Thom Stoddert 


    In Delta Troop, 2/17th Air Cavalry, Vietnam, 1970, the officers and NCOs had separate hootches and latrines from the enlisted men. They even ate on the other side of the wall in the chow hall. Though the segregation was obvious, no one took notice because their rank came with greater responsibilities which were not taken lightly. When it really mattered, when the incoming started, when the tracers went overhead - we were all one. To ignore the rules meant bad things would happen.
  Respect and obedience were what carried us through, it united us.  It still stands today during reunions. A soldier’s rank was secondary to their overall professionalism and maturity.

  Years later, myself  a senior NCO in Desert Storm, was a very different story. The officers and many senior sergeants were so self-absorbed they had lost respect for and from the enlisted. Those months in the desert with the 12th Evac Hospital deployed from Wiesbaden, Germany only became more depressing as morale dropped with each incident of selfish flatulence expressed by those who saw themselves as being superior and exempt from the traditional Army regs and values.
  It seemed that the more rank and privilege held by certain members assigned to the 12th Evac, the more they felt they were above principles and regulations. If it wasn’t for the enlisted medics being led by good junior NCOs working within traditional Army values, nothing would have been achieved.

Sort of like Congress having special exemptions that they voted for themselves. Congress and the Senate forced things like Obama Care on us but exempted themselves.

  Every day the senior medical and administrative staff stayed quietly in their tents while the soldiers/medics worked and sweated building the field hospital for them. They were also the first to use up the warm water in the showers. Those same people enacted guidelines and SOPs that they did not confine themselves with.

  Some of the incidents illustrating this were funny. One afternoon a female officer in a tight-fitting jogging suite was warned by the gate guard that she was not allowed to leave the safety of the compound dressed like that and unaccompanied. She shot off a mean-spirited reply saying that he should keep his sexist attitudes to his no-rank self. She was an officer and no private would tell her what to do. She had exempted herself from the rules.  Five minutes later she came tearing back to the camp trying to get away from the Bedouins in two Toyota pickup trucks following her. Her stupidity and arrogance placed her own safety at risk.

  Each incident like this created greater animosity and confusion among the ranks. It came to a head one night when a couple of female enlisted medics came to our tent asking for any spare flammable items, so they could build a bon-fire to break the boredom. We gave them what we had. Later one of them came to me to say thank youa nd related that the all-knowing privileged class had told them to get lost. They would not share anything even though they were leaving for Germany in the morning. About an hour later as the bon-fire was getting larger a chant started up that was heard throughout the compound – “F**k the officers.” No one tried to squelch it, discipline was almost completely broken down.

  What I learned in Vietnam and later saw in Saudi Arabia sort of represented what is going on in this country today. The governors of Washington and California, as just two examples have publically disregarded federal law in favor of their own personal morality and social agendas. In their arrogance, the governors have forgotten that their first job is to protect the people. Their liberal progressive agendas have
resulted in our quality of life being eroded and the loss of safety for everyone else.

 As an example, Olympia, and Seattle, WA are very proud of their liberal stance. They want to be “welcoming to all.” Yet homelessness is exploding and the smell of human waste is everywhere downtown. Demonstrations, protests, and riots are perpetuated by people wearing masks – they have labeled people whom do not agree with them as “haters”. They hate haters!

  In a recent news article appearing in Fox News (Andrew O'Reilly) the writer pointed out that the most liberal communities have the biggest problems with drugs, homelessness, and antisocial behavior.

  We, as a nation, have lost much of our way, just as what happened in the desert, and given up our respect for God and replaced Him with our own standards of morality and behavior. It has now become -  to love our selves first last, always and the dollar is everything. We have fallen into confusion. We forgot the values and traditions that made us good.

  "If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. "If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, ...” (1 Sam. 12)

  Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.
-Benjamin Franklin

  There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
-John Hancock
  

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Thom Stoddert
Thom Stoddert
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