The Fake Soldier
People keep asking me how I feel and what I think about the fake Ranger at Delta College in Stockton.
It’s pretty simple.
<— These are “Dolphins,” in the form of the enlisted submarine qualification pin. I earned mine aboard the greatest Naval vessel ever launched, USS Michigan SSBN-727(G) in 1984. I had my Dolphins “tacked on” by my shipmates and friends who also wore them. I worked hard for them, and I made sure that others who earned their after me worked as hard to earn them. From 1984 to 1988 I served on other Qualification Boards for sailors seeking to also earn their Dolphins. From 1988 to 1991 I trained young men to think and push themselves to become qualified submariners.
I buried one of my best friends in that uniform, with silver dolphins on his chest.
There are a great many people in this world who I may or may not like, but any man who wears this pin, regardless of whether I like him or not, is trusted by me. Why? Because he earned it.
No one who hasn’t earned this pin, regardless of his or her reasons or excuses, is to wear this pin. They have not earned it, and no submariner would ever excuse the wearing of it by a “non-qual.” Period.
I am not a Ranger, or Airborne or a Pilot or a SEAL. But I know men who are, and I know that they too, hold dear to what it took to become that which they are.
Those who attempt to usurp what does not belong to them are thieves. The Supreme Court may have said that they have “free speech” to claim something that they did not earn, but that same Court also said that slavery was fine and dandy, that a penalty is a tax, and that it doesn’t really matter when the Police get the search warrant, as long as they get around to it eventually. Not one of them was even a Submariner, a Ranger, a Pilot or even in the Military. I disagreed with Justice Stephens ideology, but I can sit with him because he served. None of the current Court has ever served, and they do not know what they are talking about. They cannot, because they have no frame of reference.
Some of you will say that Veterans are “over reacting” or that you “don’t see the big deal.”
I’m sorry if you feel that way. I am even more sorry that I have to say this – you don’t understand, because, like the SCOTUS, you do not have any frame of reference. You will simply have to accept that it is a “big deal,” that it is a proper reaction. You may not like it, but that is the way it is.
This nation has asked – for the last forty-one years, men and women to volunteer to serve. We answered that call in time of peace and war. Today, men and women still volunteer even in the face of combat and danger even on their own bases. Think about that the next time you think that it’s “over-reaction” or “not a big deal.”
We didn’t join for glory, or for money or medals or even power. We did it because we believe in the same thing that the Minute Men did. We believe in The United States of America. And we chose to SERVE, not rule.
The one thing we have always asked, in the face of a Congress that plays games with benefits, a President who disdains, and a public that puts on patriotic airs without ever having to actually sacrifice anything, is respect.
Respect for our traditions, our uniforms, our ways. They are our ways, and we adopted them to serve… you.
If you don’t like our response to those who would steal what is not theirs, keep it to yourself. Or join us in stopping the theft.
Either way, it is a “big deal” to us.