Taps for a Warrior

Frederick M. Burr, USA, retired, passed away today at 2:55 p.m. Mountain Time at age 91. He was my father-in-law.

He became acquainted with the Army while traveling as a very young man when he visited an uncle who was on Gen. MacArthur’s staff in the Philippines. When World War II broke out, he joined Patton’s Army, serving as a sergeant on the staff of his Regimental Combat Team Commander in Europe. After the war, he became a Warrant Officer in Military Intelligence; in that capacity, he served in Vietnam, bracketed in his wartime tour by two stepsons, also in the Army.

He later served with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, in the early 1970s. CW4 Burr interviewed returning POWs from Vietnam and continued to serve in the Army until he was well-past retirement age, having been granted special dispensation due to his intelligence skills and knowledge.

When he did retire, he held the distinction of being the oldest, longest serving Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army. After retiring from the Army, he remained active in military and veterans affairs and national security organizations and even accomplished something he never had time for as a younger man–he finished college.

A couple of years ago, Fred joined my wife and my Father (along with a friend and my brother) on a trip to Washington, D.C., to see the new World War II Memorial. It was a gift my wife and I gave both our Dads, since both were World War II-Korea-Vietnam Veterans. We also visited the memorials from those two wars. For the occasion, we outfitted both Dads in caps conveying their triple-war service, and it was great to watch all their fellow veterans, young and old, as well as active duty personnel and civilians, come up to thank them for their service.

Fred was a proud man, an old school gentleman and as loyal an American patriot as anyone who ever lived. He lived a good, long life and will be fondly remembered by his large family and many friends. The nation and all of us who live in freedom, owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.

I salute you, Fred. It was an honor to be your son-in law. Rest in peace. You’ve certainly earned it.

Bill Faith – “Aim High” My Friend

*** Update Sunday January 18, 2009 ***

I should have added this link to Michelle Malkin’s article.

Also to Uncle Jimbo’s post at BlackFive.

Here are a whole bunch more:

The Rude News

Illusion or reality

WizBang

Another Voice

Confedrate Yankee

The Radio Patriot

Brutally Honest

Bookworm Room

 

Also, Bill’s sister has requested donations be made to Soldier’s Angels in lieu of flowers.

Finally, I am unable to approve any comments left for Bill at other posts.  Some of you already have posted elsewhere.  If you wish to leave a comment for Bill please do so at this article, for which I am able to approve comments for.  Thank You.

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It is with a saddened heart that I just heard from another Old War Dog, Zero Ponsdorf, that Michelle Malkin reported the death of Old War Dog founder and webmaster Bill Faith.  I missed a couple of opportunities this year as I traveled through Southern Illinois, to stop and meet Bill in person.  This is a mistake I will regret for the rest of my life.

Through an electronic introduction from another Old War Dog, Jim Bartimus, I was introduced to Bill in July of 2005.  It was then that Bill extended the invitation to join the Old War Dogs Blog, and it was the first type of anything in my adult lifetime I had ever joined.

Bill could be cantankerous at times, often causing a bit of dissent among the ranks.  But, I know that Bill’s life centered around two things: Old War Dogs and his Grandson.  His Blogging and love of America, I can speak to.  His abundant love for his daughter and grandson I will leave for others.

Many years later, Bill and I discovered that I had preceded him into the Air Force by a mere week back in the summer of 1970, and that most of our time at Lackland AFB and afterward at Sheppard AFB, had overlapped.  That’s where the similarity ended.  Bill went on to serve in Vietnam, while I defended America from the frozen moonscapes of Alaska.  I think it was our same age, military branch, and the fact that we were both Illinoisans, that caused Bill to always favor my writing and give it a little boost in the Blog position each day.  In fact I was often embarrassed by the favoritism.

Others, such as Russ Vaughn, JD Pendry, George “Rurik” Mellinger, William “1st Cav” Page and Zero Ponsdorf knew Bill longer and perhaps better than I, although most of us have been strangers to Old War Dogs for a couple of years now.

A couple of years ago, Bill had entrusted the “keys” to the Old War Dogs Site with me and Russ Vaughn.  I haven’t been in contact with Russ for some time, and I’m not sure how to proceed.  Old War Dogs and Small Town Veteran were 100% Bill Faith.  There is a part of me that says we should keep OWD going as a tribute to Bill, yet another that says it would only be a cheap imitation.  As mentioned before, Russ and JD and perhaps a few others will have more to say on the topic.

