did not really involve the military. Point is we had our reasons but we have invaded countries and acted against their governments' will.

    As much as I disagree with much of our military policy I do not blame the military for these political failures. Like most everybody I do not see much to like about war but I am enough of a realist to recognize having a bunch of heavily armed tough guys who don't mind busting some heads when it needs to be done is a good idea for any nation, and has been throughout history. It's just an ugly part of human nature that sometimes a conflict comes to blows and there is no other way. But it is an unfortunate truth that brave soldiers get exploited by powerful assholes and have been for millenia. Soldeirs are not at fault for this; they are in fact some of the worst victims. And of course some military actions are justified and perfectly necessary.

    I'll end by saying thank you, toxinreleased, and thanks you to all vets. However as you pointed out yourself one of the rights you guys defend is people's right to criticize the military. And of course as with any institution there are valid criticisms to make.
  5. Mick Mouse
    rawbeer, you are absolutely correct, although I could split hairs by saying that we were part of a group of nations in which a decision was made jointly to pursue those, and other, similar actions. In fact, that is the most common answer to a response such as yours. The fact remains that we were the leader of those groups and we were, and still are, not above using underhanded techniques in order to compel their "assistance" in order to achieve our goals.

    And again, the military does not (wink, wink) set policy. It is the club that gets used when diplomacy has failed, or to ensure that it does not fail before the fact.

    The right to disagree, freely and without fear, is exactly the right which sets us apart from many of the other countries on this ball of dirt. It is the one that we fight to preserve, knowing full well that it will bite us in the ass as soon as (or if) we get back home. There are many reasons as to why we do this, but they all have one thing in common-the willingness to put your body on the line and say "No. We will not allow this to happen." when confronted by the evil in the world.

    Well, that and the guarenteed paycheck and benefits, as was suggested earlier! lol!

    Booty, I was what was known back then as a "snake-eater" in the Army.

    And guys, as much as I appreciate your thanks, let me ask you to find a vet in your own home town. Thank them. look them in the eye and shake their hand, and let them know that their sacrifice was, and is, appreciated. I usually spend most of my Memorial Day down at the VA hospital, letting them know that they are not forgotten, but you have to be pretty tough to do that. I broke down and had tears rolling down my face during most of the entire visit the first two or three years I did that, but they understand.
  6. Mick Mouse
    To some, Memorial Day marks the start of summer.

    But to veterans and their families, Memorial Day is one of the most difficult and hallowed days of the year. A time to reflect on our fallen heroes and to think of survivors of wars gone by.

    Lost, injured or home safe and sound, our military and veterans communities are facing grave challenges that deserve national attention. Yet, as this Memorial Day approaches, stories about Benghazi, the IRS, and the Department of Justice's seizing the phone records of AP and Fox reporters are taking up almost all of the focus in Washington.

    After the Memorial Day observances conclude and before Washington returns to business as usual, we need to ensure we are doing right by those who have served to protect our nation.

    On Memorial Day, nearly 900,000 veterans have disability claims pending with the Department of Veteran Affairs, including almost 600,000 veterans who have been waiting for more than 125 days for a response. Those figures represent a more than 613% increase since President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, when 85,000 veterans were in the backlog for more than 125 days.

    VA benefits were put in place to support service-disabled veterans who, as a result of their injuries, need health care and financial support. But our men and women returning home now aren't getting that support. They're asking for help, but so many are not getting it.

    There's been some recent movement in the right direction. Since March, the VA has decreased the backlog by 3.2 percent, according to the IAVA's analysis of Veterans Benefits Affairs reporting. That the backlog has been reduced for six consecutive weeks is a positive development and reflects the VA's new urgency to fix the backlog problem with new initiatives. Yet, to eliminate the backlog by its public goal of 2015, the VA must do far better.

    Veterans need the aggressive leadership and decisive action of Obama, who has been silent on the backlog, to bring the backlog down to zero. This is something that 67 senators and a bipartisan group in the House are calling for, along with more than a dozen veterans service organizations.

    The president rightfully displayed prompt leadership in responding to another critical issue for service members: military sexual trauma. A Pentagon report released in early May revealed that an estimated 26,000 cases of sexual assault occurred last year, a one third increase over the previous year.

    Additionally, during this past month, three officers responsible for leading sexual assault prevention efforts have been embroiled in sexual misconduct cases themselves.

    These incidents have served as a wake-up call for all Americans. We can't ask our fellow citizens to put their lives at risk for us if they're not safe themselves. A group of lawmakers, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, is proposing new legislation to combat this problem. The Military Justice Improvement Act would remove oversight of sexual assault cases from the chain of command and allow victims to report their assaults to an independent prosecutor.

    This is an important piece of legislation that is quickly gaining bipartisan support and should be implemented immediately. It's sensible and can help change the military's culture for the better.

    This Memorial Day, we also must continue our work to prevent suicides among those who served. The numbers are sobering: according to Army reporting, 109 active-duty and reserve servicemen and women have taken their own lives this year. Among all veterans, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. That's 22 veterans. Every day.

    Despite what we know about veterans' suicides, a recent report from the VA inspector general's office found that about a third of veterans considered to be at high risk for suicide don't receive the recommended follow-up care after they've been discharged from VA inpatient mental health care. That is unacceptable.

    We must continue to push for an expansion of programs that connect veterans to mental health resources while also fighting to erase the stigma that prevents many veterans from seeking mental health care in the first place. Ensuring that our service members are thoroughly evaluated and properly diagnosed is crucial to ensuring that they'll be able to cope with, and overcome, the physical and mental injuries they may have sustained while serving our country.

    We need the country to get behind us if we're going to take care of these men and women who have taken such good care of our country. The president's leadership is essential, but he needs a battalion to lead.

    #GoSilent with veterans this Memorial Day and ask a friend to do the same. Hold hands with your family at 12:01 p.m. ET and teach your kids why you're doing it. Thank the next person you see in uniform. And when Memorial Day is over, join our effort to ensure that our elected officials stand with us and take meaningful steps to support veterans and their families.

    Honor our men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by doing right by their brothers and sisters among us.

    This is a partial article which was drawn from CNN and authored by Paul Rieckhoff. This summarizes my thoughts and feelings about this day very closely.
  7. longwalk
    Memorial Day is about the men and women who served; it has nothing to do with politics. Even the best political leaders are morally flawed and imperfect human beings, as are each of us. They err; they choose battles that sometimes do not produce a just result, even if their initial intent was honorable.

    This does not in any way reflect on the honor and respect we owe those who faithfully served, and gave everything.

    Excellent post.
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