Monday, October 12, 2009

The Definition of “Help”

"We should not be punishing Patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness . . . . . . . I will end don’t ask don’t tell. That’s my commitment to you" President Barack Obama speaking to homosexuals in Philadelphia, 10 Oct 2009

Every year tens of thousands of the Nation’s finest young people flood into recruiting stations to join the ranks of the United States military. Winnowing the wheat from the chaff occurs before anyone meets a recruiter regardless of service. Hundreds of millions of Americans eliminate themselves from consideration because they don’t want to experience the danger, hardship, or endure the discipline inherent with military service. Many of those will profess love for their country but won’t risk sweating much less bleeding for her. Now enter a tiny minority who profess that they want to serve their country openly as homosexual men and women.

First of all, no matter how pure or well intentioned your desire to be in the military, no one has the inherent right to be a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, or Coast Guardsman. We reject thousands of applicants every year at the recruiting stations. Applicants who don’t meet the minimum requirements for education, health, or morality go home disappointed. Even after they pass that screening still thousands more don’t make it through recruit or officer initial training. During my time at Marine Recruit Depot San Diego the attrition rate for Marine recruits generally averaged 12%. Still more service members are involuntarily ejected from the military every year for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or medical reasons. Even more members are not allowed to remain in uniform or reenlist if they fail to advance in rank.

Second, we all serve based on the needs of our particular service. The term “service” implies unselfish and patriotic motivation. Though many are no doubt lured by promises of training, bonuses, and adventure, those things are of little consequence when one meets the glare of a Drill Instructor or is exposed to extreme danger. A service member might be refused continued service because of his training even though his service was otherwise superior. As the Marine Corps phased out A-6 Intruder aircraft, those Marines expert in A-6 maintenance were no longer needed. It was regrettable, even heart-breaking at times, but the very nature of service meant that the needs of the Marine Corps were greater than that of any single Marine or group of Marines. The needs of all of the services are greater than the personal desires of any individual American.

Finally, with apologies to Peter Drucker - Help is defined by the recipient. The fact that you want to help may be admirable, but if your attempt to serve will be disruptive or put other service members unnecessarily at risk – then it won’t be helpful. If your homosexual identity is more important to you than your patriotism – it isn’t about service, it is about you. There are plenty of other ways to show your patriotism – volunteer at the Red Cross or the USO. Give your old car to the Purple Heart Society or send a donation to the Wounded Warriors. Vote for people who will support and defend our troops – those are almost entirely Republicans at this point. Practice your patriotism by strengthening America by defeating socialism. Leave the serve to those who want to serve – not prove a point.

Conservative Resistance – Day 343

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