Tag Archives: Stars Stripes

AN AMERICAN SOLDIER SPEAKS

The other day a powerful letter was printed in the Stars & Stripes. We print it as it appeared because this young man speaks, not just for members of the military, but for all Americans.

The valor of the American soldier is reflected brightly in the meritorious deeds of our young men and women serving their country. Who among you stands up against the bullets of tyranny and steps across foreign fields of oppression to pen windows of freedom and opportunity for Third World citizens? Soldiers, airmen and sailors answer the call of duty without hesitation. Brave beyond words, possessing dedication to wear the uniform with pride, Our nation can sleep ever so serenely at night knowing that America is safeguarded by the best.

With that said, I lam still not a huge advocate for war. I think the need for conflict clearly attests to the shortcomings of our civilization. To make war with all its implications, whether it’s economical or moral is puzzling. I’m not so sure that our foreign policy should be eager to drop the symbolic pen of diplomacy and go on the warpath with an M-16 rifle Rarely is there a just, rational reason to use force, maybe to directly uphold national security or to prevent genocide on foreign soil. Ig is always a sad occasion when peace talks fail and he need to pull the trigger arises. It is with many prayers and tears that our young troops are sent into harm’s way.

It is true that war produces casualties and it does not discriminate among victims. All too often, lives of the good and innocent are claimed. Sometimes, our fearless soldiers are cut down before their time by the harsh violence of insurgency. Many of the grieving families begin to wonder and question. However, for those who were lost and to the enemies of freedom: know that no amount of bullets can abbreviate the legacy of the American soldier or the ideals those soldiers stand for.”
Spc. Johnny Hampton. Camp Casey, South Korea

We can not add anything to these words other than if President Obama wants to send more troops it is time to end the situation in which 1% of this nation’s youth fights the battle to protect the other 99%. If more troops are sent, then it is time for President Obama to ask Congress to re-introduce the draft.

Army Tells Stars & Stripes -Write It Our Way!

During the height of World War II, General George Patton became furious at the cartoons of the famous Bill Mauldin, “Willie and Joe” series and wanted to ban Mauldin from future writing. Patton was over-ruled by General Dwight Eisenhower who insisted the American enlisted men needed cartoonists who poked fun at their superior officers. In 2009, the United States army has barred a reporter for Stars & Stripes from covering an Iraqi-based unit operating in the still violent Mosul area because he “refused to highlight” positive news during an earlier visit. The Defense Department writes and oversees the broad operating policy for Stars & Stripes, but the newspaper’s editorial comment and functions are, by regulation, supposed to remain free of military influence or control.

The commander of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Col. Gary Volesky, complained that reporter Heath Druzin would “not answer questions about stories he was writing.” Sorry, Colonel, he does not have to tell you what he is writing. The Stars & Stripes story editorial director, Terry Leonard said Druzin’s reporting “has been consistently accurate and fair.” Perhaps, Colonel Volesky should check back to the Eisenhower defense of Bill Mauldin for guidelines on how officers should keep their noses out of the affairs of reporters who work for Stars & Stripes.

Ann Coulter– Princess of Igorance!

We print portions of a letter that appeared in the December 28, 2007 issue of Stars & Stripes.

“I can actually say that Stars & Stripes has reached rock bottom. Here we are the day before we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, and you publish such trash. In a way, it was a typical Coulter column, careening from trying to sell books, trying to offend and talking about graphic sex acts. Her rants are disgusting, they are hateful, they are intolerant, and they have no place –absolutely no place — in a publication that is committed to defending a democratic form of living.

I think the irony here is that by carrying her column, Stripes is saying to all the conservatives in the military, ‘Hey, you’re too dumb to understand George Will on a regular basis; you’re too stupid to understand William Kristol; and you’re way too retarded to understand William F. Buckley Jr. But, we’ve got someone you’ll love– Ann Coulter.’ I guess Stars & Stripes knows it readership better than I do.”
Major Pat Young
Camp Victory, Iraq

We appreciate the passion and decency of Major Pat Young.

An Incident In Iraq Impacting Brave American Soldiers

The military newspaper, Stars & Stripes, has been running a series of stories on the daily life of soldiers who are fighting in Iraq. Today’s story tells about an incident that happened and was not revealed to the American press. Men of Charlie Company has been engaged in continuous fighting in Adhamiya province which led to the deaths of many of their comrades. One day, First Sgt. McKinney, who was on a patrol to deal with road mines, halted, sat down, and said: “I can’t take it anymore.” He placed his M4 under his chin and fired a shot. His grief stricken driver called company headquarters saying in a voice shook by fear and anguish, “This is Apache seven delta. Apache seven just shot himself. He just shot himself.” A few days later, Charlie Company’s 2nd Platoon was ordered to clear a road of IEDs. For some reason, at the last moment, the task was given to Alpha Company. As soldiers proceeded along the highway, a Bradley hit a large mine causing the death of five men. The next day, the 2nd Platoon of Charlie Company met and decided they could no longer function as a professional military unit in Adhamiya and refused to go out on a mission. The Sergeant Major and Captain Strickland ordered them to proceed, but they refused. They were read their rights, but refused to move. Finally, the platoon was disbanded and no judicial action was taken against the men for their rebellion.

This is merely a single incident, in telling this story, Stars & Stripes is not attempting to indict the men for failure to complete a mission. It is an incident, perhaps a minor one, perhaps not. Captain Strickland said in dealing with the men he felt he was experiencing a “truly Jekyll/Hyde moment for me.” He knew the men were brave, they had demonstrated it repeatedly and many of their comrades had died in the effort. The real tragedy is that American soldiers were sent to fight a war that never should have been fought over an issue that never existed — the WMD. They were sent by a president and his colleagues who knew nothing about war and death except what they had seen in John Wayne motion pictures. They exposed these fine young men and women to death and to the horror of witnessing friends die. This was simply a single incident in a war that has no end. Unfortunately, although these men grieved and twisted and turned all evening, their president sleeps soundly tonight.

Another Phony Soldier Spouts Evil Liberal Dogma-Listening, Rush?

The October 31 issue of the Stars& Stripes carried a letter from a soldier in Iraq who undoubtedly qualifies under the Rush Limbaugh criteria of being a phony soldier. Here is an extract from the column:
“One thing I could see less of in the Stars & Stripes is the column of Ann Coulter, not because she’s conservative, but because she writes at the top of her lungs, like a wacky teenager who is ridiculed by the boys for being flat chested, and ugly. Sarcasm becomes her coping mechanism. Her column must cost next to nothing to carry. Why not try carrying George Will or someone like that more often. He’s a verbose blowhard, but at least he can write.”
Maj. Pat Young
Camp Victory, Iraq

I await expectantly for the Republican smear machine to swift boat Major Pat Young.