In closing, I simply want to say that Bill was a patriot, a loving father and grandfather, and a clear voice for veteran’s causes throughout the blogosphere.  And for me personally, he was a friend and fellow Old War Dog.  I will miss him.

Mike Connelly
The Gray Dog

Classy Cussing for Disgraced Democrats

CAUTION: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND ADULT SITUATIONS!!
An example of just how difficult it is to be a woman in politics these days surfaced late this week when the Democrat Attack Machine, known here as the American Terrorist Media, ATM, went after Patti Blagojevich, wife of the embattled Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

Aside from the rampant misogynism that also launched the attacks on Hillary Clinton, and the ongoing character assassination on Sarah Palin, the reasoning behind the attacks on Mrs. Blagojevich is that she swears!

The government has wiretapped tape recordings of her husband allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s now vacant Illinois Senate seat to the highest bidder, and in the background a woman who allegedly is Patti Blagojevich is yelling obscenities. How dare she?

What gives with this woman? Swearing!?

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. Back in the 60s one of the premier identity factors for the new, liberal, liberated, feminist-type woman was taking the shackles off their mouths, and cursing word-for-word, obscenity-for-obscenity with the guys. And not just any guys, because most educated and refined guys didn’t use four letter words and related curses, especially in the presence of women.

No, the sign of the liberated woman was using the worst type of gutter language in the presence of anyone, anywhere, to show that aged social conventions were no longer in vogue. But obviously times have changed and it no longer is a sign of the ultimate feminist to stand toe to toe with any man in the room and swear him under the table.

Considering that no one has claimed she has Tourette’s Syndrome, Patti Blagojevich apparently didn’t get the memo. Or maybe she was a journalist in a previous incarnation and is just trying to conserve words and get her point across in as few as possible. Interesting isn’t it that the only time a Democratic woman’s use of the King’s English becomes an issue is when the ATM decides she is no longer a useful tool for the prevailing political agenda.

Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai, India Reveal Tactical Shift in War on Terror; Look To Scottish History to Solve Afghanistan, Pakistan Dilemma

The death toll is still climbing in Mumbai, India where Islamo-fascist terrorists struck Wednesday, targeting American and British citizens, Jews and police. News reports say the carnage and chaos were well planned, and the targets were pre-selected.

Among the dead in the initial moments of the assault were police officials who would have been in a position to direct a coordinated counter-assault. As a result the terrorists roamed freely, killing, taking hostages, and digging in for a protracted battle.

The attacks in India point out tragically just how simple it is to turn normal life into unthinkable horror. And they underscore the extent to which free societies must exert themselves if they are to deliver a death blow to terrorism.

Although security officials believe the attackers were members of an extreme Islamo-fascist organization based in Pakistan, and presumably had terrorist dollars and organizational capabilities backing them up, their weaponry was mostly small arms, grenades, and assault rifles. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, sits on the shore of the Arabian Sea and the attackers arrived aboard motorized rubber rafts.

Depending on the point of origin and the route taken, it is about 600-800 nautical miles from the shore of Pakistan to the water’s edge in Mumbai, far too long and uncertain for a voyage entirely by motorized rafts. Thus, Indian security officials surmise that the rafts were launched from a larger ship.

But even arranging for sea transportation is not that difficult in areas of the world where pirates roam. In short, although there was significant pre-planning and intelligence gathering to launch the assault on Mumbai, the level of organization necessary to do it was not that complicated.

With US forces victorious in Iraq, and the Iraqi parliament approving an agreement outlining responsibility for its own security, it is obvious that worldwide terrorist organizations are looking for softer targets. They also need some form of “victory” to draw attention away from their overwhelming losses in Iraq.

As the assault continued into its third day, international news organizations reported on the possible identity of the attackers.

Foremost among the organizations blamed was Lashkar-e-Taiba – which in the depth of hypocrisy means Army of the Righteous. Attempts were made to shift the blame to a heretofore unheard of domestic (Indian) terror group, calling itself Deccan Mujahideen, but evidence indicates that the attacks originated with Pakistan/Afghanistan based “traditional” terrorists.

