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Patriotism

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by jowilson275, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. jowilson275

    jowilson275 91' Si B16A

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    As a veteran of OIF/OEF '08-'09, I happen to run into fellow veterans quite often. (probably has something to do with the area in which I currently live) Not just from OIF/OEF, but from previous wars (or conflicts) like Desert Storm and occasionally Vietnam. And on a side note, my Command Sergeant Major (CSM) was actually in Somalia for the conflict which "Blackhawk Down" is based upon.

    I am out of the active Army now after serving three and a half years obtaining Corporal with an option to advance to Sergeant if I had reinlisted and one of the three years consisted of a 12 month tour in Iraq living in a scud bunker that had previously been captured from Sadaam's forces that used to serve as the Iraqi Army (IA) military inteligence headquarters.

    Now on to my reason for writing this thread, what is your take on Patriotism? Is it a subject that goes unspoken? Or displayed only by fellow Vets whom proudly fly the Stars and Stripes in their front yards and Rednecks with flags on the back end of their Chevys? Is it taboo for civilians to portray patriotism? Should it be reserved only for those who "understand" like the unspoken bond between bikers who wave at one another in traffic?

    I joined the Army because I felt it was my time to repay my country for the things that she has given me, whether it be tangible or not. It wasn't like I was on a dead end path or in need of a way out of any negative life situations i may have been faced with. Now what instills that kind of feeling like that in a guy like me? Or you? What is your take on this? And why the fuck are we even fighting these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? If hundreds of thousands of men and women can enlist and serve our country and potentially die, what makes me better than them to where I think I don't have to serve?

    I recieved a card from a Vietnam Veteran the other day who thumbed through several receipts and other things in his wallet that looked like they had been there for some time. On the front it says " Thank You for Your Service and Dedication to Our Country" and has a color image of a Soldier with a ruck sack on his back and an assault pack in his left hand as he bends over to speak to two children. On the reverse, it says, "Dear American Hero, I am not certain as to how to express my Gratitude for all you have done to secure my Freedom. Please accept this simple card as a Small token of my appreciation. -An Old Retired Soldier!" I plan to keep this token moving and hand this card off to the next Veteran whom I happen to bump into.

    ( I am in no way trying to persuade anyone to join the Military. Nor am I really condoning it. It's not a course for everyone. I am just thinking aloud.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
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  2. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    well, first, you should edit that post to make it a bit easier to read.

    but, in response, no, i dont believe that you have to serve your country to be patriotic. you just have to believe in what the country stands for.
    also, to be a true patriot in our country, you have to be willing to stand up against your own government when they are overstepping their boundaries. hence the right to bear arms. thats not to protect us from outside invasion, its to protect against our own government.

    i feel we dont have much right to be in anybodies country, telling them how to run their stuff. we cant even get our own country together and we are out trying to force others to be like us.

    as for the card, thats a pretty cool thing to come across, the guy has most likely been in the shoes of a soldier that was not given what he deserved. the way our government treats war vets is completely disgraceful and should be the biggest reason for somebody to not join the military. pass it on, eventually, it will get to somebody that really needs to read something like that.

    although, i never understood how going into a country that had no evidence of WMD's, and taking them over protected us in any way.
     
  3. 95b16coupe

    95b16coupe New Member

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    my patriotism is often confused with communist beliefs on this forum. just so you know, there are some members here who have served, and others who would give a big middle finger to our flag.

    i honestly don't think you (people) can understand the true meaning of patriotism without sacrificing anything for your country. there are too many people asking for free handouts who complain about our government. too many hypocrites that do nothing while asking for everything. americans for the most part just don't get it. they really don't. they don't understand hard work, tough times, or really shitty (i mean SHITTY) living.

    americans don't see what is going on over there. they don't understand vietnam or korea. they only understand kim kardashian and other bullshit of the sort.

    israel gets it. everybody serves 2 years. 99% of americans waste 18-20 years old anyway, why not contribute?

