Category: Military Thingies

I Read This For the First Time in My Life Friday

Saturday night, I could have written it.

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!
~ Rudyard Kipling

UPDATE: And we’ve now heard officially about our boy, John…

Illinois, California Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Attack

The Department of Defense on Monday identified two U.S. soldiers killed in an explosion at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan.

The department said 20-year-old Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt of Tamaroa, Illinois, and 30-year-old Sgt. John W. Perry of Stockton, California, died of injuries inflicted by an improvised explosive device. Two American contractors also died in the explosion Saturday morning. Another 16 U.S. service members and one Polish soldier were wounded.

Iubelt and Perry were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

UPDATE Deux: Oh, more info and his sweet face…

There are other families in this agony who need to be remembered in your prayers as well, please.

We Are So Proud of You, Sgt John

From your first day on Earth, when I looked at your little red face through the hospital glass, to the day we watched you marching with that uniform on and got to meet the incredible woman who would become your wife, with everything (like 2 children) in between and afterwards, you have FOREVER been an integral, much loved part of OUR lives. Your mom Kcruella has been the sister I never had and you? Our second son, Ebola’s little brother, forever cousin, the family ties thicker than blood.

I can’t think of anything to say, my heart is so heavy and sick. Ebola had something perfect to say and so I will leave it to him, with a simple God bless you, baby boy and I pray He holds your family close.
JohnAndMe002

Dear Lord, we love you so much.

I was raised the sole child of two Marines in Southern California; my friends and my family are their friends/coworkers and children from while my parents were stationed there. Three of those children were my brothers, even while we’ve always referred to each other as cousins over the last thirty years. Years of playing hide and seek, riding bikes, of reiterating every line to Predator and/or Aliens as the movies played, laughing and bitching at each other, playing capture the flag, tag, finding injured animals and trying to nurse them to health, and telling bad jokes. We’ve all gone our separate ways over the years: the twins are successful in business, the other two of us entered service. All of us rarely get to see each other, even for special occasions, but it’s always the normal shit talking, smiles, laughter, the hate and situational discontent of youngsters. We all still talk to this day, almost thirty years later.

At 0136Z on the 12th of November, while I slept in the comfort of my home in the Pacific, the Taliban took part of my childhood. They took our brother. They took him from a loving wife, their beautiful children, from his mother and father, from an extended family, of blood and without, who loves him dearly. I’d just shot him a message ten days before, telling him happy birthday. I can’t stop reading our last email chain, filled with our normal bullshitting, split over days due to conflicting schedules and locations.

John: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Me: “I assume making huge mistakes and blaming other people. How’s life cuz?”

John: “Life is good. Probably not as pleasant as Guam, but the ol’ Stan has its perks. You can buy a magic carpet over here but it won’t fly. It will make around $1500 disappear from your wallet. I just got a box from your mom and dad loaded with cookies. How much longer is your tour over there?”

Me: “Probably extending until Oct. Waiting to see if my SERE instructor or HUMINT packages get accepted. If they do, the AF retains me, if not I get out and go back to contracting. How in the fuck do camel rugs run 1500? What a racket. lol”

John: “So you’re staying in Guam until October or are you getting out then? Those rugs are expensive but about 1/4 the cost they are in the states for a handmade Kashmir Persian rug. Smoother and softer than a babys’ ass. They’ve got all kinds of crap out here you can get custom made. I’m thinking about getting a new MOS myself but I’ve got to wait until I get back and find out where the Army is sending me next.”

The last words between John and I are shooting the shit about a fucking rug. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way: it was us, as we’ve always been. We’re both family and we know it, it never required quaint expressions or platitudes of familial bullshit. I chuckle thinking about it, things never changed in all those years, even though we’re both vastly different individuals from who we were in our youth. I still remember trying to explain to him as kids that his wearing his LA gear shoes lit up and gave away our position during capture the flag. His talking me into telling a dirty joke, memorizing it the first time through, smiling and running to rat me out to Pop.

