Memorial Day: I Am Going to Kill the Next Person Who Says “Thank You for Your Service.”

LVTP 5 Le monde de la maquette

LVT P5 AMTRAC. What we drove in my AMTRAC Battalion in Danang. Designed as a Landing vehicle, it had the gasoline tank in the bottoms so that, when the Marines decided to used them on land around mine fields, they were death traps. We were rushed into the war half-trained. Happy Memorial Day

This might be a good time to consider militaries, war, and the sorry pogues in Washington who incite them.

Memorial Day? Why do governments celebrate those they have just sacrificed in the last war? Answer: To stir up group solidarity–we call it “patriotism”–so they can be more readily sacrificed int the next war. There is much of this, emanating presumably from New York’s ad agencies. Catchy slogans: “The Few, the Proud.” Air Force flyovers at the Super Bowl creaky veterans of WWII are hobble forth to thunderous applause, stage props in a calculated jingoism. This ensures that young men, impelled by boredom and the yearnings of unsatisfied virility, will rush to the flag in the inevitable next war.

Why? Not for any good reason. wars are not about anything. They are just wars. They are what we do, year after year, century after century. Why? In the nature of things, the smart, avaricious, amoral, ambitious,  and manipulative rise. Government is a sieve for finding those least suited to govern. They will kill numbers without a twinge of conscience, fifty-five million in WWII, a million or two in Southeast Asia, so far a couple of hundred thousand in the Ukraine. Countries and soldiers submit to this because they are herd animals. War, instinctive, is in the blood. We make war as genetically as army ants.

Soldiers are not noble. Consider. The Israelis years back caught Adolf Eichmann, tried him for his part in the attempted extermination of Jews, and hanged him. His defense was that he was only following orders. The Jews didn’t buy it.  But why don’t we hang the American fighter pilots, for example   who bombed Iraq and killed thousands of people who had done nothing wrong? They too were only following orders.  They knew perfectly well what they were doing.Should we hang them? Why not?

In the gelded press of America, wars are bloodless and theoretical. They are less theoretical for the little girl of seven years in Baghdad, screaming as her intestines droop out of a belly opened by jagged shrapnel, with blood pooling round her feet, while her mother goes shrieking bugfuck crazy as she watches her child bleed to death and can do nothing about it.

You think this doesn’t happen? Just what do you think shrapnel does to a soft young belly. Maybe you need to see a war.

After a minute or two the little girl will drop to the ground because of blood loss. She will gasp and gurgle as heart and lungs, no longer with blood flow, try to work and she will probably look to her mother for help, and then lose consciousness, though her organs will try to work for another  few minutes.

That is what your goddamned military, thank you for your service, does over and over and over and over, in Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Serbia, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and the Ukraine.<next, China. You are paying for it in the Ukraine, billions and billions of dollars. Maybe you think it iw worth it, because CNN said it was for democracy. Anyway, the woman can have another little girl. Thank you for your service.

Pilots are paid to do this, and get medals for doing it. There is nothing noble about soldiers. They are hit men as much as Guido and Vito in the employ of the Gamvinos.They will, and do, bomb, burn, and machine gun anyone. This is noble? How many of the enlisted men in Iraq knew where they were?

In human affairs, instinct rules. We are as territorial as dogs. When a strange dog appears on what Fido regards as his land, he rushes forth and barks furiously. If an ancient Russian Tu-95 prop driven converted bomber approaches American airspace, pilots sprint frantically toward waiting fighters to roar into the air to bark at the intruder. Grrr. Woof.

The military is often ridiculous, but it is fun. Until the shooting starts, fun is important to militaries. Watch night flight ops on the deck of a carrier in open ocean. Thirty knot wind over the deck, smell of burned kerosene, laconic chatter on commo links, howl of incoming plane at mil power, WHUMP!, tail hook engages. It is wild, orgasmic a video-gamer’s dream, but real.

Think parachuting, driving tanks, night scuba insertions on training missions and extractions by helicopter. (Soldiers go in like suppositories and come out like teeth.) There are the CICs of antiaircraft cruisers and the sonar spaces of nuclear submarines, full of screens and knobs. all appealing to the male love of controllable complexity. None of this is rational.

