seticat: (mil - dogtags - mine)
Today President Barack Obama signed into law the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Never again will the US Military reject the heartfelt oaths of those who offer themselves to stand between their homeland and the world's desolation.

Never again...

"Two American flags and a bouquet of flowers are placed on the grave site of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, at Congressional Cemetery on December 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. Sgt. Matlovich, who died in 1988, was a Vietnam Veteran who a received both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star and was later discharged from the Air Force for being gay. An inscription on his tombstone reads "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one". Earlier today U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a bill repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" law against gays serving in the military."

DADT Fails!

Dec. 9th, 2010 02:09 pm
seticat: (mil - dogtags - mine)
40 for 57 against the Senate bill that includes the repeal of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy.


One giant step backward.
seticat: (mil - army - mine)
Today is the one year anniversary of the Fort Hood Massacre. Thank you to [ profile] miss_porcupine for pointing me toward this photo.

Memorial stone of the Fort Hood massacre.

Never forgot...
seticat: (* cat - play - kiraxlee)
Echoed from the LJ Community [ profile] craftgrrl

In the spirit of WWII era knitting for soldiers, the National World War II Museum has a program where you can knit or crochet scarves for veterans. All the pertinent information can be found here: Knit You Bitl

It's an ongoing program, and a neat way to use your craft to give back to the community.
seticat: (cat - 2lumps-o_0 - evilgrins)
Every situation has several sides: the perspectives of the two groups actually involved and then all the different points of view from onlookers. Here's one I hadn't heard yet and it's one I believe is worth reading and taking into account. 'Gaza flotilla participants created war atmosphere before confronting Israel' .

For those who are 'up in arms' about civilians being injured, let me remind folks of one thing. A metal pipe, if it hits you, can cause a lot of damage. Several people waiting for you to slide down a rope hit you with said pipe can be fatal. Same with slingshots and metal balls. Remember David and Goliath? A paint ball is seldom more than annoying. So if it were me and I was being attacked by folks who were swinging pipes at me and trying to break my skull with a slingshot, the desire to defend myself would be pretty strong.

I'm just saying...
seticat: (Default)

"Ode of Rememberance"

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
seticat: (mil - dogtags - mine)
In honor of ANZAC Day and the brave men and women who have served from Gallipoli to Iraq.

And to absent friends...

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
by Eric Bogel

Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.

And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin', he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell --
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.

And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead --
Never knew there was worse things than dying.

For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free --
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.

So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

And so now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glory,
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask meself the same question.

But the band plays "Waltzing Matilda,"
And the old men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
seticat: (serious - being able to survive by demen)
Just in on CNN Alerts to my email: Gen. Shinseki to be nominated for top Veterans Affairs post.

Personal opinion follows here so be warned.

I have *always* said that the best folks to take care of the military are those who are or have been in the military. That whole 'walk a mile in their combat boots' thing. And the same with veterans. Vets taking care of vets because we have a better feel for the system.

I am *not* saying that there aren't good civilians out there doing the good work and helping us fight the good fight because there are. I've been blessed to have most of my care providers in the VA system and in service officers I've dealt with be on my side and fighting for me over the system. But at the top, well, it really takes someone who's been there to have that feel.

And that's what Obama just gave us. A career soldier with several combat tours under his belt and the guts to stand up and say what he thinks is right.

I can but hope he'll turn out to be the right man in the right place to help dig the VA system up out of the whole that the mismanagement of years gone past has put it in. The VA is trying really hard right now to do what's right by it's vets, but after so many years of budget cuts that have gone on before, it's left it in a place of having to play 'catch up'. And our vets and their families deserve so much more than a pat on the back, a handshake and a 10 points heiring preference in some government jobs - especially in this economy.