I can’t do shit but sit here, hate that I can’t kill every one of these goat fucking shit shamans, and wait for a time where I can do something besides tell our families I love them. When I came into the Air Force, my highest honor, to this day, was escorting my flight commander, Nathan Nylander’s family. The distinct, burning memory I have of that is standing at attention on the flight line as his body was brought off the aircraft, and having his young children begin to cry, not a stones toss from me, as the realization set in that it was really happening. It fucking destroyed me. That pain, though painfully memorable, was momentary. It was the singular hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, until now. I know that is coming for my family and the absolute pain and hatred it inspires in me is indescribable. I want to strike out, to defend something that has already passed defending. There is nothing but the most tenuous vapors the wind to strike at. My hatred accomplishes nothing, which only makes me hate all the more deeply. I am sitting at the squadron right now as I write this, a non-commissioned officer in the strongest military on the planet, thousands of miles from our families, on a beautiful island filled with wonderful people that can’t drive to save their lives… and //I can’t fucking do anything.// Now, I’ve typed a small book and said nothing I wanted to say by it.

I’ll close with what John already knew: I love him like a brother, and I wish all our/my friends had had the opportunity to get to know the fucking badass he grew into. I have no hesitation in saying he grew into a better man than I did and that will live on through his children.

JohnAndBratty

HAPPY VETERANS’ DAY!

GeoffandToadThank you, EVERY one!

brat

bobanddaddy

Happy 241st Birthday to My Beloved

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!!!!

EGAFlagEagle

OO-RAH and Semper Fi!!

Yes, It’s An “Isolated Incident”…

…it’s isolated the ship in dry dock

The US Navy (USN) acknowledged that delivery of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) will not occur in 2016 as the navy must determine the cause of problems with two main turbine generators (MTGs) on the next-generation aircraft carrier.

The USN has been working to determine the root cause of the problem, and how to fix and prevent recurrence of these issues.

The problem with the MTGs is an isolated incident, Vice Admiral Thomas Moore, commander Naval Sea Systems Command, said on 2 November, at the Washington, DC, Navy Yard.

Seems to me we’ve got some reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally expensive toys of late that ain’t quick working out the way they were supposed to.

D-Day

Remember.

What a Horrible, Ghastly, Almost Beyond Bearing Day

…for the military. Pensacola has lost one of our Blue Angels

Blue Angels pilot dies in Tenn. crash

Blue-Angels

…as the Air Force ALMOST simultaneously lost a Thunderbird

Thunderbirds fighter jet crashes in Colorado flyover after Air Force Academy graduation
Pilot Maj. Alex turner unhurt: officials credit him for dodging nearby homes

Minutes after his team streaked over President Obama and Air Force Academy cadets at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, the pilot of a Thunderbirds fighter jet maneuvered his plane away from homes as it crashed into a field near Colorado Springs.

Turner radioed he was having trouble with the jet and trying to direct it away from homes before the crash, said Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, commander of the Thunderbirds.

…even while tragedy struck in Fort Hood Texas:

ARMY
Crews search for 4 missing soldiers after Army vehicle swept away in floodwaters near Fort Hood, killing 5

U.S. Army teams and other emergency rescue crews are in a desperate search Friday for four soldiers still missing from a truck that was swept from a low-water crossing and overturned in a swollen creek at Fort Hood, killing at least five and injuring three.

There are no words. Just tears.

We Remember

Always.

cam

Dear Worthless Bureaucrat

Take notes, please:

People are DYING waiting on the VA, unlike folks at Disneyland who only THINK they’re going to die if Space Mountain breaks down.

VA Secretary Compares Long Hospital Waits To Lines At Disneyland

…“To me personally, the day to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring, what we should be measuring is the veterans satisfaction,” he said.
To illustrate his point, he cited the long lines at Disney theme parks.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line or what’s important?” he said.

“What’s important is: What’s your satisfaction with the experience.

Since dead men can’t complain, I guess those numbers are going up!

Somebody needs to leave.

I Knew a Marine Was Awarded a Navy Cross for BENGHAZI

What? YOU didn’t?

Just kidding. Neither did I.

Navy SEALs secret medals reveal heroism during past 15 years

WASHINGTON — Citations for two Navy Crosses and more than 100 Silver Star medals awarded secretly to Navy SEALs and a Marine for “extraordinary heroism” in the last 15 years reflect the fierce battles that have been fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to records obtained by USA TODAY.

The Navy decorated the Marine for saving the lives of civilians in Benghazi in September 2012. Several SEALs earned theirs for intense combat in Ramadi, others for rescuing hostages in Afghanistan. The Navy also honored the deadly efficiency of the “American Sniper,” the late SEAL Chris Kyle.

Benghazi

The most tersely worded citation accompanied the only other Navy Cross, awarded to a Marine gunnery sergeant. His heroism on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, came amid the chaos and controversy that surrounds the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. A House committee continues to investigate the attack, the U.S. response and the role of Hillary Clinton, then the Secretary of State and now the likely Democratic nominee for president.

