The Guilt of a Veteran by Paul D. Clark, Retired US Navy CPO

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I had the honor of serving in the United States Navy from 1961 to 1981, retiring as a Chief Electronics Warfare Technician. I have always been proud of being allowed to serve my country and also achieving the signal honor of being initiated into the fraternity of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) of the United States Navy. Through the years, however, there has always been a struggle within me when someone thanks me for my service.

 

When thanked, the first thought I always have is one of surprised gratitude that there are citizens who still recognize the value of military service. That event warms my heart. Then comes the ever occurring guilt of trying to find the proper response to the compliment. “You’re welcome” is not a proper response from my perspective. It was my honor to have served. I should be the one thanking America for the opportunity to serve. No thanks needed or wanted. My response of “It was my honor” leaves me feeling guilty of a prideful boasting that I served.

 

This guilt of pride is all about what I was allowed to do and what I was allowed to accomplish. Thanks to the Navy I have been places and experienced things that most people would pay big money for the price of admission. See me back then and you saw a top of his game CPO. That pride lives on, but grows dimmer with time and telling. I am also embarrassed that I am no longer that person. To tell people how glorious that time was seems to be nothing but empty boasting, however well intentioned.

 

The guilt of being mistaken for a hero comes to worry me every time a veterans event occurs. I am no hero by any stretch of the story, and I did nothing remotely heroic for all twenty years served. I saw heroes in action and have seen or heard stories of heroes. All that I can lay claim to is being true to my oath of enlistment and standing on the proverbial wall. Do not mistake me for any of those great ones that paid the price required of true heroes.

 

The Navy may have brought Barbara and I together, however there is always the guilt of the time stolen from my family. I am that thief. I stole from my children and from my wife. I gave that time to the Navy. Barbara, on the other hand, had the toughest job in the Navy – Navy Wife. She was and is jealous of the Navy. Rightly so, but with a wisdom that I lacked in this matter, she allowed me to pursue my dreams in the Navy. For that alone I thank her and owe her for the rest of our days. My children, on the other hand, consider being called Navy Brats as the highest among honors. Go figure.

 

I am guilty of loving the Navy and the ships too much. So much so was this love that separation from the Navy left me feeling guilt ridden and in anguish over abandoning the Brotherhood. Realizing that I could no longer contribute was the cause of a great and dark depression. That is all behind me now and I have moved forward. Now I cherish those memories of days/weeks/months at sea, sailors as close as brothers, and challenging events on the horizon

 

Finally, I am completely guilty of telling sea stories. The stories that are told always contain elements of truth, humor, and amazement. They are meant to entertain as well. They are my hard earned right and privilege to tell. I intend them to educate you and amaze you and to also satiate that longing within me to remain forever young and at sea. If by chance it inspires another to serve then we are all twice blessed.

 

Of all these things I am guilty of because that is who I am. A veteran shaped by the decisions made and the course laid in. A volunteering of service that rewarded the giver more than the gift. All that I ever did was my duty. To be allowed the memory of that is all the reward or thanks I’ll ever need, Thank you.

 

Retired United States Navy CPO, Paul D. Clark

(Paul D. Clark is the father of Tanya Grimsley)

 

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Allen West “Against All Enemies, Foreign And Domestic.” Newsletter 11/10/13

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Friends,

Today is the 238th birthday of the greatest and most lethal fighting force known to man, the United States Marine Corps.

Tomorrow on Veteran’s Day, a grateful nation thanks those who have been willing to make the last full measure of devotion in service to our Republic. These are the men and women who have been our guardians and stood watch on freedom’s rampart.

But today we must ask, what exactly are those in uniform guarding now? The day has come upon us in America where we accept lies from our president. We accept laws that do not apply to everyone, not even to our elected officials. We find our Supreme Court hearing a case as to whether or not we can pray openly before civic meetings, when our nation’s motto is “In God We Trust.”

The oath of office taken by our men and women in uniform is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The oath of an American guardian has no statute of limitations. We serve, sacrifice, and defend until we draw our last breath.

Don’t forget to thank our veterans, our guardians, on Monday.

Steadfast and Loyal

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Allen West “We need more of our retired Senior General and Flag Officers to stand up and speak out against the decimation of our fine fighting force”

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Written by Allen West on October 24, 2013 for allenbwest.com

Cuts to the Marine Corps as mandated by sequestration are bringing the force to dangerously low levels. In 2011, the Marines announced they hoped to “right-size” the force after a decade of war from 202,000 to 186,800. But last month, Commandant General Jim Amos announced the Corps would need to reduce the Marine force to a “minimum acceptable” level of 174,000 as a result of sequestration budget cuts.

This week, while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Major General Frank McKenzie addressed speculation that the force might have to be cut even deeper.