One reason why wars so often fail to turn out as expected is that soldiers are emotional, not rational, governed by steroid chemistry and the excitement felt by twelve-year-olds playing Capture the Flag. They are romantics pretending to be realists. Have you ever watched  your favorite football team, three points behind in the last five seconds of the game, QB falling back, falling back, dodging tacklers as the star running back streaks downfield, the desperate Hail Mary pass, and you are on the edge of your seat? Luke Skywalker flying his X-wing fighter if that is what it was, boring in on the Death Star, or whatever he bored in on? The Charge of the Light Brigade? Same glandular response.

Another reason for military failure is officer-rot. In decades of covering the armed forces, I noticed that officers often possessed physical courage, but not  moral courage.  In long periods without wars that have to be won, they become careerists, seeking promotion over all else. PowerPoint commandos, Perfumed Princes, They are submissive to authority, those who are not usually leaving after their first tour.

A lieutenant does not get promoted by telling the colonel that his reorganization of the logistic chain is hopelessly wrong. Today’s officer corps  panders hard to political fads such as sexual peculiarities, race over competence, and so on. They know what this does to morale and combat effectiveness, but will not risk that fat retirement by saying so. They will not report catastrophic defects in the expensive new weapon because they are angling for a juicy retirement job with the manufacturer.

It is not quite true that wars are entirely hardcoded in the genes. War profiteers, meaning in large part the arms industry, love them. From the standpoint of, say, Raytheon, a victorious war is bad because the contracts dry up. The same is true of a lost war. What is wanted is a long war not dangerous to America, as for example Viet Nam, Afghanistan, or the Ukraine. The dead and mutilated? What the hell. The earth is probably overpopulated as it is.

Governments know well how to work our instincts, which are those  of hyenas. The pack instinct is in us all. I remember in Marine boot these many years ago the excitement and exhilaration of running in close formation, thumpthumpthump of boots, Lefrylefryfefryright,chanting in chorus: “If i die on the Russian front, bury me with a Russian cunt.” “Luke the Gook comes marching by, stick your bayonet in his eye.” “I know a girl who lives on a hill, she won’t do it but her sister will.” Thumpathumpathump, lefryelefrye. It is exhilarating, adrenal. And it works.

Military training is not the instruction of heroes in waiting to engage in the defense of country. It is the calculated manufacture of barbarians. Soldiers need to be stripped of all elements of civilization, replacing these with  a savagery and lack of morals or mercy, these inevitably morphing in many men into sadism.

In Parris Island we learned how to place a bayonet in an enemy’s kidney so that the shock, agony, and massive blood loss would quickly incapacitate him. I think this was more to instill savagery than as practical soldiery as it was not clear how I, with my bayonet, might be behind an enemy. We also learned how to break a man’s neck. (Get him from behind in a choke hold, jerk him sharply backward while falling forward, snapping his spinal column on the fulcrum of your forearm.)

The US military? A fraud, a money funnel to the arms industry, a laboratory for social experimentation, a tool for wrecking countries that we do not need to wreck. Do you believe I exaggerate? Think about it. Carefully.

In a thousand Legion halls we speak proudly of “our boys”sacrificing for their country. No. Soldiers don’t sacrifice. They are sacrificed. In the Legion halls the aging wounded try to believe they they are crippled, in wheel chairs, blind, trying to get a date while wearing a colostomy bag, half mad with the aftermath now called PTSD, for a worthy cause. It is too horrible to admit that they were suckered, used, and thrown aside. But they were. We were.

Patriotism? it is the herd instinct, nothing else. When people praise patriotism, they mean it as an affirmation of membership in the pack. The Japanese pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor were patriots, as were the Germans who invaded Poland. So were those who attacked the Twin Towers. Do we admire their patriotism?

Patriotism? You can be a decent human being, or a patriot, but not both. A patriot supports Washington’s wars, supports any war against any country. Morally speaking, they are just following orders. Moral they are not.

A personal memory that haunts me to this day, that I have mentioned before. On the eye ward, 4B, in what was then Vethesda Naval Hospital, in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, there was a Tennessee kid about five beds down. He was stone blind, half of his face hamburger. I forget why. Grenade, RPG, mortar, something. I remember his high school girlfriend coming to see him. “Johnny, Johnny…oh Johnny….” So much for the wedding and the happy life together.

Thank you for your service.

