Opinion: Let’s talk respect for our military

At a White House dinner for military leaders and their spouses on Thursday night, President Trump summoned the TV cameras and reporters in to document the event. Reporters were confused, because such a step was unusual and not on the official schedule.

“You guys know what this represents?” Trump then asked reporters, smiling broadly and gesturing around the room. “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be, could be the calm before the storm.”

He said all that with a smirk, like the cat who had swallowed the canary and rather liked the taste of it, using his guests as a dramatic backdrop.

I’ve seen a lot of coverage since then, wondering what Trump might have meant, but my reaction was more personal. I grew up as a military brat. I was born on a military base and I graduated from high school on a military base. That was back in the Vietnam era, and the war was a constant, looming presence in our lives.

Every week, when Walter Cronkite would announce the most recent death totals for U.S. servicemen, my family’s normally boisterous living room would grow silent and solemn. Those weren’t just numbers we saw on the TV screen. These were men who served in uniform alongside my father, often men who had families much like our own, but who would not be returning to them. My dad’s specialty meant that he was unlikely to be assigned to Vietnam, but we certainly knew other families in which mothers were trying to raise kids and keep the household running while her husband was overseas for a year at a time. There’s a sense of tribal belonging, particularly in wartime, that is difficult to describe to those who weren’t raised in it.

So if you send our people to war, I think you should do that reluctantly and grim-faced.  It’s certainly not a step to be relished, as Trump seems to do. You also don’t stand before the spouses of our personnel and treat it as some sort of game. You have to respect, at a deep level, what these people are willing to risk. You respect what their families would be going through.

 

In recent weeks, we’ve heard a lot of rhetoric about the decision by some pro athletes to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem, about how that protest against racial injustice somehow disrespects the sacrifices by our military. Personally, I will always stand for the anthem and salute the flag. Respect for those symbols is too engrained in me to do otherwise, but I can also understand how others, with different life experiences, might see things differently.

However, I cannot understand the cavalier attitude that our president seems to take to such matters, as if our war-making machine is a toy that he can’t wait to open. I think that shows a disrespect that is far more profound than kneeling during the anthem.

 

Reader Comments 0

3001 comments
gotalife
gotalife

Speaker of the house hastert says what.

Peachs
Peachs

@gotalife said he didn't want to leave the jail he liked it there, reminded him of the Republican Party.

straker
straker

Trump is a high stakes gambler. This has worked very well for him in the cut throat world of NY real estate dealings. Unfortunately, he has brought this same mentality to the White House. Different ball park, different game.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Reb: "You never answered my question on your avatar. It looks like a guy exposing a boob the size of a woman's. What's with that?"

What's with your fascination with hot guys and their chests? This is the second time you've asked me about my avatar.

SIDE: Anyone else's "gaydar" going off? When i first saw Reb's comment about this subject a few days ago, I thought "Oh honey, put down that macho bull crap and that stooopid name and pick up a rainbow flag, you'll be SO much happier."

rimsky
rimsky

@DebbieDoRight To me that avatar looks like a martial arts pose.  Shoot what do I know

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is running for reelection. The left isn't happy about it.

td1234
td1234

@Surelyyoujest You mean the same Senator who just said yesterday there is NO law that can be passed that would have stopped the LV Thug? LOL

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

  Southern plantation owners

The slavery card.

Nary a day goes by without our boy td obsessing about slavery.

LOL!

Paul42
Paul42

td1234 – you didn’t answer.

td:  “I said the world is losing respect for America due to Obama being weak.”

Paul42;  Are you also saying America has gained respect and that level of respect surpasses any levels seen during the Obama presidency?

td1234
td1234

@Paul42 Again what is your definition of respect? Like, feel warm and fuzzy about? Listen and do as we say? 

elgrunir
elgrunir

If "do as we say" is your idea of international respect, you have no idea what respect is.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Weinstein is the perfect example of Prog and Hollywood hypocrisy.

Hollywood and Prog deep pockets all knew of his depravity but because he was very successful and pulled the Hollywood strings, plus was among the Dim elite, no one said anything.

Now that he is old, down on his film making luck and perhaps not so free with giving, the wolves are at his door.

Take Ashley Judd, the incident she tells of was 15 or more years ago.  Others similar.

The dirt bag needs to be called out, but it should have been decades ago.

Paul42
Paul42

@JohnnyReb Yes he should have.

So what's your excuse for only a few Republicans calling out Donald, hmmmmm?

TBS
TBS

@LordHelpUs @JohnnyReb


Don't forget Herman "Where the white women at" Cain? 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=493pL_Vbtnc


Don't you recall all the times Reb and the right have called out conservatives who have paid off women in similar type deals?

yeah me neither

And for the record Weinstein gets what he deserves if even a tenth of the allegations are true

honested
honested

@JohnnyReb 

Have you got a tape with weinstein bragging about how he likes to grab women?

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

JR:  "Before Obama this place was 99% civil."  Do rwnj's actually believe this kind of crap?

honested
honested

@LordHelpUs 

Well, when Roy Barnes was governor, the whole state was more civil and getting better!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@LordHelpUs

Were you on this blog before Obama was elected?

If yes, what was your screen name?

I don't recall you being here.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@LordHelpUs @JohnnyReb

Sorry I don't remember you.

So you disagree this place has grown more hostile since the time Obama was elected?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@JohnnyReb

This place has always been hostile with many right wingers kicking up unnecessary shiat.  Many good, solid conservatives and liberals left because of that.

rimsky
rimsky

 Spanish word for black, negro

So moron those land owners in the South were fluent in Spanish.  Right.  Are you that stupid?

td1234
td1234

@rimsky So they did not get the Spanish word from somewhere? They just made up their own word and it happened to be the spanish word for black. Blahahahahahahahahahaha

td1234
td1234

@rimsky You seem to forget that these Southern plantation owners were also the best educated people in the country. LOL

rimsky
rimsky

Fan4500 7 minutes ago

@Fan4500@gotalifeJust admit you mentioned color and move on. I'll drop it, if you do.                                        ++++++                                   Poor fan boy he ain't getting no luv today.  He will lie and cheat just like his boss Putin.  Now go look at some hoookers peeing on Donald trump tapes and jack off.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@rimsky @Fan4500 @gotalife

hookers peeing on Donald trump

Let's remember, what was alleged in the original leaked (heh) document

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/these-reports-allege-trump-has-deep-ties-to-russia?utm_term=.qtmyRPP33B#.inmAd00bbR

It's not that he hired prostitutes to pee on him. (And that's why he gets so indignant, of course, joking about how he's a "germaphobe" and would never go for something like that.)

No, what was alleged was that Trump booked the same room Barack and Michele Obama slept in, and paid women to pee on their bed.

Be honest--does ANYONE here think he'd be above doing something as petty as that?

anyone at all?

Mary
Mary

You are a sad lil old man!

td1234
td1234

Latin word for black, nigrum

Spanish word for black, negro

Cantonese word of black; hak gwai 


StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 I always know when you are losing an argument, you  pull out your tiki torch and start posting about black this and black that.  Disgusting, you are one ignorant person.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234  td is back on his racist white supremacy websites again.  

Brosephus
Brosephus

@KUTGF

Does he ever leave them?  He's an admitted Breitbart fiend.