Tag: Honor

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – December 2008

‘GoldStar Moms’ Honor Their Fallen, Christmas 2008

 

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – November 2008

If you visit any of the lists of the KIA’s or Injured in the Iraq Theater one thing you’ll notice, the Only Occupation Forces numbers rising, being Killed and Maimed, are American Forces these last number of months!! I find myself wondering how many are on a first tour, or second, or third, or forth…………………………….., in Both Theaters!!

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afghanistan – October 2008

Iraq

If you visit any of the lists of the KIA’s or Injured in the Iraq Theater one thing you’ll find, the Only Occupation Forces numbers rising, being Killed and Maimed, are American Forces these last number of months!! I find myself wondering how many are on a first tour, or second, or third, or forth…………………………….., in Both Theaters!!

John McCain & the USNA Honor Code

Had he lived, today would have been my wonderful Dad’s 80th birthday.  And I am fairly sure he would be facing a dilemma he had never faced before.

My Dad was a very proud graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  As I’ve written before, the physical rigors of the Academy were a huge challenge to him — like me, he was no athlete, and like me, he was a restless, relentless night owl.  He did Walk the Yard on many occasions for being late to formation (often because he had been up late the night before helping his fellow midshipmen with their homework); as my Mom says, it was a good thing he was so smart because he often had little time to study.  (He graduated in the top 10 in his class.)  But he never, ever, either while he was a Midshipman or any time during his service or his life, violated the Academy’s Honor Code.

This is today’s iteration of that Code (which I daresay has not changed a great deal):

Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.

They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie.

They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.

They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal.

Source ~ United States Naval Academy(My emphasis added.)

As the Academy’s website notes:

It is our responsibility to develop a selfless sense of duty that demands excellence both of ourselves and of those with whom we serve. We must honor our loyalties without compromising our ultimate obligation to the truth. Our leadership must set a standard that reflects loyalty to our goals and the courage to stand accountable for all our actions, both those that lead to success and to those that end in failure. We will never settle for achieving merely what is expected of us but will strive for a standard of excellence that reflects the dedication and courage of those who have gone before us. When we attain our goal, we will raise our expectations; when we fall short, we will rise up and try again. In essence, we espouse leadership by example, a leadership that will inspire others to follow wherever we may lead.

Source ~ United States Naval Academy(My emphasis added.)

Throughout his life, my Dad had little patience — and even less respect — for those who behaved dishonorably.  The only offense (besides failing to live up to high academic expectations) for which my brother and I were punished severely was lying.  We learned early on never to do so.

Occasionally, I believe, my Dad was really na├»ve  (this is another trait, alas, that I sometimes share).  But his (like mine) was a naivete born of faith in his fellow human beings; because he did not behave dishonorably, he found it hard to believe that others could.  

I suppose this explains, somewhat, why he was a loyal Republican — even during the Nixon Administration and later that of Ronald Reagan.  I don’t think he liked (or respected) either of these men very much, but I know he voted for them.  He did like and respect George H.W. Bush; he did not live to vote for his son.

This year, though, I am pretty sure his vote would be for Barack Obama.  

I think my Dad would recognize the great disrespect — disdain even — that John McCain has shown for the honorable tradition of the USNA, and for its principles.  I cannot believe that he would not have been horrified by the sleaze emanating from Sen. McCain’s campaign, by the outright, provable lies Sen. McCain has told not only about his own past and positions, but also about those he has repeated, ad nauseum, about Barack Obama.  McCain Lie Counter

And I am one hundred percent certain that he would have been apopletic by Sen. McCain’s shameless and dangerous choice of the utterly unqualified (as well as uneducated) Sarah Palin as his running mate.  

Our Democratic Party has run and elected honorable graduates of the United States Naval Academy during the past several decades, including:

President James Earl Carter, Jr. (Class of ’46; 59th in his class of 820)

Senator James Webb (Class of ’68; awarded the Navy Cross for heroism)

Rep. Joe Sestak  (PA-07)(Class of ’74; second in his class)

Eric Massa (candidate for NY-29)(Class of ’81) Donate.

John McCain is not honorable.  And this year, I think, for that and other reasons, my Dad, had he lived, would be casting his first vote for the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I miss you, Dad, so very much.  I am grateful for the chance to remember you tonight.  

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HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afghanistan – September 2008

Iraq

There have been 4,491 coalition deaths — 4,177 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Azerbaijani, 176 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 1 Czech, 7 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 5 Georgians, 1 Hungarian, 33 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 Korean, 3 Latvian, 22 Poles, 3 Romanians, 5 Salvadoran, 4 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians — in the war in Iraq as of October 3, 2008, according to a CNN count. { Graphical breakdown of casualties }. The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose deaths have been reported by their country’s governments. The list also includes seven employees of the U.S. Defense Department. At least 30,680 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan.

