Thursday, November 09, 2017

America's Soft Underbelly Exposed

If I were in a position to grab a podium and have cameras flash at me to hear what I had to say about the political turmoil going on in our country, I definitely wouldn't want to be seen as someone who is shredding it apart. I wouldn't stand up with a list of 79 angry accusations and problems, but rather identify areas that need to change for the better... and then offer solutions. Honestly in all of these various protests what I am seeing is all gripe and no solution. The waters are so muddy, it's difficult to understand what anyone is complaining about.

I wouldn't scream or yell or call names. I would simply state my case and ask for accountability and then I would suggest 90 days to come up with answers. That's what I would do. I'm not very big on crowds, especially angry crowds.

I didn't get a 2, 4, 6, or 8 year degree and maybe that's the problem. Instead, with my 12 year public school education, I went off to an increasingly unpopular war and lived in a 3rd World country for 651 days and got a real eyeful of just how great it is to live here in the US of A.

I can still think for myself. I have no inclination to make a major change in my life based on what someone in the entertainment industry or sports world thinks. They have the same amount of votes I have. Their agenda is not mine and I don't gain a vicarious thrill by aligning myself with them. Our "News" people don't give us the unbiased news; they interpret it for us so we can understand what conclusions to draw. They surely believe we cannot think for ourselves and anytime I read or hear a far left or right rant I know I am experiencing something I should probably ignore.

November 11th holds special meaning to my family aside from it being Veteran's Day. It's my son's birthday. He would be 34. It wasn't meant to be and like so many returning military, he simply could not find a way to adjust. One fateful night, his anti-depressant medicine from the VA and a bit too much Wild Turkey took him from us. That was 8 pain-filled years ago. He laid down and never woke up. He was as much a victim of the war experience as those sailors who drown when the USS Indianapolis sunk.

Speaking of that, I was honored by the Lion's club this week to be their speaker. My subject was my relationship with Lindsey "Zeb" Wilcox, who was a survivor of the shark-infested disaster. He told me one time that he always had the same nightmare - for over 60 years. He was a very kind and gentle man and one would never know or comprehend what he went through.

If anyone asks what to say to a veteran to show your appreciation, simply say "Thank you for your service." That simple line suffices and I want to say in return, thank you for supporting your coastie, soldier, sailor, Marine, or airman. No man or woman goes off to war without bringing their family with them. Families suffer through their time at war and most Veterans don't seem to recognize this. I do and I did. Thank you. So to you Veterans, when someone thanks you for your service, thank them back for their support.

In so many ways we are becoming a nation with a giant soft under-belly and this concerns me a great deal. When an Army deserter and traitor can walk free, then we are in big trouble. When an Army officer can pull a gun, yell "Allahu Akbar", and chop down soldiers in front of witnesses and receive 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder and years later is still alive, something has went seriously wrong with the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This man is clearly a terrorist and a traitor and should have been executed moments after they stopped him. I wonder how he would have fared under George Washington. Berdahl is a traitor, plain and simple.

I am all for laws, as we have a republic, but when terrorists are caught in the act, justice should be served in a very timely manner. How is it that someone can murder a group of people in plain sight with many witnesses and it be 18 months before their case is heard in court? In comparison, a Hollywood actor can simply be accused of a sexual crime and have all their shows cancelled immediately. The actor is tried and convicted without due process and no one seems to care other than stomping on their reputation. This makes no sense to me.

If you are accused of child neglect or abuse or sexual misconduct in this country, you are going down and down hard, regardless of what is later revealed, but you can be a mass murderer and get all the time in the world to clear yourself. It's exploitation of that soft underbelly we now have and it's getting softer and bigger every day. A strong military is no match for those who never cease to try and weaken our country. When I joined the military, I understood I was waiving my constitutional rights. Now? It doesn't matter. Our military judges are weak and scared of public opinion. If you think I am wrong, ask any veteran what should have happened to Sergeant Bergdahl or Major Nidal Malik Hasan.

Traitor and murderer Major Nidal Malik Hasan.     


Anonymous said...

DH: Bert, I have to say, this may be your best article yet. The part about Nick is so raw and true. The whole family is effected. I don't think my niece will ever be OK after he son's suicide. I pray though that she finds peace.
Thanks Bert

Anonymous said...

Another great column. November 11 is also special to me. My wife of 55 years passed away in 2012. November 11 was her Birthday . I am sorry for your loss.
Your columns express many of my thoughts that I am unable to articulate
Jerry Langford

Anonymous said...

MR: Great article as always my friend and brother Bert Marshall

. . . . . said...

Molly Nolen: Bert, I read your article in the paper today and you are right on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Marshall,

First I’d like to thank you for your thoughts that you regularly put in the Sun. I enjoy reading them and for the most part agree with your sentiments. I also want to express my condolences regarding your loss. I’m sure it has left a hole in your heart that will never heal.

I think we are probably similar in age and I am considered a Viet Nam era veteran but I was lucky. Although drafted (lottery #33) I spent 18 months in Germany mostly in a desk job and must admit that my 2 years of military service were 2 very good years. My brother wasn’t quit as fortunate. He joined the marines shortly after he graduated high school and headed to Viet Nam on Valentine’s day in 1968 and was killed on August 25, 1968. Since than I have met many that have served in Viet Nam and came home with the scars of war, which I would think you may have yourself and most definitely your son had. Based on these acquaintances it is not uncommon for me to tell others that possibly my brother Al was one of the lucky ones. Because his buddies that he left behind that did make it back were expected to come home and be normal. Now I’m not a hunter, and I don’t own a gun, so maybe I have a different mindset, but I don’t think it would have been possible for me to spend 13 months where my primary responsibility was to be point man of my patrol unit carrying a 50 caliber cleaning the area of any VCs or North Vietnamese and then one day walk off a plane and act like everyone else.

So you say what’s my point? Well you mentioned two criminals. Major Nidal Hasan and Sargent Bergdahl in your article. Regarding Major Hasan I think I probably agree with you. It does appear to me that he is was a terrorist and for that I don’t think I would have had a problem, if he had been sentenced to be executed, but regarding Bergdahl I don’t think it is quite so cut and dried.

You were in the military how often did you see people around you that just didn’t fit? We certainly had them in Germany and we weren’t in a war zone. Was Bergdahl one of these? It kind of sounds like it to me. Should he have been sentence to life in the stockade, or execution. Call me weak, but I’m glad I wasn’t called on to make that decision or to try to justify a sentence like that to his parents. What about the guy last Sunday who killed the 26 in the church in Sweetwater or wherever it was. Was he a Bergdahl or just a bad apple. I think the later.

And then there’s the rich & famous. I think that is a little more cut and dried, but I’ll leave that for another time.

Thank you again for making the Sun a little more interesting to read. I do it through an online subscription, which does make it easier to comment. I hope no offense was taken and keep up the good writing.

Sincerely, Dennis

Capitalism yes, Socialism no

I am not an expert on political systems or governments, but I like my freedom to choose by voting. I wish I would have paid close...