This is difficult to write.
It's been more than a couple of decades since I last put on a pair of combat boots and a military uniform, but of all the things I took away from my service, it was that you do whatever you must for the man beside you.
Above all, you never leave a comrade behind and you never forget. Ever.
Two U.S. Air Force airmen, majors, were shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. They were listed as Missing In Action--MIA.
Last year, their remains were discovered by the Laotians, verified and returned to the United States. Military honors were given, except for one.
The pansy-assed take-a-leak-sitting-down so-called leadership of today's U.S. Air Force was too cheap to give these two heroes the traditional honorary flyover.
Said it wasn't in the budget.
Click on the link to see some old warbirds from eras past do what the mighty Air Force of today couldn't.
How much is a warrior's life worth to these asshats? And I'm curious as to something--Among the numbnut colonels and generals that were too cheap to do a flyover for these men, how many of these pathetic excuses for leadership wore command wings? The job of the U.S. Air Force is in the air and it has long rankled officers who did not wear wings that they were treated like second-class citizens.
Too bad. The job of the U.S. Navy is in the water. Officers who maintain their careers in the Navy at a desk far away from the fleet and who've never barfed after a couple of sliders during a tropical storm at sea simply do not get the respect that fleet officers and naval aviation officers do.
Likewise, the Army and Marines are primarily ground forces and officers who never saw any duty (or action) in actual skirmishes or combat are not afforded the same respect as those who have.
We called such people "REMFs" back in the day. My fellow vets know this term like they know the back of their hands--or better yet, the backside of our asses because that's what you constantly had to cover when REMFs were in charge.
Two U.S. Air Force aviators shot down, classified as missing in action, presumed dead, their remains discovered and sent home by another government, and our own stinking candy-assed "leadership" of the Air Force is too damned cheap to give these men the final flyover they earned.
That is failed leadership.
We've seen many other examples of failed military leadership under this bozo of a CIC. Navy SEALs brought to trial for doing their job too well, Marines court-martialed for pissing on the very scumbag Taliban animals that had killed other Marines and were trying to kill the ones who sprinkled a little urine on their dead carcasses. Allen West, for crying out loud.
It would seem that our military leadership has taken the same cowardly "me first" and "it's all bout me and my power" pathway that our corporate Big Business executives have, and that our elected officials have and that our law enforcement chiefs across the nation have.
I served under some damn good officers, one of whom retired as Chief of Staff, United States Air Force and who was like a surrogate father to me. He was a man's man and a leader who led from the front. In my line of work, I often cross-decked with my brethren in the Navy, Army and the Corps. Again, I met and worked under some damned fine leaders.
Unfortunately, I also worked under some real chickenshits as well, and it was with dismay that I watched them scamper up the ladder higher and faster than the more qualified leaders?
How and why you ask?
Because the real leaders were--and are--too busy doing the real job of defending the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Their place is with their men and women, not shining a seat in the Pentagon with their ass, to paraphrase the colonel from First Blood.
The thing about veterans is we take care of our own, and we don't let people or politics or rules get in our way. Sure as hell not budgets. Those old warbirds are not inexpensive to maintain or fly, yet when asked if they'd do the flyover. . .
That's leadership. And God Bless them for it.