Although the terrorists claimed to be citizens of India, analyses of tape recordings between the attackers and the media indicated they were speaking with Pakistani accents.

Lashkar-e-Taiba reportedly originated in Kunar, Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan, adjacent to the wild and Taliban/Al Qaeda friendly Tribal Areas. Regardless of which splinter group actually did the shooting, it is obvious that with Al Qaeda defeated in Iraq, there is a shift in emphasis to targets closer to its last remaining stronghold on the Afghan/Pakistan border.

Herein lies the reference to Scotland. One of the saddest chapters in Scottish history is the brutal end of the clan system by which the Scottish Highlands were emptied of inhabitants, their way of life, the homes, their language, and their culture.

Scotland and England ceased to be separate countries beginning with the Union of the Crowns in 1603 – which actually placed a Scottish king on the throne of England – and their Parliaments united in 1707. Nonetheless, there was still animosity between and within both countries, based to a large degree on religious issues as well as politics and nationalism. Catholicism was favored by some, opposed by others, and wars were fought and monarchs toppled over the question of whether Scotland would accept Catholicism as its state religion.

(To this day the National Church of Scotland is Presbyterian, although it is not considered the “state” church.)

This animosity, and efforts to restore a Scottish monarch, led ultimately to the Battle of Culloden in 1746, in which the pro-government forces (backed by England) brutally defeated the outnumbered and significantly outgunned Scottish Jacobites. The loss on the battlefield was only the beginning, and the real impact came in the following years during the Highland Clearances, more than a century of unchecked brutality.

During this time land speculators from England, backed by the English Army, invaded traditional Scottish Clan lands, threw the inhabitants out of their homes and communities, shot many, hanged many, and forced others to the coasts where they lived in abject penury. Tens of thousands were forced onto ships heading anywhere else in the world.

To accomplish this the Highland Scots were ordered to disarm, a violation of which brought instant death. To facilitate the army’s access to the highland clans, many located in inaccessible areas where they had thrived for centuries, the English built roads and bridges to enhance the movement of troops.

But one of the most effective tactics used by the English in the Highland Clearances was not the brutality, which often has the affect of uniting the afflicted, but the practice of separating the clan chiefs from the clans.

The English did this by inviting the highest and most powerful chieftains to London, where they were assimilated into the English society. Their children, especially those born in England, were educated in English schools, taught English customs and within one generation any attachment to the Highlands was removed from their collective consciousness.

Today, if you travel north along Scotland’s east coast, and then inland from the town of Helmsdale, to the lands once populated by the most northern clans you will find … next to nothing.

If you go to the Helmsdale home page on the Internet you will find references to the emptiness of the land between the coast and the next inland settlement. Where the clans once thrived, now there are only scattered domiciles, and little to remind travellers of what once existed there.

I am not advocating using these tactics on the inhabitants of the Tribal Areas on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I don’t advocate ripping people away from their homes, their families and their heritage.

But if the leaders of those tribes are going to conspire with extremists seeking world domination, then I do advocate separating the head from the body. One way or another, the leaders of these vicious attacks have to be separated from the people they are recruiting for their dirty work.

The Highland Clearances are a historical blot on the history of England, and a devastating era in Scottish history. But, from the standpoint of English rulers who wanted to ensure that they were never again threatened with invasion from the wild clansman of the Scottish Highlands, they were devastatingly effective.

The attacks in Mumbai have shown that no one in the free world is safe from terrorist attacks, launched by zealots who use murder, torture and mayhem as a means of imposing their will on everyone else.

But if free world forces can figure out a way to achieve the same level of effectiveness as the Highland Clearance, separating the head from the body and redirecting the energies of those doing the fighting – without brutalizing innocent civilians – there may still be some hope for the human race.

Who Are We?

Contributed by Bill Faith

It all started with an email from Russ Vaughn, which I posted here. That set off a flurry of emails which led to the creation of this site. I’ll let Russ explain more:

Through the magic of the blogosphere it is becoming increasingly evident that there are a lot of old dogs out there mastering the new tricks of this 21st Century phenomenon. While some are technically skilled enough to create their own sites, like your host Bill Faith, far more fall into my category: those who tenaciously hunt and peck out their opinions on war, society and life in general, and have only the basic computer skills requisite to sending those opinions into the ether of this wonderful thing called the Internet.

