War: Don't attack protesters
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:45 PM
First, I must say that my past 17 years of service in the U.S. Navy have been the most rewarding, the most challenging and the most important years of my life. If providence remains favorable within the next 24 months, I will leave to join the fellowship of retired veterans with a feeling of joy tempered with a mix of sadness that I can no longer take an active part in a service I have come to love so well.
I am reminded, however, that service does not end at the final call to going ashore. For a veteran it remains until the final sound of taps is played with loving tribute over the eternal bedding on which he or she will rest. Until that time, our duty remains firmly to uphold the honor and dignity on which we swore life, blood and trial to preserve.
When I see Jeremy Steinsiek protesting by himself, I am ever reminded of the sacred parchments so unique in the family of man that such a solitary figure can stand as an example more to them than others so far criticized. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are certainly not found in Communist China, in fascist North Korea nor in the brutal human murdering hands of the Saddam Fedyeen.
Jeremy Steinsiek, though I may disagree with his views, has done nothing by person or deed to disgrace those documents. I have seen no acts of violence from him, no sabotage and no treason. I do not understand why someone who may be a military veteran would disgrace himself or other veterans by resorting to violence against a single person who is exercising a right myself and others have sworn to defend.
You may find this young man's views intolerant, you may not agree with what he thinks, you have the right to disagree...but why shame yourself with swearing, object throwing and outright violence? That is not freedom of speech, it's a disgrace. Above all else as active or even veterans of the Armed Forces, we must always remember to act with conduct above reproach. Do we really want to have our young children seeing a veteran beating on a protester even if they can't identify the person as a veteran?
I hope we will not allow our passions to overflow our judgement. Military or not, veteran or not, let us all agree to disagree with the eloquence, the honor and the dignity that marks us as a people of morals bound by parchments worth their words and not act as thugs.