I have zero evidence, absolutely none as to what James Mattis thinks about the suggestion/order to have a military parade in DC at the request of Trump. We do have him on record indicating that the military should spend more time getting back to the basics of being lethal. We do have him on more than one occasion advocating for fiscal responsibility. The dude doesn’t even hand out challenge coins to save the money. However, I want to try to put you in a nonpolitical mindset right now and who better to do that than the most apolitical man in Washington. So check your cognitive dissonance for but a minute and be honest with yourselves. President Barack Hussein Obama couldn’t move 10 armored vehicles on a train without the man being accused of trying to Jade Helm you and lock up your family in an empty Wal-Mart. Were the man to attempt to gather the military and hold a military parade in Washington the Three Percenters would be there faster than you can say Oath Keepers. It would be derided by fiscal conservatives as a waste of money during a time when James Mattis is literally pleading with Congress for an extra bowl of porridge. Donald Julius Trump now wants to hold a military parade in Washington as part of his “deep affection for the military.” I don’t blame him as if I had my own Mattis and arsenal, you’d find me in the situation room every Saturday morning playing with them something like this:
That being said, a military parade is a terrible idea. I mean, just the worst. It’s not a really a partisan issue, but I’ll lay out 3 solid logical reasons why this idea should be viewed with just about the same merit as the double decker couch from the Lego Movie. Just, awful.
The Troops Don’t Want to Be There
While I am a Marine veteran, I confess that I have not been authorized to speak on behalf of the veteran community. I will remind you though, as I often do, that this is my blog and I bought the domain name so I can type what I want. Honestly, my fellow veterans, how many of you would be excited about the notion of waking up at 0400 in order to form up at 0500 hundred for a parade that doesn’t start until 1200 only to find out it actually starts at 1400 and you’ve been in the wrong spot for 2 hours. That’s military cluster%$#^ery at it’s finest and yet, you know that’s how this thing will go down.
As a veteran, I truly do appreciate and respect Trump’s admiration for those in uniform and I do believe it is genuine. That being said, just buy me a fish sandwich and spare me the parade. Most active duty or reserve members that will be called upon to participate in this parade don’t practice this pomp and circumstance stuff every day. The silent drill team is awesome, but the rest of the military the silent drill is not.
I can remember being called up to provide a 21 gun salute for some veterans Memorial dedication ceremony back in the late 90’s. Dressed to party in our Dress Blues, we looked the part and might I say we looked good. Only problem was that none of us had ever practiced a 21 gun salute before. What was supposed to be 7 of us firing three synchronized volleys of fire sounded like a firefight in an Iraqi slum. My guess is that those participating in this parade would rather be elsewhere and while they appreciate the recognition, Donald Trump could just pick up all bar tabs in Oceanside, California and earn a little more gratitude from the troops.
It’s Absolutely Fiscally Irresponsible
Looming conflict with North Korea, Navy Ships running into other ships, fighter planes falling out of the sky, and the longest war in US History still going strong, the military has bigger fiscal fish to fry right now. There is no telling how much this parade will cost, but it’s absolutely certain to be into the tens of millions of dollars. All for what? For who exactly? It is certainly not to boost the morale of the troops and nor is it to increase the public’s affection for the troops. I can save those tens of millions by redirecting the public to Funker530. This combat footage of soldiers surviving a 500 pound American bomb dropped on their position will leave you with both appreciation for their service and respect for the power of all weapons all for the price of a fish sandwich.
I’m serious, watch Funker530 and it will do what a parade never can to inform the civilian population on what we do. I can’t from the conservative side of me that rails against wasteful spending at one moment then support such a costly parade for matters of ego or personal affection. Truth be told, and I say this having come from the non-profit world, the US Government shouldn’t be spending a dime on anything like this ever. For as much money as we shell out in Government contracts we should have corporate sponsors lined up for such revelry. “Now here comes the President’s Own Marine Band brought to you by Boeing. Next we have Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines brought to you by Skoal.” Maybe then and only then could I justify the expense of such a parade.
Why Are We Doing this Again?
I keep landing on that final reason in that I don’t understand why would put the troops through something they likely won’t enjoy, to spend money that we don’t have to celebrate what exactly? After the Gulf War, there was a sincere desire in America to pull a quantum leap and put right what once went wrong. Namely, the treatment of our Vietnam veteran’s generation was a great moral stain in this nation’s history. If you think that the anger from that generation has subsided just walk into your local VFW with an “I heart Jane Fonda” shirt and see what happens. If you don’t believe how bad they had it, just talk to this young veteran who just wanted a bite to eat.
So after we starred in that weekend CNN special known as the Gulf War, it was right and just that we celebrate. Not just for the men and women who fought in that conflict, but for those who were never rightly honored. It helped transcend this nation from a time when our veterans were spat upon to where Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA was the hippest song in the land.
I’ve been a Marine since I stepped on the yellow footprints some 20 years ago. I’ve been a combat veteran since I left the great sandbox nearly 15 years ago. I get a free lunch at any Applebee’s every November and 10% anything I purchase at Lowes. I’ve never been spat upon and I have an entire generation of GWOT veterans to muse about our war online. To be perfectly honest, apart from veterans seemingly caught up in VA healthcare debacles we veterans have it pretty good. I lament that the word veteran has somehow become synonymous with the word charity as most of us are doing just fine, thriving in life, business and more. If anything we veterans need to be told to move on more than we need to be told to look back.
The United States Military was put on Earth to chew bubble gum and kick a@$. As far as my generation is concerned we ran out of bubble gum on 9-11 and the ensuing can of whoop a@$ on our enemies is celebration enough. We have no definitive victory in any GWOT conflict to date as the kids fighting in Iraq today were as young as 3 or 4 years old when I was there back in 2003. Perhaps we just focus on fighting the war we have ahead of us and save the parade nonsense for those leaders whose power is derived purely from force. The power of our nation is derived from a 200 year old document in the national archives. You don’t have to hate Trump to call this idea stupid. Encourage me my fellow citizens by reminding me that the man is not beyond your reproach. Stupid is as stupid does after all, let’s just call stupid when we see it.
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