Saturday, June 23, 2007

Jar Heads

I read an article on Chicago Tribune.com today that really upset me.

Why did this article get my dander up? Basically, it was for two reasons. First the Marine Corps Sergeant involved should have had better sense, but because he's a Jar Head, he didn't think (his military training taught him to react rather than think). Secondly the DOD should not have any say in limiting a persons “First Amendment Rights”.

The DOD Directive issued in 1996 and renewed in 2003, says “members of the Armed Forces are prohibited from participating in off-post demonstrations when they are on duty, in a foreign country, when their activities constitute a breach of law and order, when violence is likely to result, or when they are in uniform.”

What is the DOD saying? We can’t disagree with the current administrations policy? Are they saying that people who are willing to give up their lives for their country, have also signed away their First Amendment Rights.?

Follow me on this one.

The current oath that a person takes when joining the military is: "I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Did our beloved President give an order to the military not to protest his War in Iraq? I can just hear him now "I don't care how many of you young people die, as long as you obey my directives".

How many of our soldiers actually know or are taught the military regulations or the Uniform Code of Military Justice? Who in the Marine Corps actually see the DOD Directives? These are guys and gals that are out there doing a job, for their misguided management. They obey and follow orders! For a Marine - that's all there is.

Look at the keywords in the enlistment Oath. “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe the Constitution of the United States gives us the right to protest. If you are supporting the Constitution you are therefore supporting those rights granted in the 1st Amendment.

I openly protested the Viet Nam War, while in the military in the mid 1960’s. My Dad, a WWII Vet was also against that War. He called it “Johnson’s War” and blamed LBJ for killing JFK to prolong the War (but that’s an entire different subject) and I agreed with him, which was a very rare thing for me to do at that time.

What honks me off is that this Marine Sergeant (who obviously served his country well) will get a less than honorable discharge for something that wasn’t fully explained to him (the fact you cannot wear any part of your uniform while protesting the "War in Iraq"). But our military prefers not to explain things to their troops. To our Government they are just expendable bodies (numbers), and this is a shame.

I Support Our Troops!

The Beach Bum

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