Right after Desert Storm, it took me 5 years total to get my claim settled in any fashion. Five years of fighting tooth and nail for the benefits I have now. And there are folks out there who have been fighting so much longer. A lot of have given up that fight - either the paperwork itself or have taken themselves out of this world altogether because they couldn't get the care they needed in a timely manner. They couldn't get the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support and care that gave them a reason to keep on living.

It is my hope and prayer that this is about to change. For all my Brothers and Sisters out there.

"I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." [Hebrews 13:5]

That is all...
seticat: (* cat - camo-cougar - by sakuranym-kit)

We salute you...
seticat: (mil - support troops - ladyerin)
There are folks on the front lines who feel strongly about what they're doing.

Troops Re-Enlist on Independence Day

No matter what your personal beliefs are in regards to the US military being involved in conflicts overseas, please support the troops, no matter what nation they hail from. And remember to thank them when you see them.
seticat: (mil - support troops - ladyerin)
In memory of all the fathers, of all the sons, of the brothers and uncles and 'guys-next-door' who slogged and fought their way up the hell that was the beaches of Normandy, France.

D-Day, June 6, 1944.

We will remember.
seticat: (fun - shiny by msdollie)
Having eaten in 'way too many mess halls / dining facilities over my years, this caught my eye.

more cat pictures
seticat: (mil - support troops - ladyerin)
I'm sure this is old. I'm sure you've all seen and heard this before, but bear with me because tonight was the first time I heard this. I think this says all that needs to be said in so many ways. For my brothers and sisters overseas - from this country and many others - who stand between their homes and the bad guys, I thank you.

And especially for the folks in Australia and New Zealand. Happy ANZAC Day.

seticat: (Stupid People by Dementia)
{set rant=ON} Just so you know.

An LJ is, in essence, a person's own private graffiti wall. Like it. Love it. Agree with it. Hate it. There here's my own little portion of the Internet and I pretty much have an open say what goes up on 'the wall'. The following is in honor of all the kurfluffel currently going on in Berkeley, CA. You know - that big 'free speech or else' liberal college town down south of me.

Today's definition is 'What is a veteran'.

"A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including his life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it."
-- Author Unknown

Guess what, Berkeley. Veterans are the reason you can say what you say, do what you do and get away with it. In quite a few other countries in the world if you gave tacit approval for a group of people to set up camp in front of the government run recruiting office to protest their very existence there, said military would come out of their building and beat the ever lovin' snot out of you.

Don't like the Marines? Fine. No one says you have to. Hey - I'm 'a soldier in recovery' [no such thing as ex-anyone in my book] and have been known to look at my breathern and sisternan in MarPat in gentile confusion at times. Don't want to join the Marines or any other branch of the military? Cool. I don't think I'd want you in a fox hole or firing position with me and mine. But let's make a deal. If and/or when some 'bad guy' does something you *really* don't like to you and yours - like, oh let's say, like blow up a college or a mall or some such, please don't come whining to the military of this country to come bail your sorry ass out. Because, you know what? They will. They'll be right there putting their lives on the line to rescue your sorry butt. Because that's the kind of men and women they are. And I'd hate to think they're doing something you are so strongly against - that is, being the US military.

I've always said Kipling said it best in his poem "Tommy"


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

So folks in Berkeley CA, please take a minute - heck, take a whole hour or so, to think about what you're doing and the message you're sending: not only to the rest of the US but the world. I understand not being in support of the war - I really do. But bitching at the men and women who are just trying to do the best job they can isn't the answer. Bitch with your feet and your vote. *Tell* your government at it's highest levels your feelings on the matter and get another man or woman in the position of Commander in Chief if that's what'll take to make you comfortable with your conscious.

But just remember, it's the men and women of the US Military who make sure you can dream that dream of a new world in safety.

{set rant=OFF}
seticat: (cell by candynsweets)
If you appreciate someone's service, no matter what they do, and you're not sure how to say 'Thank You', why not give them a sign?

Please read. Think about it. And pass it along. Everyone deserves a 'thank you' now and then.

Give them a sign.


seticat: (Default)

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