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December 14, 2004



While I can appreciate Randy's "I am a vet and you're not" approach in the tongue-in-cheek vein it was offered, too many people use this logical fallacy as a crutch to establish their unquestionable credibility and to disdain others not up to their perceived standing.

If that were true, then since I have not been a school principal, I can have no valid opinion regarding local school board decisions or policies. Since I have not murdered anyone, I cannot sit in judgment of an accused murderer, since I have not "walked a mile in his shoes."

Baloney. If we based all of our decisions on this standard, none of us would be qualified to vote - on anything!

As for the military and what the poor solider did or didn't sign on for, that is irrelevant. He volunteered and signed a legal, binding contract. Perhaps if he can prove that he really didn't understand that by joining the military he might have to obey some orders he disagreed with, or possibly even go to a war, well then he might get out of the military by reason of insanity.

If I put my signature on anything and then take an oath to boot, I have taken two voluntary steps of my own accord. If I didn't read the fine print on the real estate contract or the job contract, tough luck for me. So it should be for anyone who enters a legally binding contract of their own free will.

Randy, I think you give too little credit for the self-determining powers of the older veterans who are VOLUNTEERING to go back to service. You wouldn't want to be condescending to someone who is doing something you wouldn't do -now would you? ;-)


My point, Ed, is not about volunteering, per se. I'm more concerned about the disastrous planning by the administration which leads to a situation where we are woefully short-handed. I think it’s pathetic that folks even older than I am are being asked to volunteer and others, from what I can read, actually being called up involuntarily. I also have to argue that knowing dozens of mates killed in combat is a different, stronger, more emotionally charged experience than ‘not having been a school principal’ or ‘not having murdered someone.’ I might possibly put more weight on the opinion of a school board member regarding school policy than I would yours, even though I know you taught school years ago. Of course, you have a right to whatever opinion you wish to take. And, I always enjoy and am challenged by hearing it. What I was trying to point out in that blog was that there is a very high cost being paid in Iraq in terms of flesh and blood by our “volunteers.” It’s a cost that we should all have our noses rubbed in. Ergo, the link to the awful photos from the medical journal. Just because some guy signed a contract, the Oath of Allegiance, doesn’t mean the President ought to have the right to sacrifice him/her or their various body parts. In fact, in the Oath the President is limited by unspecified “regulations” and the UCMJ. To say that they signed on so “tough luck” if their hands get blown off is too cavalier for me and, in my opinion only, is just the kind of attitude that gets us into and keeps us in these nasty situations.

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