It’s possible, through the citation and congressional reports on Benghazi, to sketch out his actions that night. The citation refers to his actions “in support of Overseas Contingency Operations in Sept. 2012” but does not say where. The Navy has acknowledged that it did award a Navy Cross to the Marine for his actions that night.

A House intelligence committee report on Benghazi refers to a two-person detachment of military personnel and other security personnel who flew from Tripoli that night to rescue Americans. They arrived at the besieged compound, and within 11 minutes were under attack by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. The attack killed two and severely wounded two others. The Marine helped treat the wounded, repel attackers and organize the evacuation.

His “valorous actions, dedication to duty and willingness to place himself in harm’s way for the protection of others was critical to the success of saving numerous United States civilian lives,” the citation says.

Interesting things are starting to filter out about that video inspired rumble in the Sahara. (You know, the one where the SecState at the time has said no Americans died?) First we learn from disgruntled AirForce types cooling their heels in Aviano that they WERE turning and burning on the tarmac, just waiting for the high sign to take off and rock some Jihadis’ world.

When we were told there wasn’t anyone who could. Administration/Hillary Clinton claim status?
LIE.

Now, with this terse little report of a Marine Gunny’s extraordinary (read: MARINE) courage and exceptional organization in the middle of the shit, we learn that folks FLEW INTO TRIPOLI SPECIFICALLY with the intent to RELIVE BENGHAZI.

When we were told they couldn’t. Administration/Hillary Clinton claim status?
LIE.

I don’t care WHO is running against Hillary Clinton, but I’m voting for them.

Hillary “Didn’t Lose a Single Person”/”Went to Bed When the Call Came” Clinton

…wants you to know she really would make a fine president.

‘We could have been there’: Squadron member speaks out on stalled Benghazi response

His squadron got the alert: a “real world mission was going down.”

The team – at Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy – raced to the field and was briefed, as planes were armed and prepared to launch. Hundreds of miles away, fellow Americans were under attack in Benghazi.

“There were people everywhere,” said the witness, who was on the ground that night but wished to remain anonymous. “That flight line was full of people, and we were all ready to go” to Benghazi.

Only they were waiting for the order. It never came.

“The whole night we were told that we are waiting on a call,”…

A old squadron Marine Corps friend of ours pointed out on FaceBook that the Google Map seems to have been adjusted to reflect to administrations contention that no one could get there in time. Google is saying it’s a NINETEEN HOUR FLIGHT from Aviano to Benghazi.

Damn. That has to be by State Department email retrieval time, because it’s only FOURHUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES as a crow flies. As an F-18 flies?

About a half an hour.

As an AC-130 Spectre flies?

Two hours, three MAX.

Horrifying it HAS to be said: pray every night for those brave Americans in uniform on the ground against ISIS and the Taliban. The ONE thing an American could ALWAYS count on was the cavalry coming to the rescue.

No.
More.

Somebody Rates a Cookie

The BIGGEST one they can find, God bless him.

ISIS Fighters Reportedly Savaged By American Military Working Dog

An American military dog is being hailed a hero after charging ISIS militants during a recent firefight in northern Iraq.

…The incident purportedly took place in northern Iraq, not far from the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, and near the village where an American Navy SEAL was killed in battle on May 3. According to the British paper, Daily Star Sunday, a small team of SAS commandos were en route back to their base when one of their four vehicles was struck by a roadside bomb. The troops were immediately encircled by about 50 ISIS militants, who were armed with a pair of machine gun-mounted Toyotas.

Taking fire from three directions, the commandos dismounted their vehicles and scrambled for cover. A fierce firefight ensued, and the Brits feared they were being overrun. We’re assuming the jihadists were not expecting what happened next. As the battle raged, a U.S. soldier, who was attached to the SAS team, decided to give the enemy a taste of American might — or, shall we say, American bite — in the form of a pissed off German shepherd.

German shepherds — sometimes referred to as “Alsatians” in European countries — are often favored by U.S. military units because they’re intelligent, loyal, and extremely aggressive when need be. This one was no different. As soon as the American unleashed the K-9, the ISIS militants tried to shoot it. They missed.

The dog leaped at one of the fighters, ripping into his face and neck, before mangling the arms and legs of another. Both militants turned and fled, screaming.

“[The dog] could sense the tension and had an overpowering urge to protects its handler and the other troops,” a source told Daily Star. “A snarling [German shepherd] running at you is very frightening and probably not something the jihadis had encountered. The dog did its job and returned to its handler with its tail wagging.”