If young men do not volunteer  to fight in a war of whose location they are unsure, they have traditionally been  conscripted. This does not quite fit the definition of slavery but it is certainly bond servitude. They go for training under threat of heavy jail time. If in combat they desert, scared and not knowing why they are fighting,  in most militaries in most times they were executed. If you believe they like fighting in some remote Afghanistan, offer them the choice of going home with no  penalty.

We don’t even like our troops not most of us. Yes, in the South, among populations of little education, in rural regions, soldiers are in genuine esteem. Among the high social classes, they are shunned. I went through high school in rural Virginia,  aboard Dahlgren Naval Weapons Laboratory, as it was then called, where my father was a mathematician. The daughters of scientist and officers were forbidden to date enlisted men. This made sense, though not for reasons that could safely be expressed. What physical chemist wanted his daughter, being groomed for the University of Virginia or Swarthmore, to get tangled up with and perhaps pregnant by  some lowlife who would spend thirty years drinking himself silly and selling fan belts at the NAPA outlet?

Our elites–I use the term very loosely–hold soldiers in contempt and usually avoid military service, certainly as enlisted swine. Among prominent draft dodgers during Viet Nam, Biden, Bush II, Bolton, and Trump. Count the Ivy students in combat arms. There might be one somewhere, probably with a brain tumor.

Thank you for your service.





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Comments 64

  • I also hate the “Thank you for your service” — from civilians; but it’s OK from staffers at the VA Medical Center. I enlisted (US Army, Infantry) in late-August, 1971… for “three hots and a cot” — existential motivations are often the most honest.

    Regarding double-time songs, here’s a more recent take:

    Finally, we marched as much as we double-timed, and “Jody” figured frequently in our cadence-chanting: “Ain’t no use in lookin’ back, Jody’s got your Cadillac.”

  • 2 years in Vietnam as an enlisted air crewman and I agree with you 100%. Wish it were not true.

  • The best Memorial Day article I have ever read and ever will. Truth hurts. 4th Inf. Div. Pleiku-Ankhe ’69-70.

  • Ah, it’s time for Fred’s Cowardly Peacenik act. Grrrr-Woof-Woof, but from behind the cover of Holier-than-Thou.

    If this is what we’re genetically predisposed to, Fred, then how is it that the number of war deaths has decreased, tremendously, since WWII (and in broader scope, over time)?

    And why would you attempt to shit on American servicemen for protecting their country – especially since it *is* a genetic predisposition?

    Last of all, your almost-proposed “solution” – one you’re too cowardly to state outright but creep up to from several directions – is for them NOT to respond when that bomb-loaded TU-95 appears in our skies. Which one are you trying to emulate, Fred – Chamberlain or Quisling? And if I’m somehow misreading or mischaracterizing your tripe, then what is the actual solution that you’re suggesting?

    Warfare – competition for resources – is as old as life. And as long as there are those who wish to use violence to do us harm, we have no choice but to remain on guard or be eliminated by those who don’t buy into Fred’s kind of mealy-mouth, poltroonish maundering. We don’t have a precise science of government, or a map of perfect human relations, or a perfect system of justice – but meanwhile, we do what we can to improve all of those things AND survive while we do. This unavoidably mandates having a corps of “rough men [who] stand ready to do violence” on behalf of their society – who, despite all of the above imperfections, societal and personal, place their safety, life, and limbs in the service of that society… and deserve immense respect thereby.

    Moral cowards and blood-sucking lice never pay their debts; it’s not in their nature. The rest of us always will – and this includes the mostly-clueless but well-intended civilians saying “thank you for your service.” It *does* mean a hell of a lot more when it comes from a fellow vet, or another soldier – but a sincere expression of that respect from a civilian is also worth quite a lot. A sneer from a free-loader – not so much.

    • Blue Water Sailor says it all – the US Navy hasn’t fought on the sea since 1945.

      • That wasn’t anonymous, that was me.

      • Aaaand it’s a swing and a miss!… 🙂 BlueWaterSailor comes from my experience living aboard and sailing for 20+ years, and has nothing to do with my service.

        But did you have anything AT ALL with regard to the points I made? _Ad hominem_ is typically the sign of a witless fool who is frustrated by the truth but has no argument to counter even the slightest bit of it.

    • I was in the marines for eight years and don’t feel Fred was shitting on me or those I served with.

    • Thank you for your cogent comments …..

