In 2013, Rear Admiral John Kirby wrote an OpEd in the WaPo titled Members of the military must learn to connect with American civilians.
I didn’t see the column at the time. If I had, I would have responded in a way similar to Kerry Patton. Patton is an author, veteran, and terrorism and intelligence professional who served in the Air Force security forces.
Here are some excerpts from his blog:
I read the full three page op-ed more than once trying to figure out exactly what he is trying to say. Unfortunately, I along with several combat veterans, to include a former US Special Forces Officer who served in Vietnam, feel the Rear Admiral’s op-ed as pure nonsense.
The majority of Americans have absolutely no dog in this hunt.
As my Vietnam War Special Forces friend said:
“The ‘public support’ he cites is primarily out of the DOD budget and woefully corrupt and bureaucratic “veterans assistance” organizations. Combat vets certainly need some time to adjust and regroup prior to entering civilian life, but the whole-hearted public support the admiral cites is pure BS. Takes more than a yellow ribbon on a car or refrigerator to support the troops.”
As a civilian I fully understand the criticality in doing everything in my power to “connect” with some civilians. This does not mean I or anyone else needs to connect with everyone. In fact, I believe it’s better everyone doesn’t connect. America needs leaders, not followers. If everyone connected, we would all be followers.
The US Armed Forces is filled with leaders. Each and every person who ever served honorably is a leader in their own right. We are also a very unique family. No matter one’s branch, military specialty, etc. we are all brothers-in-arms. The only thing we need to learn to do better is connect and stay connected with one another long after our military service ends.
……Veterans have stepped up when the time was called and served America. No one owes us anything for our continued valorous efforts in protecting and defending this great nation. And in many ways, we do owe America something for the diverse opportunities we endured through the American people’s votes in obtaining elected officials who made decisions on their behalf.
……Do veterans need to learn to connect with American civilians? In some ways we do. But I assure you that in many ways we don’t. There are too many civilians (not all civilians) in this country I personally wish to have absolutely no association with. They are cowards, weak minded, unethical, lazy, blood suckers who have more often than not used us veterans for their own personal entertainment and or reward.
Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, next time you write an article spewing what veterans should and shouldn’t do, look yourself in the mirror and ask what your overall intent is within your message. I for one see your most recent op-ed as a politically inspired message of pure bullshit coming from a guy who never had the honor to actually face the enemy in battle.
Connect with civilians? War veterans often face another war once they return home. Aside from the struggle to deal with civilians who never served, we get a load of shit from the Hollywood entertainment industry, academic intelligentsia, political pundits, and DemProg politicians who use their respective soapboxes to bad mouth the military, the country, and any vestige of patriotism.
Howard Dean, the village idiot from Vermont, has decided that anyone who has seen the film is ‘angry’ and ‘shares an intersection with the Tea Party’. Like other DemProgs, he didn’t mean it in a good way. BTW Howard, you’re damned right we’re angry. The Tea Party is a cross-section of America—average people—who are fed up with the hubris of elected officials, the erosion of personal liberties, and the sneering arrogance and jack-booted thuggery of the Obama regime.
Many of the people who saw the movie walked away with a sense of pride and admiration for those who serve, which really gets the liberals’ panties in a wad.
Some of them even like to crash military funerals and spew anti-war sentiment at the families of the fallen. No, not the Westboro Baptist morons, the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.
There’s always a fundamental disconnect when you try to explain patriotism, service, and love of country to liberals; they always project their own motivations onto those who serve in the military. They can’t understand things like Duty, Honor, Country, following the example of others who served, and giving something back to the nation that’s given so much to every one of us. It takes guts and dedication that a relative fraction of the population will ever know. While most of America takes a pass, only a few raise the right hand.
The Left has a long-standing visceral hatred of the military, and believe me, the feelings are mutual.
Most of the time I hang around the local VFW and American Legion. I feel at home in those places.
If I feel like connecting with non-veteran civilians, I’ll do it on my own terms.