Happy, happy, HAPPY ending. What a GOOD dog!

Roger

Tango

American wife of Air Force colonel confirmed killed in Brussels terror attack after New York siblings also identified as being among the dead

This Video is a Monument to the EVERLASTING SHAME

…of the MALE SAILORS on those Navy boats.

Check out the place settings. Check out the movement IN THE CORNER when the boys are happily STUFFING THEIR FACES.

Guess who wasn’t ALLOWED to eat?

I also notice she’s changed out of her hijab and wrapped herself in a blanket of some sort. GOOD FOR HER.

‘Twould appear she’s the owner of the only set of BALLS in the entire crew.

That American servicemen would act in their own interest and abandon one of their own is DISGRACEFUL.

I hope she lit every jack one of them up royally when they got back to terra USA, and that she NEVER EVER lets the craven cowards off the hook.

DISGRACEFUL

So Turkey Just Shot Down One of Vlad’s Jets

Turkish F-16 shoots down Russian fighter jet near Syria border

Great picture of it in flames going down. Sort of like the WORLD while Obama golfs, eh?

From the White House this morning: “Shit happens. Get over it.
DailyNewsCover

WWIII coming soon to a theater near you.

Happy Veterans Day!

THANKS.

HAPPY 240th Birthday to my BELOVED

UNITED STATES MARINES CORPS!

We go back a ways with our family involvement, from Grampa who fought through Central America in the Banana Wars…
GrampaHaggerty
…to both of HIS sons (and a son-in-law). THIS handsome young uncle here…
UncleJohn
…hung around the Corps long enough for a certain young boot camp graduate to be able to attend his retirement…
MeNUncleJohn
…and heartily concur with her choice in men. 😉
DaddersUSMC

And that’s the just scratching the surface of Leathernecks in the family.

OO-RAH and Semper FI!

32 Years Ago Today

…the Beirut Barracks were blown into the sky. And major dad, Kcruella and myself lost a dear friend in that unholy, unforgivable rubble.

Rest in peace, Scipio Williams, 1st Sergeant of Marines. Know you are remembered and much loved.

They Want to Be Commander in Chief

..of ANYTHING in a uniform is okay, I guess. As long as they get to be in charge.

In Obama’s Jaundiced Eye, That’s NOT a Bug

it’s a feature.

Odierno: Army ‘dangerously close’ to being cut too deep

As the Army prepares to cut 40,000 more soldiers in order to fit into a shrinking budget, the service is in danger of becoming too small for an increasingly dangerous world, the Army’s top officer said, and that may embolden our enemies to act.

“If we get small enough where some of these [world] leaders don’t believe the Army can respond or deter them, if you can’t … deter them from believing they can accomplish something … that increases the threats and danger to the United States,” Odierno said in an exclusive sit-down with Army Times. “And I don’t know what that level is, but I think we’re getting dangerously close to that level now.”

Awwww…

Look how they brought their boy home. How everyone came to say good-bye.

Semper Fi, LCpl Wells.

We Are Heartsick, Angry

…and just feel ill.

Your heart is simply torn out, seeing their faces and learning more about these slaughtered Marines.

Slain Marine’s last words to girlfriend: “ACTIVE SHOOTER”

The Marine Corps has identified the four men killed in an attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

They were identified Friday by the Marines as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan of Hampden, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, North Carolina; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wisconsin; and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells of Cobb County, Georgia, who a family spokesman says went by Skip.

Skip Wells
Lance Cpl. Squire Wells was swapping text messages Thursday with his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, excited that she had booked a flight to visit him in Chattanooga after months apart.

“Can’t wait anymore,” Wells texted. “Yes you can honey,” his girlfriend, Caroline Dove, replied.

His next two words would be the last she’d ever hear from him.

“ACTIVE SHOOTER,” he wrote.

She thought he was kidding: “You are so weird,” she replied.

Hours of silence. “I love you,” she tried. Hours more passed, the news out of Chattanooga becoming clearer. “Hon, I need you to answer me please,” she wrote.

It would not be until Friday that she learned his fate…

Thomas Sullivan
Ripples of grief were apparent as a stream of visitors brought flowers, food and gifts Friday to the Hampden, Massachusetts, home of Jerry and Betty Sullivan, the parents of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan. A police officer was stationed outside to keep reporters and onlookers away. Masslive.com said Sullivan, 40, grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Pentagon said he had been enlisted nearly 18 years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq and earning two Purple Hearts.