    • BlueWaterSailor:
      Who are you?
      How old are you?
      Where were you educated?
      What is your real name?
      Are you still working?
      Why don’t you tell us about yourself?

    • At the Nuremberg trials, Hermann Goering (one of Hitler’s right-hand men} said it best, I think: “ Of course, the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifist for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger.” I would modify his statement a little in that some people do want war, the kind of war that brings them great profit with no risk to themselves or their families. When you talk about “the enemy” I suspect you have no idea of what they are except what you hear on tv, all directed by that most corrupt and venal of groups still legal — professional politicians.

      I believe the American symbol ( the eagle with arrows and olive branches in its talons) should be replaced with the image of a large herd of castrated bulls with rings through their noses being less by a smaller herd, the politicians, with rings though their noses, being led by the elites and monied interests who are really doing the directing.

    • “_Ad hominem_ is typically the sign of a witless fool who is frustrated by the truth but has no argument to counter even the slightest bit of it.”

      I don’t remember who said it but it is good advice anyway.

    • When was the last time American servicemen ‘protected their country’? 1776?

      • “When was the last time American servicemen ‘protected their country’? 1776?”

        Well, in 1941 the Japanese did attack, and Germany did declare war. And the British attacked in 1812. But other than those. . . yeah, 1776.

        However, military men do stand ready to defend the country, and because of that we don’t get attacked in the first place. For this they do deserve our thanks and respect.

  • Why are you just trashing us? What about all our enemies through the decades? Were they somehow noble?

    TF-116 RivRon59 – All over the Mekong Delta ’69

    • He’s not trashing us, he’s saying it like it is. We veterans seem to have the idea we’re owed something when in reality we, at least theoretically, owed the country our service.

      • Really? Service is *owed* to the country? Quite the communist idea there, Sam. Where is the contract, when did everyone sign it, and how is it that 99%+ manage to default on that debt without punishment?

        • Thank you for your service as a pervayer of THOUGHT

          When people thank ME I answer
          “PLEASE become involved in a political process that ends wars”

          Peace and prosperity Through responsibilities

    • Mike – Fred is just trying to garner responses so he can feel relevant; this requires him choosing positions that cause strong reactions such as outrage. What he forgets, in his desperation for eyeball tracks, is that those positions are also often associated with a moral stance.

      Fred has no solutions, suggestions, or anything useful; he’s just an old shit-stirrer who has lost the majority of his audience. Don’t take him too seriously… he doesn’t mean any of it. If there was readership to be had on the completely opposite side of this question, he’d be – or at least act – the most patriotic thing you’ve ever seen.

  • Your best article ever Fred! Thanks
    US Army. 1951 – ‘56.
    Until today I always accepted ‘Thank you for your service’ with a touch of pride. This afternoon I’m going to remove the ‘US Army Veteran’ attachment from my car lice s plate!

  • If I showed this years Memorial Day tome to the average American, woke, or not, they would be like WTF, who is this Fredoneverything? Best be alert the insurrectionist fan belt inspector’s …. Like you, when I hear ‘thank you for your service’ or still worse, “have a Happy Memorial Day” I want to head to the bunker and vomit. What most of the rable don’t understand is that I/We get calls on Memorial Day weekend from wives and brothers of KIA‘s & ‘in country buddies’, I’m still in contact with 90% of is pain and Greek Scale Tragedy. Anyways for a well done Fred and thank you this Memorial Day weekend pick me up…lol

  • …Yeah, what Fred said….

  • Most of the news we read, the wars we enter, this nation’s culture, and corporate life are just “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” I try to tune out of it, as much as I can, by focusing on my own little corner of the world.

  • To BWS ^^^^ You’re the best advertisement I’ve seen for euthanasia….moron

    • To Robert Gibeault Jr: since the ad is so appealing, it’s LONG past time for you to do it. Vile filth like you don’t deserve to share air with normal humans.

      • “Vile filth”…how original….lol

        • Say it in your native language coward, ‘Abscheuliche Dreck’

          • Hahaha… a castrated cuck calls someone a “coward” while cowering behind his keyboard. Since I don’t have an English-to-pedophile dictionary, I can’t say it in your native language; you’ll just have to ask your four-legged mom to read it to you.

            Oh, and: scumbags like you don’t deserve the effort of originality. Memorize it – assuming you still have a single braincell left after snorting all that copium.