    To answer your question...you have put yourself in an elite group. one that will rarely be honored and appreciated by the very people you fought for and protected. those rights that you have secured for your nation will be trampled on by those who enjoy them. your are going to really be pissed off over the next few years by what you see from americans. flag burning, protests, riots, hating the president and government. but stand above it. keep your head high. you did what very few others are willing to do. so respect yourself. i respect you, and most of all, i respect myself for what i have done.

    you will share a common bond with many others for the rest of your life. you will have conversations with friends you never knew based on your history. enjoy, accept it, and live with it.
     
  4. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    It was about securing our national interests ie: Oil. And I do believe that there was legitimate concern as to the existence of WMD. Sadaam could have moved them out of the country or dismantled them before our entrance to discredit our operation. We have been fucking around in geo politics for far too long to let the chips fall where they may. The West has spent a very long time engineering situations to suite our interests. It isn’t just us either. It’s the Brits, Russians, and China. It’s all a giant ass proxy war. Vietnam is a shining example. Did the VC magically crap out AA and Migs? No, they got it from their neighbors to the west.

    Now you also have to take into account the moral obligation of helping those who cannot help themselves. Saddam was a son of a bitch. There is no question about that, and personally I do not think the drive from Kuwait in ’91 should have stopped. Someone who gasses his own people does not deserve to be in power, let alone be allowed to live. Iraq “turned out badly†because of severe mismanagement by both military commanders but it was royally screwed by the civilian management. The CPA dropped the ball in so many ways it is mind boggling. The Administration was so worried about being bent over by the media that they paid lip service to our “stunning success†and “total domination†of the enemy. If you get a chance, pick up The Strongest Tribe by Bing West. This is the fellow who wrote The Village, this guy knows what an insurgency is. He talks about the Iraqi police and military being disbanded, disallowing any former Ba’ath party members from running for office and instilling Iraqi leadership that had not been in the country for 10 years. Not having enough troops to secure the streets of Bagdad, Falluja, Sadar City, Mosul and Nasiriyah really set our efforts back as well. The general populous is going to back the horse that has the biggest chance of winning. Most folks hold the opinion that Americans have no stomach for a protracted war. We were raised on the 100 hour war, we had a perception that we would roll into Baghdad and be greeted with confetti and unicorns. If we would have shored our shit up in those first few months, restoring electricity, stopping the looting and providing public services like waste removal and clean water things may have been a lot different.

    Now, I have never served in the armed forces. I have formed my opinions from reading a great deal of books written by guys who are true to the word grunts all the way up to four stars. If anything all of my research and studies have given me a much better understanding that I have no fucking clue how hard it would be to get shit done in those conditions. The fog of war is as heavy as night. It is way too easy to look back with 80% of factual information at your finger tips compared to the 15% of shaking facts you had to go on at the time. The thing is, that 15% required you to make a decision now or suffer the loss of your men/woman and civilians.

    As for service to our country, I was very close to enlisting right out of High School. Instead, I decided to get some college under my belt to enlist in a little bit better situation. A year or two later my son was born. I knew that if I enlisted my girlfriend would leave along with my son. Not wanting to lose either one of them I have decided that I would “serve†in another capacity that is as fulfilling to me. I do think that not serving is something that will bother me for the rest of my life but I really love what I am doing now. I work for a Dept. of the government that provides very specific services for Veterans. And the position that I am in allows me to insure that guys like you, 95 and the rest of our veterans here on Hondaswap do not have to deal with idiots losing and or stealing your information. I will never know what it is like to have a bond with someone that is stronger than blood. But I feel that I have educated myself enough to know that I can never know what you or any of your brothers and sisters are talking about. I think I can understand in a very limited capacity but I will never know it. And anyone who claims otherwise is a damn fool. I for one love every single one of you guys. From the bottom of my heart you all mean a great deal to me. And I like to think that busting my ass in my current position is going to help you all live a little bit better.

    Well that was a long ass rambling post, sorry about that fella.
     
  5. jowilson275

    jowilson275 91' Si B16A

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    Hopefully it is a bit easier on the eyes now.
    My thread started off as quite a ramble so there is no reason to apologize. I appreciate everyones thoughts on my rant. It's nice to get viewpoints on a topic which is seldome spoke of. I was concerned that I wouldn't recieve much interest on the thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  6. klyph

    klyph Dismember VIP

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    "Be proud of your country"

    Take a look at the stereotypical average american. Are you proud of that?