His hometown mayor, Dominic Sarno, called Sullivan a man who “dedicated his life in brave service.” Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags to half-staff as he proclaimed “Terror comes home to Massachusetts.” Sullivan’s unit – India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines – called him “one of our own” on its Facebook page. A giant U.S. flag and another representing the Marine Corps hung outside a Springfield restaurant owned by Sullivan’s brother Joseph.

“He was our hero,” read a post on the Facebook page of Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant, “and he will never be forgotten.”…

Carson Holmquist
So proud a Marine was Sgt. Carson Holmquist that when he finished boot camp, he returned to his hometown of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and paid a visit to his high school dressed in his formal blues. Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt, who was one of Holmquist’s football coaches, remembers the day his former cornerback showed up, the pride in his accomplishment apparent.

“When he became a Marine he was very proud of that,” Watt said Friday…

David Wyatt
Tony Ward remembered Staff Sgt. David Wyatt as the young Boy Scout who would run up mountains, just for fun, seeking to best the time of others.

Ward, who now lives in Helena, Montana, was Wyatt’s scoutmaster when he was in high school in Russellville, Arkansas. Wyatt and Ward’s son were good friends and worked together at a Boy Scout camp. He said Wyatt attained the Eagle Scout rank and graduated from high school in 1991. He was married with young children, Ward said.

He’s the kind of man that this country needs more of,” he said.

Lord knows that was true of every single one of these tremendous Leathernecks. God bless you guys and hold your families close.
Semper Fi.

A Confederate Flag Flying History Lesson From Ebola

So, over the past three days I’ve had to rebut some pretty stretched logic, repeatedly, so screw it, here’s my take on the South Carolina (SC) bit:

First, history lessons, the colloquial “Confederate Flag” is not, nor has ever, represented the Confederate States of America (CSA), in fact it was proposed as a replacement for the Stars and Bars and rejected. The battle flag, that saw use from the Battle of Manassas onward as the CSA battle standard, was the Southern Cross, the colloquial modern day “Confederate flag”. There is a large difference between battle standards and national flags, battle standards allow you to find, follow or recover position with the rest of your group, which is the reason it replaced the Stars and Bars on the battle field, as the original CSA flag, the Stars and Bars, looked too much like Union colors, which caused confusion within the ranks during pitched battles.
Why did the Southern Cross become the colloquial “Confederate flag”? The answer is a combination of general ignorance, which is on rampant display currently in both social and corporate media, and it’s adoption by a number of less than savory groups in the South, from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), directly after the war, to the Democratic Dixiecrats, who tried to make sure that the mistakes of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case, Plessy v Ferguson, remained the norm in the 1940s. Arguing that the Southern Cross doesn’t have negative connotations is as equally ignorant as arguing that the Southern Cross is indeed the national flag of the Confederacy, but we’ll get back to that.

While the Dixiecrats effectively lost their push to make sure that “separate, but equal” from Plessy v Ferguson remained in effect, effectively co-mingled property segregation, their remnants were successful in 1962 of getting the Southern Cross flag flown over the capitol dome of the SC Statehouse. It would remain there for just shy of forty years. In 2000 it was removed, under a compromise, and place next to the Confederate monument; the compromise itself required a two-thirds majority to remove it from grounds. Keep in mind, this is a battle standard, not a national flag, not put in place to honor the individuals concerned with the monument. The flag is not lowered while the United States national flag flies at half-staff, which is nothing short of atrocious.

Make no mistake, the Southern Cross has very negative post-war historical connotations. I’ve seen it repeatedly stated that this is about “heritage” the past few days, but if that were true, there’d be no issue with removing the battle standard and instead putting one of the actual three CSA national flags in it’s place: none of which have an iota on the Southern Cross for negative impact, even with fighting a war partly about slavery. Personally, I’d say the Blood-Stained Banner, the last of the three, is quite likely the most accurate as it was the flag under which the Confederacy lost and was one of the flags surrendered at Appomattox. While both the Stainless and Bloodied Banners bear the Southern cross, they are not the Southern Cross which was adopted by a multitude of blatantly racist groups for more than 150 years of American history. Though, I doubt the multitude of people on the other side arguing racism would see a difference, so the actual Stars and Bars might be a better choice to fly.

This is a State decision, regardless of how much anyone argues it: it’s statute, SC will do as it does. However, let’s not pretend there aren’t better options than the hyperbole of either side of either restoring it to the State capitol statehouse or the absolute removal of a historical remembrance, from State grounds or personal property. This particular flag that is being argued over, is not a part of the war memorial, but added to the lower State grounds to remove it from the dome.