Old War Dogs is a site designed for these old dogs to practice their new tricks without having to compete with the fluid skills of younger, more technically savvy bloggers. While we may be too old to carry a gun in the ranks, we can still pound these keys. Mao’s dictum that political power flows from the barrel of a gun, while true, predates the blogosphere; and this old dog bets the Chairman would be truly stunned at the power that flows from the keyboard.

Blog on you old mutts!

Ronald Winter is an author, public relations executive, college professor and award winning journalist. He regularly writes and speaks on matters of public interest including the military, politics and the Vietnam War particularly as it relates to the ongoing War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ron is author of the book Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine’s Memoir of Vietnam published by Random House, and regularly posts commentary on war and politics in his column Winter’s Soldier Story at his website www.RonaldWinterbooks.com.

He grew up in the farming country of upstate New York near Albany where he gave up an academic scholarship at the State University there in 1966 to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam. Ron was a helicopter crewman and machine gunner, flying 300 combat missions.

After Vietnam he returned to his studies earning undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and English Literature. In a two-decade journalism career that included stints as investigative reporter, supervising editor and columnist, Ron was the recipient of several awards and a Pulitzer nomination.

He owns Spectre Communications where he specializes in marketing, media relations and political communications. He also is the Eastern Representative for Michael J. London & Associates public relations firm. Ron is an adjunct professor of communication at the University of Hartford.

The youngest of 4 sons, John Werntz turned 18 —choice draft-meat —11 weeks after Pearl Harbor. His eldest brother, Ted, a telephone technician in civilian life, was already in the Army, fated to find himself installing commo systems in Morocco in late 1942. Lest we forget, North Africa in’42 led to Palermo, then Messina, Salerno, Cassino, Anzio, Rome, Southern France, on up into Germany and all the way to Munich. But this is about John, not about Ted.

The middle brothers, Eugene and Howard, were already noncoms headed for action in the Pacific with the Fleet Marine Force. John’s dilemma: How to beat the draft without incurring the wrath and scorn of his dog-tagged and chevron-sleeved brethren. Just in time, the Army Air Corps lowered its standards to permit mere high-school grads to train as aircrew officers. After months of hard schooling relieved by PT and a modicum of Hup!Toop!Threep!Fawr, this gawky teenager found himself taking the President’s commission and with it a solemn vow of service to the nation. A soldier? Hardly. But a citizen in full.

That was early August of ‘43. Two months later John’s outfit, which was the first Troop Carrier Group to arrive in England, began to train for the assault on occupied Western Europe. Please note that John’s official MOS was Aerial Observer (Navigator). Prior to D-day he racked up well over 1000 hours of air time. Much of that was spent observing two sweating pilots wrestling with the controls, trying to stay on an even keel and keep proper distance in close formation while wallowing in rotten turbulent air exasperated by propwash and wingwash. A neat trick, formation flying in an aircraft that was designed to look serene while soaring over the Grand Tetons in lonely splendor.

The rest is history, and John had ample opportunity to observe some of it. The chaos that ensues when you release gliders, dozens of them in the air all at once, competing for a safe place to set down. The silent menace of that huge invasion fleet lurking in the pre-dawn mist off the coast of Normandy. The foreboding when the invasion seemed bogged down in the hedgerows six weeks after D-day. The euphoria after the breakout. Loud cheers in the Quonset hut when Patton’s tanks overrun the LZs and DZs of planned airborne ops. Why ramble on? We all know what happened. For John Werntz, it all comes down to a tale of 3 first weeks of August.

1943: Newly hatched shavetail, wet behind the ears.

1944: Breakout at St. Lô. Paris soon liberated. Rehearse French.

1945: Enola Gay does its thing. Tear up orders for Okinawa. Get smashed.

John has mentioned to me in the past that his unit flew C-47s and C-53s similar to the one in the above picture, which he told Small Town Veteran readers more about here, and that he himself flew one mission on that particular aircraft. STV readers first met John in this post.

The members of the Old War Dogs pack were saddened to learn that John Werntz passed away due to complications following a fall on 22 June 2008. Please see this post for more information.