            I’ll be ignoring your illiterate ass from now on.

    • I tend to agree. If he was a blue water sailor, he’s never heard a shot fired in anger, never seen blood pouring out of someone hit by shrapnel.

      • “This unavoidably mandates having a corps of “rough men [who] stand ready to do violence” on behalf of their society – who, despite all of the above imperfections, societal and personal, place their safety, life, and limbs in the service of that society”

        ….I think BWS is having a flashback🤡 to KP duty

        • “I think BWS is having a flashback🤡 to KP duty”

          You’re actually claiming to *think?* 😆😆😆 You’ve just shown that you can’t even read. Didn’t the Air Force have a test for minimal IQ, and if they did, who did you bribe to bypass it? Or is that service of yours as delusional as all the rest of the vomit you’ve posted here?

      • Ah, yes – you started with a delusion about me, and are now developing it in detail. Have you sought professional help, or are you self-medicating with meth and Thunderbird?

        You were in the Air Force, so the closest you got to shrapnel and blood are the cheap novels you read while hiding behind the backs of soldiers and marines. But your mental confusion is understandable in light of your addictions.

  • Hi Fred;

    Your point is well taken.

    But please consider how people feel when the Russians (or whoever) invade their country, kill men, rape women, kidnap children, then leave nothing behind for the survivors to eat. Russia did that to Ukraine in the 1930’s and, as you know, the same has happened to countless countries over the years.

    Without a doubt, war is unspeakably horrible.

    That’s why I believe in Peace through Superior Firepower.
    And in fighting what professor Rudolph Rummel of the Peace Research Institute called “the necessary wars.”

    Very Best Regards

  • Spot on! I want to throw up every time I hear that. The Madison Avenue asshole that coined that phrase should be drawn and quartered.

    Relentless greed is one of the things what causes war. And yes, teenagers love toys that cause big effects. That’s how they get us to participate willingly, except for when they have to dig deep in the barrel to find volunteers. Kinda like Wagner Group did among the prisons in Russia.

    The other thing is religion. Don’t get me started on this one.

    Instead of signing off with Semper Fi, I will say, Never Again.


  • I can’t find the words to hate what you say about war and soldiers, and agree at the same time. I think there is an honorable element you ignore. Soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines may have been duped into joining for stupid war but they fought for each other and that has honor. It may be illogical but I have come to believe what you do may be wrong but how you do it still has value.
    War as an invention, institution, crime against humanity, plague seems unstoppable. If it is a unavoidable and inevitable flaw of mankind, it’s better to win than lose.
    Thanks for writing that. Worth a lot of consideration.

  • Fred, you are dead-on. I spent 12 years in the Air Force after flying some 1,500 sorties in Vietnam and getting a bunch of medals. I got out because I was fed up and because i had used my GI Bill to obtain an employable skill (flying airplanes.) I realized that those who were staying in were mainly interested in retirement and wanted to stay as long as they could to get a bigger check. My dad fought in World War II and my grandfather in World War I. My dad HATED the military! He only signed for me to join the Air Force because he knew I’d be drafted if I didn’t. (I planned to enlist in the Army to become a pilot if I waited until 18.) War IS fun, until you get shot, but it’s really nothing but a deadly game played for the benefit of politicians.

    • You flew 1500 sorties in Vietnam? Wow, you’re quite the legend… in your own mind, at least.
      Did you ever get any closer to the Air Force than the toy plane over your cradle?

      “At the time of his death, Karl Richter had flown more missions over North Vietnam than any other airman—198 in all officially credited.”
      — Wikipedia

      • “Karl Richter had flown more missions over North Vietnam…”

        But the VAST majority of sorties were NOT flown in NORTH Vietnam.

        While I don’t like feeding trolls, BWS is begging and I’m a kindly old soul who happened to see or direct hundreds of sorties from the ground in SE Asia.

  • From the perspective of we paper warriors, the Cold War was an amazing time, on the frontiers of science, quite different than sweating and facing war effects in the heat of South Vietnam. I worked on national missile defenses that helped to knock out Soviet ICBMs out of the exo-atmosphere. For us, it was a technical challenge using phenomenology data to discriminate between the ICBM mirv’d nuclear devices and decoys and trying to devise terminal guidance laws to knock out targets at extraordinary velocities. There is much elegance and beauty in the mathematical game-theoretic warfare employed against a foe, who is countering you with very sophisticated and deadly responses. You have to keep the national command authority up on a distributed network slowly being destroyed by nukes.

