VETS AND EX-MILITARY, SHOULD THEY BE THE SAME?

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ARE FRONT LINE COMBAT TROOPS AND "WEENIES" THE SAME?

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER

Every time I hear a voice speaking for me, telling Congress or the media who vets are and what war is like, it is a "weenie" doing the talking. 

To combat troops, the ones who spend months on the front lines, in trenches, on patrols, doing the real fighting in wars, a "weenie" is an officer or staff NCO, a pilot, even combat fighter pilots are "weenies" to us, or the vast majority of the military, supply clerks, accountants, MPs, all are "weenies."

The "weenie" can get killed in combat, have his plane shot down, have his convoy blown up but he can never know day to day combat, the tireless certainty that gives the "two thousand yard stare."  No matter how many medals, no matter how many die, they are not "one of us."

     

For decades, phony heroes, self appointed "veterans" have played politics with vet hating worms in Washington and we vets have allowed it, taking the scraps, accepting the insults and becoming the laughing stock we are today.  Unite vets?  Tried it, and found it was like inviting a poisoned snake to lunch.  How has "uniting vets" worked out so far?  Think Shensiki or McCain sit up nights crying about dying vets? 

They know it.  When a "weenie" sees a combat vet, they look away or get "quiet."  If a pilot talks about "60 missions" he does it to civilians, not to us.  A mission doesn’t start with a hot breakfast and clean sheets for a combat vet.  Combat vets do hundreds of missions that never end, never a bed or hot meal or safe night under a roof.  This is what defines a real warrior from the big mouthed news hound slimeballs that make pretending to be soldiers a lifetime occupation.

There is no comparison between a warrior and a "weenie" who drives or flies out to visit war and heads back for tea or cocktails.  Real soldiers hate "weenies" but envy them too.  We imagined how it would be living without being exhausted, starving thirsty and afraid every minute of the day. 

The biggest insult of all is that the ones who have made an industry of exposing phonies are, themselves, total weenies.  Every time a supply officer, press attache or computer programmer starts lecturing me on honor and sacrifice I feel an urge to explain, in terms difficult to misunderstand, how sick we are of them and everyone like them.  "Club membership denied," no weenies allowed. 

Should people be thankful for folks who work in the miltary?  I don’t know.  Not anymore.  How do I compare kids doing 5 tours in Iraq with the folks in the military I see on ski trips to Switzerland or Germany? 

Everyone in the military knows and has always known.  The acronyms REMF and LIFER have been around since WW2 and are alive and well today.  There is nothing wrong with fixing tanks, repairing aircraft or serving on an aircraft carrier.  There is reason for pride in every job.

However, for a regimental commander or Pentagon procurement officer to strut around as though he just finished a week of chasing Taliban up and down mountains in Afghanistan is total bull. 

Years ago Vietnam vets saw it all.  Supply clerks, "liason officers" and draft dodgers all suddenly became combat Marines, Special Forces or POWs.  It wasn’t just a few, it was thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even more.

They all had the same stories.  They were all spit on in airports.  They all hated hippies.  They all loved talking about imaginary combat experiences picked up in books and movies.  It wasn’t just the phonies, many of the worst of them actually served in the military. 

Are real combat soldiers an elite?  We don’t see it that way.  We are anything but elite but what we are is real.  We are garbage men with guns.  You don’t see combat soldiers, not often, not unless you are bulletproof.  Were we heroes?  I have never met a real combat soldier who wouldn’t vomit if called a hero.

No matter how tough duty might be, membership in the ground pounding armpit that real infantry service represents is only open to a few.  Troops serving in France after D-Day would look up at streams of bombers heading for Germany.  Those planes were aluminim coffins, often returning shot to pieces, soaked with blood.  To a guy freezing in snow with artillery pounding and Germany armor coming, even the risk of having to be hosed out of a plane seemed like a privilege.

Yes, things are like that.  Find yourself a vet, a combat vet, an infantryman, not a "special ops" guy or contractor but a "boots on the ground" infantryman, a professional soldier.

Ask him.  You are going to find someone whose greatest accomplishment in life is to have survived.  If it is still someone in one piece, that means a sniper didn’t get him, he wasn’t blown apart kicking down a door or separated from his unit, captured, tortured and burned alive.

If you ain’t one of us, keep your damned mouth shut.  We are sick of seeing you, hearing you and, especially, smelling you.


Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.gduff

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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.