I still remember the day. September 11th, 2004, the day after my oldest daughter was born. I was returning back to Fairview Southdale Hospitals’ maternity ward after I did a quick check on things away from the hospital. I was all smiles and excitement about my new child as I parked my car, got out, and a woman started screaming at me out of the blue.
“You hate the troops!”
This was supposedly a calmer time than our current ‘in your face’ social media world of today. I immediately went from jubilant to getting angry, fast. It’s an outright odd opening line for any human being to throw out to any random stranger they come across.
I’m also a veteran of the US Army, so anyone questioning my love of the troops was immediately on my bad side.
“What did you just say to me?” I responded in an angry tone.
“You hate the troops!”
“What in the hell makes you say that?”
She pointed at my ‘Veterans for Kerry’ bumper sticker on the back of my Rav 4 and said, “see, you hate them.”
I responded, “You idiot! I AM A TROOP! See the word ‘Veteran’?”
Having been shown her stupidity, she immediately turned heels and stormed off in a huff. A narrative pushed by the Republicans since 9/11, manifesting itself in 2004, directly caused this conflict; ‘since we scream ‘we support the troops’ louder than anyone else, it means Republicans love the military and the Democrats HATE the military.’ It was a strategy pushed by the W. Bush White House, Fox News, and even our own Governor Tim Pawlenty, who stated it was impossible to support the troops unless you also supported W. Bush without question.
This week, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent the White House a message that the branches of the armed forces will not be politicized. This was in response to the outrageous request by the White House to have the Navy ship the USS John McCain either sailed out to sea or covered up when Trump visited Japan. Since Trump hates McCain, the Administration wanted the ship out of site.
I commend Secretary Shanahan for standing up to the White House after this outrageous demand, but in reality, the Department of Defense should’ve sent this message loud and clear when the Republicans started these games after 9/11. AND they clearly should have condemned W. Bush’s staged ‘Mission Accomplished’ aircraft carrier theatrics. By the way, how did that all work out in Iraq again?
On Wednesday, GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel stated the remembrance of the 75thAnniversary of the D-Day Invasion was really about celebrating Donald Trump and stopping all negative reporting on Trump. The D-Day Invasion was one of the greatest counter attacks in military history, a battle which cost us 2,501 Americans soldiers on the beaches of France on June 6th, 1944. Don’t you dare imply the remembrance is for anything but those soldiers great sacrifice 75 years ago.
Secretary Shanahan, I encourage you to send the Chairwoman a cordial note telling her to shut her pie hole. If we’re not going to tolerate the military being politicized, we sure as hell should never allow their incredible sacrifice to be downplayed and overshadowed by Trump’s never-ending need of ego stroking.