Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hey Jill, you mean these Marines?

This is primarily directed to the UofW student government senator, Jill Edwards.

Jill, as you may recall, is one of the people who actively opposed the proposed memorial to Col Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, and the one who uttered what I noted as being the silliest comment during the debate:

She said that she:

"...Didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

I would like to take this moment to point out to Miss Edwards this article from KIRO TV.

Seems there was a very large mudslide in the Philippines. The ground is so unstable that they have to search by hand, digging through as much as 90 feet of rubble in some places.

Among the tireless workers there? The US military, among which there are 1000 members of the United States Marine Corps.

You see Jill, the USMC - my father's service in Korea by the way - is not just a band of bloodthirsty killers, not just a bunch of dumb jarheads, they are hard working dedicated men and women, who respond when they are called. The US military, including the Marine Corps, responds to all manner of domestic and international disasters and emergencies.

Did you notice them responding to the 2004 Tsumani in Indonesia, bringing food and water to people rendered homeless, and helping them dig out?

Did you see them doing construction in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina?

You may have seen them on the news in Baghdad, but did you see them gathering toys for their annual Toys for Tots program in downtown Seattle?

Or did you even bother to look? Did you see any of the other humanitarian operations they were a part of?

The military as a whole has done far more in humanitarian work in the last couple of decades then they have fought in wars. But it is so easy to just see them as war mongers and killers and dismiss them as being unworthy of acclaim or respect.

What you may not have learned in school is that the members of the Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard exist to serve their country: In times of war and yes, in times of peace.

In Pappy Boyington's time of service, World War II, almost 25 thousand Marines died to protect your freedom, the freedom you now use to diss one of their greatest heroes.

So lets take your statement, and make it a question.

Should a member of the Marine Corps be an example of the sort of person the UofW wants to produce?

Hell yes. You should be damn proud of every service member the UofW produced.

And that includes the Marines.