I was tempted to just write “Russ Vaughn is widely known as the Poet Laureate of the milblogosphere,” but I guess I’ll go ahead and post what he sent me as well:

Russ served in the 101st Airborne Division in varying assignments including combat MP, infantry RTO/driver, fire team leader, and battalion CBR NCO from 1959-1962/1964-1966. He served in Vietnam with the 2d Bn, 327th PIR of the 101st Airborne. Russ was serving as brigade staff CBR NCO of the 2d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division when he left the Army in 1969. He obtained his B.S. degree from Texas El Paso on the G.I. Bill in 1971 and then entered the health care marketing field, specializing in military medicine. Retiring in 2000, he now travels frequently as a consultant in military medical marketing.

Small Town Veteran has been privileged to post frequent examples of Russ’s writings over the past several months. Click here to see the entire STV Russ Vaughn collection.

*** Update: The STV Russ Vaughn index has been updated and moved here.

Back in the day, the stage just barely shy of “heap highly pissed” was “torque-jawed.” Jaw muscles tight, jaw sticking out just a shade, somewhere between “If you weren’t wearing those freakin’ stars I’d tell you what I think” and “Dead man walking.”

TorqeJaw, A Proud Veteran-American

TorqueJaw don’t say much about his past, sorta gives the impression it’s safer not to ask. We’re not sure if he was a Gray Beret or maybe just a Mafioso or some such thing. TorqueJaw gets his way a lot.

TorqueJaw was created by Mr. and Mrs. Gray Dog.

“Zero Ponsdorf” was born and raised in West Virginia. He joined the Navy Reserves between his Junior and Senior year in high school (1963). Since his father was KIA in Korea he wouldn’t have been drafted, but wanted to ‘see the world’ anyway.

Following high school he went to FT/A school at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and then to the USS England DLG-22, the first of four ships on which he served. Others were the USS Parsons DDG-33, USS Worden DLG-18, and the USS Mahan DLG-11.

“Zero” made 4 visits to the Gulf of Tonkin, each about 6 months long. The duty while there was varied, from picking up downed aircrew to firing shore bombardment. During rescue missions it was not unusual to exchange fire with North Vietnamese shore batteries.

He was discharged in May, 1969 as an E-5.

After his discharge Zero held many jobs, from driving a cab in San Diego to working for NASA at the tracking station on Kauai. While with NASA he worked on the first nine Shuttle missions.

Now Zero has settled in on his piece of ridge in central West Virginia. He does a little consulting work with computers, and some minor web work for friends.

Zero has been Blogging since 2004, and recently migrated (mostly) from Live Journal to Blogspot [Click here — BF.] He participated in the Kerry Lied rally in DC and is preparing to help Larry Bailey unseat Murtha this fall.

Zero has resigned from Old War Dogs effective 2007.01.21
and now posts at Veteran-American Voices.

Somewhere a Veteran is Hungry on Thanksgiving

Michelle Malkin ran an article on her blog the other day about the National Park Police hassling a Vietnam veteran for handing out Buddy Poppies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The veteran, John Miska, served in Vietnam and is active to say the least in his Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Arlington, VA. But the park police say that because he accepts donations from some people who take a poppy, even if he doesn’t ask for them, he is thus a panhandler, and that makes him a lawbreaker.

You can read the entire article at Michelle’s blog here: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/11/25/disabled-vet-branded-panhandler-for-handing-out-memorial-poppies/

I’m certain I met John on one of my many trips to DC in the past few years and there is a good reason why I remember the encounter.

John was distributing the Buddy Poppies, which are little paper imitation flowers that that VFW uses to remind people of the blood shed in war. On that particular day I was looking to see how many people were wearing VFW or American Legion garb. We were standing up to the pro-terrorist coalition ANSWER, and there were damn few representatives from the major veterans organizations standing with the thousands of veterans who took it personally that the pro-terrorism crowd wanted to deface our memorials.

So when I saw a guy wearing a VFW hat and offering the poppies I took note. I also am the Buddy Poppy chairman for my local VFW post and organize our annual vigils in my town on the weekend before Memorial Day. My community, unlike the National Park Police, has an abundance of generous people who appreciate and support veterans and we thus are able to help the less fortunate among us – which is the sole purpose of the Buddy Poppy program in the first place.

The poppies harken back to World War I and specifically the poem On Flanders Fields, which talks of the horror of war and the need to remember veterans who fought in those far off battles.

I guess all that is lost in the government bureaucracies that are running our country right down the sewer.