Personally? Replace it with the Stars and Bars, solves most of the issues on both sides. The actual one, not the one that talking heads keep claiming is the CSA battle standard. Plessy vs Ferguson might be one of the worst decisions in the history of any non-tyranical, statutorily guided nation in the history of human kind. I hope the members of the Justice Brown SCOTUS are turning in their graves.

200 Years Ago Today

Ebola Gives the HuffPo a THOROUGH Fisking

…as they agitate to liberate Guam.

Guam–the only occupied U.S. territory in the Pacific–was the first island to be invaded by the Japanese and the last to be liberated by the United States.

The only occupied US territory in the Pacific? If you’re looking for civilian US territorial populations during WWII, why not mention the Philippines? I notice it is mentioned only in passing, which suggests some ignorance of Philippine history, especially during the time period being discussed. The Philippine islands were attacked at virtually the same time as Guam, ironically in the midst of seeking their independence from the United States, and weren’t liberated from Japanese forces until March of 1945, almost a year after the liberation of Guam. The Philippines may have departed as a US territory in 1946, but let’s not pretend that they weren’t one and that we didn’t lose American and Filipino lives over that area to make a facile appeal to emotion case that purposely or ignorantly devalues lives lost.

Philippine (civ/mil) and United States military deaths were between half a million and a million and a half, by most estimates. Guam losses were between one to two thousand dead, with the census at the time placing the population at 20,000; while “10%” might be statistically correct if we assume the most extreme estimations, it is absolutely feckless to insinuate that our honored dead matter more or less than some other grouping of our dead, only relative to the landmass on which they are killed or that their impending status as a non-territorial organism of the United States somehow made their lives worth less.

The United States, however, continuously disregards Guam’s sacrifices….not only did the act fail to provide meaningful citizenship rights, it explicitly stated that the president could still dispose of Guam’s land for military purposes at will.

The Organic Act and subsequent Acts until 1952 gave the exact same citizen rights as other territories enjoy to this day. Here on Guam individuals have all the benefits of being an American citizen, except for voting for President; the population of which could move towards becoming an associated free state, like Micronesia, an incorporated territory or remain an unincorporated territory. The 14th Amendment assures individuals of citizenship rights in territories, and the Organic Act incorporated Guam as a territory, rather than a military rule. It is well within the power of the people of Guam to incorporate, move for independence or remain, if that is their wish. The fact that author implies they are simply being stripped of their due rights is blatant victimization, as though they had no say in their relation to the United States. This is vaguely ironic to put forward; especially given the absence of nearly any mention of the Philippines, a now independent self-governing body that peacefully achieved that independence, directly after WWII, from the U.S. and then booted the remaining U.S. military out 1991.

Guam’s veterans receive inadequate medical services and communities adjacent to military bases generally obtain the least investment of any community under the U.S. flag.

As the U.S. Naval hospital on Guam cares of retirees, active duty and more, while also working with Guam Memorial Hospital to take on emergency care of the local population, when and where they can, I’d love to see some backing of this statement that actually makes a legitimate comparison to contiguous US services offered to my fellow veterans, much less citizens surrounding those bases.

Now, a proposed military buildup is opening old wounds as it aims to bring 35,000 additional military personnel to Guam and take up 2,500 more acres of land.

The author is overshooting that number by 30,000 additional military personnel. Only 5,000 Marines and their families are planned to be moved to Guam. The 2,500 acres are on Northwest Field, which is military land already. The effects of that are the installation of a range and possible impacts to the Ritidian Wildlife Refuge, near it, which is a separate argument based on environmentalism.

If the author wants to make the case that US territories, or even specifically Guam, as Puerto Rico has had a number of votes on the matter, should be encouraged to vote on their status as a territory? That’s fine, I’m all for it. However, the author chose not to bother actually examine history, because it would have been inconvenient to an appeal to emotion fallacy she wished to propagate. The author appears to seek value and devaluing the lives of US military, citizens and territorial citizens lost and impacted by the war, based on where they were lost, to further add emotional emphasis to that fallacy. That includes the lives of a great number of people on this island and even my own family members, who fought through this island chain to push the Japanese back from US territory.

TL;DR The author should be ashamed. The Huffington Post should have invested at least an iota of effort in fact checking.

~ Ebola

The contents of this rebuttal are the personal views of the poster, not the views of the Government of Guam, United States Government, military or any of its components.

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