    That sums up my feelings on the subject.
     
  7. EGProject

    EGProject YEEEEAAHHHHH

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    It's not so much serving your country as it is respecting what this country DID stand for, and respecting people who have fought or are fighting. I went to school with a few Iraq/Afghan vets and its amazing how crude and insensitive people are in relation to their combat experience. Somehow people expect tons of gory war stories, and every detail of combat. I cannot tell you how many immature teenagers and 20-somethings asked "did you kill anyone?", etc.

    Stuff like that makes me sad as to know the video game generation has lost all touch with reality and what makes true sacrifice.
     
  8. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    I tell people to shut up when they ask those kinds of questions of my buddies that are combat vets. I found the book On Killing very informative as to why it is hard for veterans to discuss their actions during conflict. Also, anyone who is considering "personal defense" should read it themselves to gain a better understanding of how the human mind works in these kinds of situations.
     
  9. jowilson275

    jowilson275 91' Si B16A

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    i too have been asked the same stupid question as most. the few times it has happened, i had a friend around me that has taken over to allow the person who had asked the question realize thier mistake. i agree that it could very well be the video game generation that altered the current state of mind causing them to believe that such questions are "ok" to ask.
     
  10. UNDR8D

    UNDR8D ...has a job!

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    Ya this isn't fuckin Call of Duty
     
  11. TommyTheCat

    TommyTheCat Gonzo Scientist

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    Wait, you DONT ride snowmobiles in the army?
     
  12. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    I have many friends that are in the military and have served overseas. They get respect... from other veterans and family members veterans. My grandmother still walks up to men in uniform and thanks them. And her husband was in Korea when she was pregnant with my mother.
    I agree with what you said. I don't think it's necessary, but I do want to serve my country.

    I support the troops, just not the cause. If people want to hate us, fine. Hate us in your country. Refocus our efforts to protect us when they decide to come hate us in our country. Close our borders from criminals and let people immigrate here the old fashion way, legally.

    Don't force our believes on people. I have my personal beliefs, but I don't go forcing them onto every shut in gamer because my way of life is better than his. If he wants advice, I'll gladly share it, but I'm not trolling Halo chat rooms telling people to go out, get drunk, and hit on women.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  13. UNDR8D

    UNDR8D ...has a job!

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    You've got it all wrong man. I LOVE Halo and I get (got) my fair share of snizz, and I get out, and get drunk at least two to three times a week...

    You are thinking of World of Warcraft and this guy:

    [​IMG]

    Not this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. jowilson275

    jowilson275 91' Si B16A

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    Unfortunately not. theres not much protection offered by them against EFP's
     
  15. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    I didn't direct it at you specifically, but you do know that there are Halo/CoD kids that never leave their rooms. But if they're happy, have at it. They're not affecting me and I'm not affecting them.
     
  16. UNDR8D

    UNDR8D ...has a job!

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    I know I know...I was just making lolz
     
  17. jowilson275

    jowilson275 91' Si B16A

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    The best way I can voice my words is from the words from another man whom I respect in the upmost honor possible. A man who had saved my life. "All I can say is that under my watch, I have stood vigilant. So that you my sleep safe tonight because I have stayed awake. Religion, race, and politics play no factor in wich I believe. Weither he be my neighbor or my countryman, I serve so that you don't have to." My best friend, and buddy from my time in the Army and Iraq- Erik Strecker
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
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  18. Drake

    Drake Well-Known Member VIP

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    YouTube - gk ending final ep 7

    This is what plays at the end of the HBO mini series Generation Kill. A friend of mine that served two tours is friends with the guy who wrote and recorded this.
     
  19. Hondadude141

    Hondadude141 ¿pɐǝɥ ɹn ɥʇıʍ uıop nɥɔʇɐʍ

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    Jowilson, God Bless and thank you for serving, it is good to see someone else on here who has served. I haven't been involved with either theatre yet, but am scheduled to go by the end of this year.

    God Bless brother.
     
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