Monday, August 8, 2011

Honoring The Best

Kenneth M. O’Brien

The tragic loss of life in Afghanistan over the weekend cannot go unmentioned.

On Saturday, as you’ve all heard by now, Afghan insurgents shot down a U. S. Chinook helicopter killing all on board.

30 Americans lost their lives.

Seven of those who died were Afghan commandos.

One was a civilian interpreter.

22 were U. S. Navy seals, members of seal team six.

Whatever we feel about the war in Afghanistan, we cannot but help but to honor those who have put their lives on the line in support of what they believe are the best interests of their country.

There are those who will castigate me for honoring these who have chosen this course.

I have been outspoken in my belief that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a gross misdirection of our efforts and resources.

Does that make me unpatriotic?

No more so than Ron Paul who has argued the same.

Those who don’t know me are also unaware that I was nominated to an appointment at the U.S Military Academy at West Point.

There are those who want to make a disagreement with policy a badge of un-Americanism.

The fact is that I have the highest regard for those who disagree with my views, but rather than distorting facts for political and financial advantage, put all on the line for what they believe.

Take for example the case of Eric Greitens.

Eric Greitens was born and raised in Missouri, where he was educated in the public schools. He was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University where he studied ethics, philosophy, and public policy. Selected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar, he attended the University of Oxford from 1996 through 2000. There he earned a master’s degree in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2000. His doctoral thesis, Children First, investigated how international humanitarian organizations can best serve war-affected children. He continues to study and teach public service as a Senior Fellow at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri and in the MBA Program at the Olin School of Business at Washington University.

Eric is also a United States Navy SEAL officer, and he has deployed four times during the Global War on Terrorism: to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. He has served as the Commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Unit, Commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft Detachment, and as Commander of an al Qaeda Targeting Cell. Lieutenant Commander Greitens continues to serve in the reserves at U.S. Special Operations Command. His personal military awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.


Mr. Greitens has created an organization called The Mission Continues

Those who want to go beyond posturing and have the resources (which regrettably, too few of us have these days) to help the most valiant among us should visit this site.

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Ken, thanks for reminding us to take a moment to reflect on what really matters.

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  3. Ken
    Having a son that has served in the United States Army and has served a tour of Duty in Iraq. I am very proud of his duty and the honor that he has brought to our family. At times I have disagreed with the policies that have been set by the leaders of our country back under the bush era and now. Its time for us to bring home our troops the job has been done and it has been well done. The soldiers of our country and all other country should be proud of their efforts. I will be forever greatful and proud of his duty and the duty of all that has served and continue to do so. Its because of the men and woman that serve allows to speak and write on blogs like this. Thanks for the statement.

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  4. I do not disagree with the statements of honor rather I thank you very much for posting this.

    However, I disagree with giving the enemy locker room material by identifying seal team 6 in this tragic act of war. This should never have been done.

    We can't inflame the enemy by showing pictures of Bin Laden's death but we tell the enemy that the same unit (not necessarily the same members ) that carried out that mission were shot down and killed. It makes no sense!

    This administration went from bringing members of this unit to trial to then hailing them as heroes for conducting the successful Bin Laden operation that he put together and claimed credit for in killing Bin Laden. To now this latest seal team 6 throwing under the bus. Shame on Obama.

    Remember that he actually charged and attempted to court-martial 3 Navy Seals from Seal Team Six, when a terrorist suspect they captured, complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. His administration further commented how brutal they were. The left were calling them Nazi’s and Baby Killers. Now all of a sudden, the very brave men they vilified are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Eventually all three of those seals were cleared of all charges. Now he emboldens the enemy with positive locker room material at the seals expense.

    I don't think the job in Afghanistan is complete but if this is how this administration is going to run things bring the boys home and like by yesterday.

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  6. When I think about these men giving up their lives to protect our freedoms, and then I watch our town attorney, town manager, and 78% of our Council ignore our local constitution (our Charter) in order to ignore qualified Doctors and stack the board of health with people that will turn a blind eye to the health issues in this town, it makes me sick to my stomach.

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