Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell and the political farce

Don't ask, don't tell, a military policy started under President Clinton as a compromise, had a shot of being repealed today. It was shot down. In fact, it never came to a vote.

The political silliness that started this ball rolling downhill, was trying to attach it to a military spending bill and run it rough shod through the Senate. All Republicans and a couple of Democrats voted to not vote on it.

But there's more. Harry Reid also attached an immigration reform bill to it, making it an even bigger political show.

Why must military funding get hijacked by political shenanigans? It should be a stand alone bill. In fact, bills of this magnitude should be stand alone anyway.

Politics should have nothing to do with sound military doctrine or policies anyway.

In fact, even one of the writers of the immigration bill voted it down in a direct showing in defiance of politics and military funding.

But people who supported the two cargo bills knew this. They knew neither would pass. They wanted to shove this out there in hopes of scoring political points against those who voted against it. But the American people are smarter, we hope.

This is not about gays in the military. Never has been. Gays have served in the military. Admirably. Anyone who has served, knows this. But we kept our mouths shut 99% of the time. It was a non issue. People kept to themselves, did their jobs, and moved on.

But now we have political people, many who have not served in the military, trying to somehow equate the military with social justice. The military is no such animal. We kill them all, ask questions later, for one example. We drop bombs. We break things. We kill people. Sometimes innocent bystanders. In war and defense of this country, that is a sad reality.

The military cannot be used for someone's perceived political justice. The military does not operate that way. In fact, is the exact opposite of political justice. If it weren't, the military would be a complete failure. Everything the military tries to accomplish in times of war, goes head to head with political justice.

Getting back to gays. If being gay in the military is a problem, then it must be treated the same as anyone and anything that causes a problem for the mission at hand. That goes for heterosexual as well. People get kicked out of the military for all sorts of reasons. Being gay is just not something that people are routinely kicked out for, even though some politicians want you to believe.

Since the war in Iraq began, almost 30,000 military personnel have been kicked out. Of these, about 2,100 have been gay. As stated above, if you just do your job, nobody says anything much. If you cause problems, gay or straight, that's when trouble starts. Why do you need to broadcast certain personal things to the world?

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Friday, September 10, 2010

First living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan

Yesterday, President Obama spoke with Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta to inform him that he will be awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry at the risk of his life that went above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Giunta will be the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. The President thanked Sergeant Giunta for his service and extraordinary bravery in battle.

Further information about the date and time of the ceremony will be released at a later date.


Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.

When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta's squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon's ability defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

From Homeless to West Point: Tyki Nelworth

Tyki Nelworth is what the American Dream is all about. Work hard, stay clean, succeed.

This young man as seen a lot in his short years. His father is dead. His mother is in prison. Tyki has moved from home to home. And yet somehow this remarkable young man is on his way to the military academy at West point.

For some reason, Tyki Nelworth rejected gangs and the bad ways of the streets. Instead choosing to focus on academics. He credits the motivation partly to being dubbed a crack baby by his sister. Tyki chose to use his situation as a reason to focus high, not low.

Tyki Nelworth just graduated fromWashington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles where he excelled academically. Not just regular classes. His schedule was filled with Advanced Placement classes that included calculus and biology. His GPA was a mind boggling 4.23.

When the school and surrounding community heard about this young man, donations came from churches, alumni, and others. They gave him clothes and money that allowed him to continue.

Can the United States be prouder of such a man?

Tyki Nelworth is what this country stands for. And we are sure glad that our future Army will have officers like him.

We wish him the best!