Bottled honor, the magic elixir of John McCain

Perhaps the saddest thing about the spectacle of folly and degradation that the US Presidential election contest has become is that Obama lacks the courage to deliver the speeches necessary to put the truth before the American people. Out of frustration, I have decided to draft a few of these imaginary speeches and publish them here. The first one concerns McCain’s shameless use of his POW experience as a magically inexhaustible source of honor.

Speeches Obama will never deliver: #1 – John McCain’s Bottled Honor

John McCain does not receive enough credit as a politician. His career has been built upon a feat that is unrivaled in modern American history. Senator McCain took one episode of courage from his wartime experience and transformed it into a permanent claim of exceptional honor. It is as though he filled a bottle with honor during his POW ordeal, and this bottle has never run dry.

But can honor really be stored? Isn’t honor something that we have to validate every day of our lives? How can a man insist that all behavior subsequent to a notably honorable action is irrelevant? Let us consider the honor of Senator John Sidney McCain and consider if what is stored in the bottle marked POW Honor is sufficient to wash away the stains of his subsequent actions.

I ask you to judge if a man who betrays a loyal first wife is a man of honor. I ask you to say if a man ensnared in the Keating S&L scandal is a man or honor. Is a candidate who curses his wife in front of reporters a man of honor? Is a politician who embraces a President who slandered him a man of honor? Is a torture victim who voted to enable torture a man of honor? Is a candidate who accuses me of teaching kindergarteners about sex a man or honor?

John McCain cannot replenish his honor from a bottle that was filled in Vietnam. The shelf life of that bottle expired many, many years ago. John McCain is not a man of honor today; he is a man so consumed by ambition that he will commit one dishonorable act after another to win the glittering prize of Presidential power. Honor is not a preserved and stored attainment that excuses any subsequent action, and it is particularly dishonorable to use past glory to claim permanent exemption from the consequences of bad conduct.

So take a closer look at the bottled honor of John McCain, my fellow citizens, and ask yourselves why Senator McCain acts dishonorably today. Honor cannot be permanently attained by any man before his death. He must defend and preserve his honor in all the acts of his life. Whatever honor John McCain attained in Vietnam has been spilled and scattered in the imprudent and ambitious actions of his subsequent career. Look again, America, and see that the bottle of John McCain’s honor is empty. It is as empty as McCain’s promises for reform and as useless as his obsolete and dangerous views on foreign policy. The highest duty before us is to preserve our country, my fellow Americans, not our nostalgia for the lost honor of John McCain.

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afganistan – August 2008

Iraq

There have been 4,468 coalition deaths — 4,154 Americans, 2 Australians, 1 Azerbaijani, 176 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 1 Czech, 7 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 5 Georgians, 1 Hungarian, 33 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 Korean, 3 Latvian, 22 Poles, 3 Romanians, 5 Salvadoran, 4 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians — in the war in Iraq as of September 5, 2008, according to a CNN count. { Graphical breakdown of casualties }. The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose deaths have been reported by their country’s governments. The list also includes seven employees of the U.S. Defense Department. At least 30,568 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan.

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afganistan – July 2008

Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez comes home for funeral

A hearse bearing the remains of 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez came to a halt in front of his father’s house in Lawrence, the scene of a 14-month vigil as the family awaited word of his fate. A memorial shrine with floral arrangements and half-burned votive candles was on the sidewalk. (7-25-08)

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afganistan – June 2008

A Nation that sends its Sons and Daughters into Occupations?

A C-17 Airforce Transport plane arrives in Kandahar, Afghanistan to receive the bodies of five U.S. service members killed. Though more than 1,000 US and coalition forces were on hand to participate in the “ramp ceremony,” a Los Angeles Times reporter and photographer were asked to leave the area by a military public affairs officer. A Pentagon policy banning coverage of this particular event was cited as the reason. [Photo: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times]

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq/Afganistan – May 2008

Arlington South Memorial -Memorial Day Weekend ’08

Why is Peace Not Patriotic?

That’s the question asked by The Real News Network


Back on Thursday, May 15, 2008 I asked a question as well: PEACE Is A Political Statement?.

 

Final Salute

Remember this photo? I’m sure you’ve seen it a dozen times as it’s made it’s way around the web. Her name is Katherine Cathey and she’s a mother, a mother of a son who never met his father Marine 2nd. Lt. Jim Cathey. Katherine mentions this photo in a video, of which I’ll give you the link to in a moment, one you should view.

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