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Veteran Eyes Are Not Here to be Mocked

Veterans General Mattis

What does the cost of Liberty look like?  I am not asking what IS the cost of liberty or can you describe the cost of liberty.  Specifically, I am asking what does the cost of liberty look like.  Perhaps if you get a degree from Harvard, you can calculate what the image might look like, or even if you are specifically skilled at computer animation you might be able to graphically design an image that resembles the cost of liberty.  However, very few can actually describe what the cost of liberty looks like, except those who have seen it that is.

Nothing Special

Look, I am nothing special.  Its no secret at this point if you are following this blog that I am indeed a Marine Veteran of Iraq, but I don’t claim any particular claim of fame.  I am a grunt though.  A reservist grunt, but a grunt all the same.  A lucky grunt.  If you don’t know how the reserves work, when you are a motivated 17 year old and you want to join the Marine Corps and choose the reserves, you join the unit closest to your home.  By the grace of God the unit close to me was an Infantry unit and thus, so was I.

In Iraq, my Infantry battalion deployed and served primarily in the Wasit Province of Iraq in 2003. Now in the age of epic war movies, American Sniper, Lone Survivor, and whatever else is to come, its not that I don’t think my unit could make a movie as well.  I am just saying a movie about my unit would be a Comedy before it would be an action movie.  Now that is not a slight against my unit.  I love 2nd Platoon Kilo Company 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines.  If you read my blog before you know that by now.  However, we served when our unit was deployed, where our unit was deployed, and they didn’t bother to ask us what stories we wanted to have when it was done.

General Mattis

Jumping to my article, The Top 5 Reasons General Mattis Should be President, this is actually the genesis for this current post.  Over the past 3 days, this blog that has only garnered 20,000 views in the prior two months has received at this point 25,000 views in the past 3 days alone.  The summary, Marines, Veterans, and other smart people really are motivated by the idea of a General James Mattis Presidency.  But not all apparently.

With this article being picked up by some larger sites, the viral nature took off.  Reading the comments from these sites, it became apparent that with words both sophisticated and not, the Military community, specifically the combat hardened Marine Corps wants a General Mattis Presidency. But not all Americans share such a sentiment.  I received and read some comments on the various sites that us Marines were delusional, out of touch, and ignorant to politics. And thus I get pissed off and write this post tonight.

Reality

Look, I get that it is a dream world that General Mattis would be President.  However, its not a dream as in we are the ignorant fools looking for pigs to actually fly.  Rather, its a dream as in Jed Clampet from the Beverly Hillbillies in that we could never be that lucky. Oh what the Veteran community would give for a Mattis Presidency.  We recognize that as Veterans we honestly do. But General Mattis could take Chuck Norris. No satire there.

Yes I wrote the article with some humor mixed with seriousness as is my style. However, exactly when in America did it become complete satire that such a Hero could be President of the United States. And that is what pissed me off about some of the comments.  Some treated us Veterans as if we were stupid for suggesting such a notion.  As if a one term Senator is a more qualified option to the lead the nation over a combat hardened Veteran General.  I mean, that has never worked in America, ahem, George Washington.  But our hopes are not the ignorant ramblings of an uneducated bunch of brutes.  Rather, they are the pleadings and testimonies of those who have witnessed the cost of liberty.

The Cost

If I rewind back to 2003,  I can remember it as vividly as what occurred yesterday.  A young Navy Seabee conducting construction came across some unexploded ordinance and that was it.  I can hear the screams of the Female Navy Seabee as it occurred and remember the distinctive profanities his fellow Male seabees began to scream as they coped with their grief in the moment.

I saw it.  More than see it, I helped pick up this fallen brother and can remember thinking driving over to the Docs with his body that this young man’s family had no idea that his life just ended.  So many, but in the greater scheme of America, so very few, can really attest to seeing the cost. So many saw so much more than I and so many personally felt the wounds on their own bodies.  So I ask you America, why do you immediately discount what our eyes see in a potential President of the United States when you consider that our eyes, our very few eyes, have actually witnessed the cost of what you enjoy every day, namely Liberty.

The Summary

Look, I get it America. You might indeed have Doctoral Degrees in Politics, years in analysis, and maybe even a degree from Harvard.  However, if through all of that you, you cannot at least respect the views of Veterans then I suggest you learned very little in school.  So might I suggest that you pick up a weapon, step outside the wire on patrol, and further your education before you so arrogantly discount what our eyes see as beneficial for this nation.  For I assure you, you know not what our eyes have already seen.

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Jeff Edwards

6 Comments

  1. Good job Jeff. I remember that day well. BU2 Doyle Bollinger. At least with Mattis we would have some proven integrity and a man the world would respect. Write a book, i’ll buy one. Semper Fi

  2. Semper Fi Jeff!!! Outstanding!!

    My time (E-5 1971-75) there was a young man who came before me who saw and said it best for my time.

    “For those that will fight for it…FREEDOM …has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

    Semper Fi!

    L/Cpl Edwin L. “Tim” Craft, B Co 3rd AT’s, Khe Sanh Combat Base, February, 1968

    Please don’t stop telling the tales of the actual cost. Somehow, someway, the attention span is so desperately short,…… most will never see it coming! God Bless you and all my brothers and sisters!

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