    Whereas you Vietnam Navy A6 pilots saw the brutal side to Air warfare, I saw a fascinating world of trying to convert air-pressure data to force data, on the A6 re-wing to composites (1980s) and extensive work on the B-52. I helped develop satellite systems that collected the signals and images needed for offensive and defensive wars, delving into the mathematics of Astrodynamics, image processing, and the beauty of advanced dynamics and mechanics.

    War isn’t all blood and guts. The theoretic aspect of it is unbelievably beautiful, with the frontiers of science are being pushed through every advance. I guess it’s hard to relate to that when you all were sweating, wounded, and miserable in the jungles of Vietnam. For me, there was no other job even remotely as fascinating as being a Cold War Paper warrior.

  • I escaped slavery to the US psychos…But a friend of mine, who enlisted and enjoyed the military up until Vietnam (Germany and France were great places to hangout) was badly wounded after much combat in ‘Nam…He recovered from the wound, with a shortened leg..but what he never recovered from was all the people he had killed there in the line of duty…

  • Worked with veterans of three of USA wars disarmingly honest. Poor families, used GI bill to better their lives.
    Some, not all, saw atrocities, not all by US troops.
    The fault is the swamps, banks that loaned to each side, those who prefer the urban voters and their enablers activists.
    Meanwhile as a nurse I care for all, folks like our good fellow who writes. Falling into fitful sleep and nightmaring to far away.
    Bataan, Guadalcanal, iwo, chosin, pork chop Hill for the older.
    Fault the senders not the sent.
    Be thankful you aren’t one of my patients. Hope eventually you’ll have me or similar as your caregiver.

  • Fred, one of your great essays.

    stating what I have been feeling for many years.

    thank you for your service!

    fuck you, you propagandized idiot.

    I dont of course actually say it, as they dont know any better.

    if I was 18 again and back in 1969, I would say– kiss my mother loving ass and move to canada or mexico.

    none of those bastards who bugged out suffered one damn iota for doing so.
    the ones who served came back all fucked up and years to recover.

    I had a nephew who had dreams of glory. I tried to talk him out of going into the army.
    no luck.

    Afghanistan, 2 tours. kid is now fucked up, the usual issues. maybe he will recover in time, maybe not.

    I did not ask him how he felt after biden’s disastrous afghan bugout. did not have the courage.

    usmc, 1969-1972.

  • […] I Am Going to Kill the Next Person Who Says “Thank You for Your Service,” by Fred Reed […]

  • If a honeybee stings, it dies; but if the honeybee does not sting the hive dies. Like Fred says, it’s instinctual with us too and part of the dilemma of life.

    Any tribe that did not inflate its young men with pride and bullshit in order to instill a willingness to fight has either vanished or found a corner of bush to hide in. But bullshit is still bullshit and and Fred is being honest to point it out.

    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius.

  • I never thought I would read lyrics from a ZZ Top number in a Fred Reed essay.

  • Well said, Fred. Vietnam War, a colossal waste of humanity.

  • Great Ragin’ Reptiles, Fred! You sure gave the pot a thorough stirring with this one. But as always we get the truth as you see it from your perspective with many agreeing with you – that is why most of us read your essays. I find my self on the same page with you more frequently than not. I am mixed a bit on this one as all wars are not bad; however, most are the result of political egomaniacs with “Old men sending young men off to war.” Donald Trump kept us out of war while I think Joe Biden is slowly dragging the world to a WW III. Again, Ego and Stupidity. Trump will keep us out of a future war as well restore a balance to world power. The world getting out balance relative to power is generally the cause of all wars and is the case today with a growing China and a declining America.

    As a retired 30 Navy carrier pilot, I frequently wear my blue Navy ball cap signifying the carrier on which I served the most. My cap triggers a great number of “Thanks for your service”. Most if not all, seem to come from the heart with genuine appreciation. I am quick to say that, I would do it again but I would not “fit-in” these. My last statement usually gets a laugh of understanding. Our military services have in many ways gone to pot e.g., with woke. Most civilians don’t understand in which what wars we really protected America and the world e.g., WW I and WW II and of course much of the long war against terrorism following 9-11. Korea was probably warranted due to the expansion of Communism while Vietnam I feel was a stupid war and politically contrived by LBJ with slow escalation. A waste of men and equipment. Sorry, Vietnam Vets, many of you probably don’t feel that way and you can carry your honorable service proudly. God bless you and all US military Vets.

