I thought you might be interested in this one:
(This is Sunday, May 25, 2003 - and what is called Memorial Day Weekend in the States)...
My wife and I went to church today (Sunday AM) here in our small town. The pastor, during his warm-up portion of the service, made mention of the fact that this is Memoriad Day weekend. He then said something to the effect that we wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedom of being able to go to church, maybe not even to be alive, if it weren't for the American veterans who served in the U.S. military.
At about that point, the pastor asked all military veterans in the congregation to stand up.
For some reason that I couldn't verbalize, I refused to stand. Cathy asked me to stand several times, but I was determined not to. Now, I think I understand...
- When I was in the Air Force, the American citizens hated the Vietnam War... and by association, they hated us. I remember that my fellow airmen and I were admonished over and over, time after time, to never go into town (Amarillo, Texas) in uniform. Our close-cut hair was bad enough. The locals would often provoke a fight or simply gang up on a GI. There were a lot of beatings. We were made to feel ashamed, and to act like second-class citizens because we were in the military.
- Years later, as a member, and twice-elected Commander of my American Legion Post, I saw the membership of all veteran groups dwindle, and it became difficult to find guys to turn out for projects. Virtually everyone said that ever since Bill Clinton became President, military service and patriotism was way out of style.
- Even now, and even after George Bush's success in Iraq, the American people really have no use for the military. During the last presidential election, Tom Daschle and the Democratic Party made a point that ballots from the members of the military should not be counted. And, the majority of the American people apparently agreed. I remember Jay Leno's monologue one evening included a joke, "I don't know why we should have to count the votes of the military. Especially those overseas. If they don't care enough about this country to stay here, why should they have the right to vote?" There was a big applause and laughter on that one.
So, as this Memorial Day comes around, I want to tell you all something. I'm ashamed that I ever served in the Air Force. Bill Clinton proved that those who avoided military service have more influence in America than those schmucks who do serve. My recommendation to my grandkids is this: DO NOT SERVE IN THE MILITARY! LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER-ONE. Let the fools sign up or get drafted. You're far better off looking out for yourself, and screw everyone else!
As for me? I can't wait to move to another country!