“Based on our review of the existing requirements today and our best-case projection for 2017, 150,000 would be an unviable number for the Marines,” McKenzie said.

While cuts to 150,000 are not likely, the reduction to 174,000 still means a cut to the fundamental unit of the Corps, the Marine Infantry Battalion. Since the Marines have already cut their end-strength (the maximum level of personnel authorized at the end of the fiscal year) from 202,000, which included some 27 infantry battalions, the 174,000 figure would require a reduction to 21 infantry battalions, as well as cuts to armor and towed artillery formations.

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 http://allenbwest.com/2013/10/marine-corps-cuts-make-strategic-sense/#DUqVmkakrMgx6mqS.99

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Allen West “Failure to have a trained and ready military is potentially catastrophic, if not treasonous.”

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Written by Allen West on October 23, 2013 for allenbwest.com

The most important responsibility of the federal government is, as the Constitution states, to “provide for the common defense.” However, based on a recent assessment from the Chief of Staff of the US Army, General Raymond Odierno, we have an Army that is woefully unprepared and unready to meet the nation’s call.

It seems this administration’s priority for the US Military has been to ensure gay soldiers can openly serve and opening up combat billets to women. In keeping with his promise (perhaps the only campaign promise he has kept), Obama is fundamentally transforming the US military by way of liberal progressive social engineering.

READ THE REST OF ALLEN WEST’S ARTICLE HERE:

 http://allenbwest.com/2013/10/army-unreadiness-catastrophic-treasonous/#fdIefwWStw9MjaT7.99

Allen West “Happy 238th birthday to the greatest Naval force known to man, our United States Navy”

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by Allen West via Facebook

Happy 238th birthday to the greatest Naval force known to man, our United States Navy. Through time there have been great navies; Athenian, Roman, Spanish, British, German, Japanese. However from the traditions of John Paul Jones, Farragut, Halsey, & Nimitz to today’s exceptional Sailors and leaders, our Naval force spans the globe bringing humanitarian relief or a bullet to the head of evil. From this ol’ Soldier I simply say Bravo Zulu, Anchors Aweigh, and Happy Birthday Sailors. Sure hope we best y’all in football this year.



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Allen West “Chuck Hagel should resign and the head of Fisher House should be appointed Secretary of Defense, since the Obama administration”

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by Allen West via Facebook

It is not just that the Obama shutdown strategy is to inflict pain on American citizens, he is also using it to punish our once best Arab ally, Egypt. It seems that Obama has chosen this moment to shut off aid to Egypt, under the guise of the government slimdown, right as his Muslim Brotherhood buddies are stepping up their terrorist attacks against Egyptians, especially Coptic Christians. Nope, you are not going to hear a peep from Obama about the persecution of the Copts from his “moderate” comrades who represent the granddaddy of radical islamist terrorism. Consider this, Obama denies death gratuity benefits to the families of our fallen Warriors. He cuts off aid to an Egypt that has been thrown into a vicious sectarian, civil war of his doing through support of a Muslim Brotherhood government. What does this tell you about our so-called President? For my liberal progressive socialist friends and supporters at CAIR, truth is a good medicine, and I intend to provide y’all with constant doses. In closing, Chuck Hagel should resign and the head of Fisher House should be appointed Secretary of Defense, since the Obama administration has deferred to him to care for our military families. So much for big government over American benevolence. http://bit.ly/1eaov3w

 

 

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Gen Boykin: “Outraged” at Imam gloating over coffins of SEALTeam VI” Extortion 17 (Video)

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Published on May 11, 2013

This video is about TrentoVision 5.9.13 – Navy SEAL Extortion 17 EXPOSED – Obama Failures

LTC Allen West: “Unconscionable” military cannot fire when fired upon – Extortion 17 (Video)

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Published on May 11, 2013

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Allen West “Today, we remember and salute all those who selflessly risked their lives – or lost their lives”

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by Allen West via Facebook

Many across our nation are commemorating today as the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. It was a protracted conflict, with US involvement spanning 1950 to 1973. Over 2 million US warriors served in uniform in Vietnam – including my older brother, who was wounded at Khe Sanh. The conflict took the lives of 58,148 American troops.

But it was a war our government did not have as a goal to win.

Today, we remember and salute all those who selflessly risked their lives – or lost their lives, “all gave some, some gave all.” And we must ensure we never commit our American warriors into harm’s way without the full support of our nation, clear objectives from the government that sends them, and a resolute Commander-in-Chief who will stand by them, not political interests.

May I recommend to all reading this post to read the book, “We were Soldiers Once and Young” or watch the movie this weekend, and remember while those young men and women went into the jungles, there were some who never allowed them back into their hearts.