    I don’t understand why anyone would be offended by a sincere Thank you for your service. What offends me are people who misuse and over use the word “Awesome”. A real turn-off for me – I hate the word Awesome and don’t like people who use it!

    My wife and I were in Ypres, Belgium back in April. The world has forgotten much about WW I. However, talk about Terrible, Horrible and More with thousands of young men just slaughtered needlessly; however, the cause was proper to stop an expanding Germany. Trench warfare was STOOPID by both sides. The exceptionally harsh Allied treatment of Germany after WW I probably gave rise to Hitler and WW II. It seems we finally learned a lesson relative to treatment of the defeated.

    Most if not all of what you say is true relative to the horrors of war including the emotions, injury and the egos of young men with the urge to go to war. Young men and women fighting for their country when needed would be a better attribute but youth is indeed wasted on the young who cannot tell if a war is good or bad – especially at the ages of 17 to 20. But we MUST have a strong military ready to defend America when required. To do less would be stupid also.

    Our leaders must be wise enough to use our military properly. The mistakes of the past will in all likelihood be repeated in the future. Nothing really changes except names, faces and places.

    Keep your good stuff coming, Fred! The world needs more people like you who have the talent of putting their thoughts and emotions into vivid word pictures along with cogent ideas and proper grammar.

    Hope you had a good vacation!


    Jack Bowers

  • Always of mild interest to hear from Mount Olympus!

  • I was never in the military (other than the sexual revolution). 🙂

    That said, I have a long list of useless motherfuckers who need to be elmininated ASAP.

    Contact me ASAP and I will provide the list.

    John Galt

  • Wars. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

  • I believed the propaganda of the Viet Nam war, even supported it by joining the USAF at 20 (safe deployment to Turkey because I did not want to be killed). After a four year tour, I arrived back home and many of my friends were not so lucky, as some of their names appear today on a stone wall, while others have shattered bodies or minds. For what and why invade Vietnam? Which part of the USA or its interest was in danger? Yes, the Viet enemy was not cordial to our captured soldiers or pilots. Who would expect them to be as we attacked them? Over a period of years it slowly dawned on me the entire war endeavor is a con on the population, profiting the elite and the bankers. Read about any war with credulity including WWI and WWII (pay particular attention to the USA fire bombing civilian populations in Germany and Japan in WWII) then investigate as to how and why the wars were actually started, conducted, and finally ended
    looking at circumstances from both sides of the hostilities. Explain the savagery inflicted upon innocents and the final treatment of the Germans that surrendered to the allies, REFERENCES TO THE DESPOTIC GERMAN POW PRISON CAMPS (into which the defeated troops were placed) HAVE BEEN WHITEWASHED, AND MOSTLY NO LONGER EXIST. If attacked, I will not hesitate (at 80 years old) to defend this country from aggression, but once the enemy is repelled I will look to those who created and profited (military, industrial, or political) by the aggression for retribution. Final note: The winners write the history books, and in many countries attempting to uncover the truth will result in prison or worse.

  • “In peace the sons bury the fathers. In war the fathers bury the sons.” Herodotus from his Histories.

  • Hey, I sell fan belts at NAPA

  • Hey, I sell fanbelts at NAPA.

  • Hey….I sell fanbelts at NAPA.

  • Hey…I sell fanbelts at NAPA.

  • Nuclear weapons made conventional warfare for the USA obsolete except as a tool for geopolitical purposes. No earthy power can realistically threaten us militarily on our own soil without the very real threat of eventual annihilation. The need for a large conventional military is all about what Eisenhower warned us about, the military-industrial economy. You did a great job with this one Fred. No one has fought to preserve one right for me in at least a century and a half.
    I thank them for their service.

  • Thank you for your comments … Remember that Fred Reed is a Satirist in the tradition of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Tom Wolfe, and Jonathan Swift …

  • […] June 3, 2023 Memorial Day: I Am Going to Kill the Next Person Who Says “Thank You for Your Service.” […]

  • I frowned at a young hipster who thanked me for my service, so he said, “No, seriously … I really mean it.”

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