Musings of the Chronologically Challenged™ Fourth Generation
Monday, March 17, 2003
MORE SEMPER FI
On Friday I posted a brief piece received in my mail-box from Capt. Smith, a Marine now in Kuwait. Yesterday I received the open letter below from a Marine, MGySgt. Ed Evans, unknown to me. I checked through Urban Legends for MGySgt. Evans and found nothing. Then I did a web search. That's when I found the second letter, "To Marine Wives", again from MGySgt. Evans, on Sgt. Grits' bulletin board at www.grunts.com. Once there, I could not leave until I had read all these inspiring messages. Take a few minutes to visit this USMC site. It is a plethora of Marine Corps info. All our wonderful military people make me proud to be an American. The Marine Corps is special to me only because of where I live and how many Marines I know. Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing keeps updates on the Air Force.
"Do Not Forget"
I sat in a movie theater watching "Schindler's List," and asked myself, "Why didn't the Jews fight back?" Now I know why.
I sat in a movie theater, watching "Pearl Harbor" and asked myself, "Why weren't we prepared?" Now I know why.
Civilized people cannot fathom, much less predict, the actions of evil people.
On September 11, dozens of capable airplane passengers allowed themselves to be overpowered by a handful of poorly armed terrorists because they did not comprehend the depth of hatred that motivated their captors.
On September 11, thousands of innocent people were murdered because too many Americans naively reject the reality that some nations are dedicated to the dominance of others. Many political pundits, pacifists and media personnel want us to forget the carnage. They say we must focus on the bravery of the rescuers and ignore the cowardice of the killers. They implore us to understand the motivation of the perpetrators. Major television stations have announced they will assist the healing process by not replaying devastating footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers.
I will not be manipulated. I will not pretend to understand. I will not forget.
I will not forget the liberal media who abused freedom of the press to kick our country when it was vulnerable and hurting. I will not forget that CBS anchor Dan Rather preceded President Bush's address to the nation with the snide remark, "No matter how you feel about him, he is still our president."
I will not forget that ABC TV anchor Peter Jennings questioned President Bush's motives for not returning immediately to Washington, DC and commented, "We're all pretty skeptical and cynical about Washington."
And I will not forget that ABC's Mark Halperin warned if reporters weren't informed of every little detail of this war, they aren't "likely -- nor should they be expected -- to show deference."
I will not isolate myself from my fellow Americans by pretending an attack on the USS Cole in Yemen was not an attack on the United States of America.
I will not forget the Clinton administration equipped Islamic terrorists and their supporters with the world's most sophisticated telecommunications equipment and encryption technology, thereby compromising America's ability to trace terrorist radio, cell phone, land lines, faxes and modem communications.
I will not be appeased with pointless, quick retaliatory strikes like those perfected by the previous administration.
I will not be comforted by "feel-good, do nothing" regulations like the silly "Have your bags been under your control?" question at the airport.
I will not be influenced by so-called, "antiwar demonstrators" who exploit the right of expression to chant anti-American obscenities.
I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American war protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.
I will not be softened by the wishful thinking of pacifists who chose reassurance over reality.
I will embrace the wise words of Prime Minister Tony Blair who told Labor Party conference, "They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent. If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000, does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?"
There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must!
I will force myself to: hear the weeping; feel the helplessness; imagine the terror; sense the panic; smell the burning flesh; experience the loss; remember the hatred.
I sat in a movie theater, watching "Private Ryan" and asked myself, "Where did they find the courage?" Now I know. We have no choice. Living without liberty is not living.
Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)
Not as lean, not as mean, but still a Marine
To Marine Wives:
I spent 27 years on active duty in my beloved Marine Corps, 21 of it married to this good-looking lady sailor. I had five overseas tours, three of them in combat, and only one with my family, late in my career.
Through it all my lovely wife, who at first was almost helpless with me, grew into a very capable, self-confidant lady. I was always worried about her, but I never heard about the difficult times until I was back in the good old USA. She felt I needed to keep my mind on what I was over there for, and she was right.
Letters and photos from her helped a great deal, as mine did for her. Home made cookies packed in popcorn, packages of Kool-aid to change the chemical taste of the water, little things like that. They all helped work through the loneliness. As others have said, she threw herself into her own life.
Did I mention the first tour in combat we had three kids? We eventually had five (I got home sometimes.) A lot of things went wrong, but like I said, I never heard about it until I was home. She, like you, cried her eyes out the first time, but she knew, like you ladies, that she needed to be strong, that there would be a tomorrow for us.
Today she deserves a medal, because she devoted her life to her country, too, and sacrificed just as I did.
It is a great thing your men are doing for their country. It's a great thing you are doing for your country. Your countrymen may never realize it, but you and your husbands will know. And that is what is important.
Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC-Ret.
Not as mean, not as lean, but still a Marine
January 31, 2003