But, John has friends like Michelle Malkin and she isn’t one to let an issue like this go unchallenged.

From her blog: Now the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute has stepped in and filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the National Park Police.

John Miska enjoys volunteering and spends most of his time helping injured veterans and distributing “Buddy Poppies.”

“They’re handed out as a remembrance of veterans’ sacrifice. The poppies are red, representing the blood the soldiers shed and it’s a reminder and it gives people pause to think,” said Miska.

“People see me standing there and they approach me and ask ‘may I have a Poppy’ and I give them a Poppy. If people are moved to offer a donation we accept the donations,” said Miska.

According to president of the Rutherford Institute Miska hasn’t done anything wrong, he has only expressed his First Amendment rights.

“People occasionally give him money. There’s a statute, it’s a D.C. law, that says you can’t aggressively solicit money, but he doesn’t do any of that. We feel it’s a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which guarantees you the right to assemble or guarantees you the right to free speech to hand out Buddy Poppies,” said John Whitehead, President, Rutherford Institute.

Miska says this experience isn’t going to stop him from his mission and that it will only encourage him to do more.

“I took an oath to the constitution to preserve, protect and defend and I feel if you don’t stand up for you rights you will lose those rights,” said Miska.

I took the same oath as John and I feel the same way. And as I normally do on Thanksgiving I would like to call your attention to the fact that millions of American servicemen and women are not at home today. Many are in combat zones, facing enemies who not only don’t celebrate our national holiday, they would spit on it if they had the chance.

These defenders of our country, our freedoms and our way of life are not here to speak out for themselves so it is up to people like John Miska to do it for them.

Think for a moment if you will, that right now there is a soldier standing a lonely watch in a desert outpost. He might be thinking of turkey, but even if he gets it, he won’t really be able to enjoy it as he would at home.

Elsewhere a Marine is pulling his field jacket closer as he braces against a bitter mountain wind, looking for signs that terrorists are about to launch an attack. He is keeping one eye on the sky, hoping a resupply helicopter will be coming to his area, possibly loaded with hot meals for the grunts.

Across the world American sailors are standing watch on vast oceans, while airmen are refueling patrol aircraft in distant and lonely airfields, and coast guardsmen are intercepting drug runners, terrorists, or saving the lives of those in peril.

Right here in America, veterans who have served their country honorably are hoping for a crumb, or a warm place to spend the night, not even daring to think of sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Except those who have found John Miska or been found by him.

He helps organize dinners at his VFW post, and makes certain that wounded hospitalized vets are not forgotten. That’s a big, big job but Miska does it, and only asks that he not be hassled.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Somewhere today a veteran will go hungry because there aren’t enough John Miska’s in this world. But somewhere else a veteran will have an opportunity for a meal and a few hours away from the cares and woes of daily life, thanks to people like John.

Do you think the Park Police bureaucrats who don’t understand the meaning of Buddy Poppies could take a few minutes to look them up on the Internet and for just once try to lighten up? Maybe at the same time, if it isn’t too taxing mentally, they could reflect on the fact that 93 percent of all living Americans are free to live their lives because a mere 7 percent have served in the military – going all the way back to WWII and earlier.

If that 7 percent hadn’t sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice to this very minute, the bureaucrats who are stuffing themselves today just might understand the true meaning of hunger and want.

Maybe, for a change, they could go to John Miska’s VFW post and help serve meals to deserving veterans this holiday season. Maybe they could accompany him to a hospital when he visits the wounded and disabled.

Maybe then they would get an idea of the real meaning of Thanksgiving.

Stimulating the troops…

Contributed by J D

J. D. Pendry

“… I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.”

“I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending.”

“Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

A revisit of that quote and everyone should be clear on what the President intends when he tells the Joint Chiefs to cut their fiscal year 2010 budget request (fiscal year 2010 begins October 1, 2009) by 55 billion dollars. There are only a few places where the defense budget can be cut. Personnel costs are fixed. The only way to reduce that cost is to slow promotions, reduce the size of the force (something that many argue effectively needs to grow) or reduce pay, benefits or the services provided to active duty families. For example, as I mentioned last week, the Congressional Budget Office proposal to have active duty military family members pay for their healthcare. The cuts, when they come, will be in the areas dangerous to the Armed Forces, much the same as they were under the Carter and Clinton Administrations.