This came over the transom via e-mail late this evening…
I believe this is BZ‘s Congressman, but in any case, I’m 1000% behind what he has to say…
By Buck McKeon…
In parks and city squares across the nation, America’s youth claim that they are “the 99 percent.” That is, the 99 percent of Americans the Occupy Wall Street group believes are struggling through economic hardships and inequality.
Their villain is the 1 percent — the purveyors of power who the movement holds accountable for our fiscal woes.
As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, I support a somewhat different 1 percent. Despite ten years of war, we have been kept safe by 1 percent of Americans who have volunteered to wear the uniform, volunteered to stand a post and volunteered to keep us safe.
At a time when our nation faces such grave financial challenges and we debate vigorously over how to right our fiscal ship, we must remember that we are a nation at war, and that every day our troops leave the wire, walk long patrols across unforgiving terrain, keeping us free from harm, bearing hardships in the name of our flag and our freedom.
The deeds and actions of Occupy Wall Street boast household recognition. But how many households know Army Specialist Jesse Snow?
During a tough fight in Afghanistan, Snow crawled on his belly into withering enemy fire, dragging two of his wounded teammates back towards a friendly position using his body as a shield and giving his life to save his comrades.
How many know Capt. Ademola Fabayo, an immigrant from Nigeria who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic plunge into an intense firefight, in an attempt in vain to save four of his Marines?
Several months ago, I visited Fort Jackson, S.C., to watch 500 new recruits graduate from U.S. Army Basic training. They stood quietly and proudly at attention, with adoring families looking on, having volunteered to serve their nation during wartime. Eight of those young men and women were immigrants, earning their citizenship through their service. I am very proud that my granddaughter was among them.
They were among the 1 percent who volunteered to wear the uniform, so that the 99 percent can assemble and speak out free from fear of the draft.
It is instructive to consider the stark differences between these two different youth movements.
The 99 percent argues its poverty using $300 smart phones. The 1 percent endures long hours, modest pay and the harshness of combat, but demands nothing.
The 99 percent demands that the government pay back their student loans, often for expensive degrees in academic fields not adequate to compete in today’s tough employment market.
The 1 percent who wear the uniform enters into a social compact with the government, offering four years of wartime service in exchange for a GI Bill that will cover the cost of tuition at a state, not private, university. Some soldiers attend night classes after a full day of work, disrupting their education for long deployments to places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 99 percent insist that they be provided full benefits, retirement and health care, simply for being born a U.S. citizen.
But when Washington discussed cutting military benefits, retirement, and health care, the 1 percent in uniform sat quietly by, pressing on with their service and their sacrifices.
The 99 percent insists our enemies are internal, loudly lamenting their misfortune due the schemes of an ever-changing host of antagonists. But the 1 percent in uniform does not complain, does not lament, does not fall victim to self pity or doubt.
They quietly fight a real enemy, one that would do great harm and bring horrific violence to our fellow citizens if only afforded the opportunity.
Over the last several months, Washington has stalled over how to resolve America’s debt crisis. In this debate, some have set up a series of false choices, pretending that higher taxes and more domestic spending could make our nation prosperous again and that cuts to our military will not make us less safe.
In reality, the 1 percent in uniform have taken on an enormously tough job in an increasingly dangerous world, one they continue to perform though politicians in Washington threaten to cut their equipment and benefits dramatically.
I have made it my mission to ensure that these false choices are exposed and our obligations to those who serve — and those who have served before them — are met first.
This week, we learned that the committee formed for and charged with finding needed savings has failed to do its job, and now, unfortunately, America’s military is facing cuts that will devastate the armed forces and force us to break faith with service members. I do not accept that outcome.
Our military has already contributed nearly a half-trillion dollars to deficit reduction. Those who have given us so much, have nothing more to give.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said he doesn’t want to be the secretary who hollows out defense. Likewise, I will not be the armed services chairman who presides over crippling our military. I will not let these sequestration cuts stand. I will be introducing legislation in the coming days to prevent cuts that will do catastrophic damage to our men and women in uniform and our national security
We should not seek to disparage legitimate concerns about the tough economic hardships plaguing our nation. But nor should we look to this protest movement as a viable exponent of recovery or revitalization.
It is the 1 percent, not the 99 percent, that will bring its integrity and its character into law, government and business and spread it to all corners of society. They are our greatest hope, and they are our way forward.
Let’s pause and remember that this special class of citizen, this 1 percent, is the model for citizenship, service and salvation from our despair and our woes.
And to those two professors that don’t believe the military deserves anything, like care packages, etc… Why don’t you go pound sand down a rabbit hole somewhere, or even better yet, why don’t YOU go downrange and see how good you really are in that environment???
Bet both of them would be shitting their pants in the first 5 seconds of the first firefight, and be screaming for somebody to help them…
I would truly love for some returned Vets, or some older Vets, in Class As to go ‘audit’ these gents courses…
Here here, NFO.
Best suggestion of the week, sir!
WOW what a great post
Well said, indeed.
That’s U.S. Rep Buck McKeon, 25th District of California.
We do seem to have a few congress critters worth a damn. Wish there were more.
Insert applauding hands here!
That is not only the truth, but brilliantly written…Bravo!
All- McKeon hit a home run with this one, as far as I’m concerned!
I’m posting a reply to Buck McKeon tomorrow at my blog.
You’re a good man, Jim.
Linked and applauded.
Rep Buck McKeon: Great American!