Saturday, August 28, 2004

A Tale Of Two Servicemen

Alvin York in 1919. Not wearing all of his decorations

In 1917, a man of humble surroundings named Alvin C. York sought deferment from military conscription based on his sincere beliefs that it was immoral to participate in war. When his request was denied, York willingly reported for duty though he was still convinced that it was against God's will to take another life and was unwilling to fight. Long talks with his company commander, Captain Buxton, changed York's mind and in October of 1918 the reluctant soldier from Fentress County, Tennessee determined for himself that taking a few lives to save many lives was the moral thing to do. That decision resulted in his almost single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers, silencing 35 machinegun nests and capturing 4 officers and 128 German soldiers. His actions in the Argonne earned him the French Medaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre, the Italian Croce de Guerra and the United States Congressional Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross. After the war, York was openly critical of the reasons that led American intervention; yet he never condemned the men that fought in France. His pacifist attitude changed when America entered the Second World War. He recognized the evils that confronted the free world and attempted to enlist in the infantry only to be rejected due to his age. York then joined the Army Signal Corps and participated in bond drives and guest inspections and revues of training camps.
When asked for his endorsment to advertising campaigns York always said "This uniform aint for sale" and "It's over; let's just forget about it". York never considered himself a hero.

John Kerry in 2004 probably pointing out decorations he wishes he had awarded himself

In 1966, a man of affluent upbringing named John F. Kerry sought deferment from military conscription based on the fact that it was really popular with his elitist college friends to be anti-establishment and have virulent socialist ideologies. Keeping his pampered butt out of harm's way was probably another key reason. When his repeated appeals for deferment were turned down, the ambitious yet craven college kid from Massachusettes immediately enlisted in the Naval Reserve. Not being satisfied with being a mere enlisted man, Kerry entered OCS with the intention of becoming a Reserve officer. Fate intervened and upon recieving his commission, Kerry was whisked away to South East Asia despite his inactive reserve status. After floating around off the coast of Viet Nam, LT(jg) Kerry volunteered for service with the Swift Boats apparently feeling that easy duty patroling the relatively quiet coast of Viet Nam would be an easy way to coast through his tour and still get enough girl-bait to charm future voters. Once again fate interceded for the young go-getter and the Swift Boat mission was changed for one that was a bit more combat-intensive. Through a hazy fog of vagueries, prevarications and muddled facts we are able led to understand that Kerry shot himself with a M-70 40mm grenade launcher, pulled a man out of a river after first having left him to his own fate, and shot a wounded and possibly defenseless enemy combatant to death before he hightailed it out of Viet Nam having only served 4 months of a year long tour of duty. Actions for which he awarded himself 3 Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star with an extremely spurious V device. Kerry would go on to such noteworthy activities as lending aid and comfort to the enemy, meeting with the enemy in Paris, accusing every service person in Viet Nam of myriad war crimes and atrocities and, later as a United States Senator, selling-out the POW/MIAs for business contracts in Hanoi for his cousin, voting against vital weapons and equipment for our troops, missing out on important intelligence briefings and marrying one Butt-Ugly heiress. Kerry points out his carefully cultivated war record at every opportunity and absolutely insists that he is a Bona Fide hero.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I know which one I would consider a hero.