“National Veterans Hotline gets hundreds of calls about the pissed off Marines”
… by Ken Smith
As many of you already know, I volunteer at the “National Veterans Hotline” a few nights per month. The hotline website can be found at www.Veterans911.com Last night, I was on duty for close to four hours and during that time I talked to over twenty callers. 90% of the callers had something to say about the story of Marines pissing on the dead Taliban. Here are some of the comments I heard and then some of the emails I recieved since the incident of Marines pissing on Taliban.
Let me begin with some of the emails. Here is one from a Navy corpsman, combat wounded in Vietnam named Bill.
O.K. it was pretty dumb for the Marines to demonstrate their contempt to the dead Taliban insurgents even more so because someone was stupid enough to video the event. But here’s my thoughts: First of all FU*K the Taliban! These Taliban assholes are responsible for providing shelter and resources to the 9/11 terrorists who planned and executed thousands of Americans in the worst attack on the USA since December 7th 1941. These same Taliban sick religious extremists torture and murder their own people and continue to do so. Marines haven’t beheaded anyone on TV! Or beat the crap out of families for woman not wearing socks (and showing their ankles) or educating their daughters. The Taliban have perverted, desecrated and destroyed the very own historic cultural symbols and history of their country. Remember Hitler and the burning or books and art that the Nazi’s disagreed with? What makes them any different? The Taliban pay for their insurgency and weapons by fostering and encouraging the production and sale of heroin and opium. This continues to destroy thousands of lives in their country and through out the world, including the United States. It’s time these religious political extremists who hate – and want nothing more then to destroy our way of life and every single American- soldier or civilian – that there is pay back. Show them the same respect they show their own kind and the coalition forces. O.K. it’s not what we expect from the all volunteer professional armed forces, but I say in this case the hell with political correctness. As a combat Vietnam Veteran I “understand” why the Marines did what they did. I say chalk it up to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Give them the counseling they need to understand what they did was not in our best interest and was pretty damn stupid. Perhaps even a VA disability rating and let them go. WE SENT THEM THERE AND THEY ARE US! There is no doubt in my mind that secretly deep down every American political and military person involved in the war, as well as those Americans who have lost someone on 9/11 – or – in the War On Terror, including Afghanistan families, have the same feeling towards the Taliban that the Marines showed to these dead criminals. FU*K THEM.
Here is another email from another Marine named Jim.
Jar-heads, christ, what the hell were they thinking? I saw the video and while at first it made me mad, there was another part of me that said Yeah, get some. I know two Marines who bought it in Iraq and its the same thing in Afghanistan, these Taliban yahoo’s kill anything, do anything and when we get um, well, we piss um off I guess.
I have maybe another thirty or so emails, and most reflect the above sentiment.
In the calls I took while working the hotline, the general concensus was that while the act was deplorable, the hatred of the Taliban by the callers overpowered the act by the marines. Here are some of the comments I wrote down as I was speaking to veterans and family members of veterans.
- I think that the reason these guys did this was that they have seen first hand what the Taliban have done to the people who live there. I don’t think they should have done it, but its not like they cut off their heads and screamed “Ali Akbar” or whatever it is that they scream.
- “It’s better to be pissed off than pissed on” said one marine caller.
- Marines. You kidding me? They are killers. Better they are on our side then theirs.
- I betcah that other Marines are saying “Yeah, bout time. Get some”
- I was in the infantry in Nam in the Army. We would put smokes in the mouths of dead gooks just like you saw in the movies. It was our way of dealing with the shit.
- Let them get what they deserved (the Taliban), it was done for all the little girls in gan that they have killed and raped.
- OMG. Can you believe that? These Marines are animals.
- I am embarrassed that these Marines did this in my name.
- Wow, pissing on dead enemy. Who woulda thought?
- Do they teach them that at Paris Island?
I have seen the video myself a couple of times and have my own feelings about what happened. Take a look yourself and tell me your thoughts.
[youtube F6lR3ZGFwvI Pissed off Marines]
For more than twenty-five years Ken Smith has been a leading advocate for veterans. A combat Vietnam veteran, Ken served during 1971-72 as a paramedic and an infantry squad leader with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. After his discharge, Ken continued his work as a paramedic in New England. On the streets of Boston he encountered growing numbers of homeless Vietnam veterans, and he became determined to both assist them and draw attention to their plight.
In 1989, Ken founded the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, located in a former VA hospital at 17 Court Street in downtown Boston. One of the first facilities designed for homeless veterans and now a national model, the shelter has served over 35,000 of America’s veterans who, for whatever reason, find themselves living on the streets.
In 1992 Ken was awarded Point of Light #142 by President George H. W. Bush, and later that same year received the AMVETS Silver Helmet Award, considered the “Oscar” for American veterans. As one of America’s foremost veterans service organizations, AMVETS (or American Veterans) has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. Ken was awarded this honor along with Peter Coors, with whom he still maintains a personal friendship.
Over the years Ken has appeared on many national media programs including Good Morning America, Prime Time Live, ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN, 60 Minutes, and The Geraldo Show. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and numerous international newspapers, magazines, and websites. In 1992, Ken had the distinction of addressing both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions as a keynote speaker on the subject of veterans.
Ken recently left his last assignment with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, where he was the chief technology architect of the Veteran’s Vocational Technical Institute, Purple Heart Car Donation program, Purple Heart Call Center, Purple Heart Radio, Purple Heart Tech Support, Purple Heart Services, and over thirty new Purple Heart websites. Ken Smith provided the vision and has overseen the implementation of innovative, virtual, work-at-home training programs for veterans with combat disabilities. Ken has designed, upgraded, and supervised the integration and installation of Purple Heart Service Foundations computer and telephony systems, upgrading features from legacy POTS phones to SIP-trunked communications systems including establishing new VPN networks for teams of remote virtual employees.
An adventure sports enthusiast, Ken enjoys extreme skiing, competitive sailing, flying, and travel. He has traveled extensively worldwide, delivering his positive message to the veterans of other countries that a paraplegic veteran of the United States suffers the same as a paraplegic veteran of India; that an amputee veteran of Nepal suffers as much as an amputee veteran of France. Ken’s mentor was Harold Russell, the two-time Academy Award winner who starred in the 1946 film Best Years of Our Lives. A World War II veteran, on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, Harold lost both of his hands. This ghastly misfortune did not stop him, and he went on to become the chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Disabilities. For over fifty years he served US presidents from Truman to Clinton. Ken was humbled and grateful when Harold agreed to serve as the best man at Ken’s wedding.
Ken has been instrumental in the planning stages for the Veterans Workshop, a new nationwide veterans’ advocacy group building a new “Veterans Hotline, and the development of special programs for those who have lost their sight or their hearing, or who have suffered spinal cord injury, as a result of their military experience. The Veterans Workshop provides a forum where new technology and advancements in the fields of prosthetic and orthotic solutions, many designed by Ken, are shared along with virtual training and employment programs.
A 1970 graduate of De La Salle Academy in Newport, Rhode Island, for the past twenty-five years Ken has continued his education with extensive college courses in computer technology and related social service fields. He resides in his native state of Rhode Island with his wife and children.