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John Is My Heart....

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by DanR, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. DanR

    DanR SAOCA Treasurer Diamond Level Sponsor

    John Is My Heart

    This is a well-written article about a father who put several
    of his kids through expensive colleges but one son wanted
    to be a Marine.
    Interesting observation by this dad. See below.
    A very interesting commentary that says a lot about our
    failing and fallen society.

    By Frank Schaeffer of the Washington Post

    Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much
    about who was defending me. Now when I read of the
    war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts
    to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our
    military who has been killed, I read his or her name
    very carefully. Sometimes I cry.

    In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed
    up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not
    stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to
    understand these stern, clean men with straight backs
    and flawless uniforms. I did not.
    I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping
    North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living.
    I have never served in the military.

    It had been hard enough sending my two older children
    off to Georgetown and New York University. John's
    enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not
    relish the prospect of answering the question, "So
    where is John going to college?" from the parents
    who were itching to tell me all about how their son or
    daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high
    school John attended, no other students were going
    into the military.

    "But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" (Says a lot
    about open-mindedness in the Northeast) asked one
    perplexed mother while standing next to me at the
    brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was
    such a good student," said another parent. One
    parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous
    university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested
    that the school should “carefully evaluate what went

    When John graduated from three months of boot camp on
    Parris Island, 3000 parents and friends were on the parade
    deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were
    of many races but also were representative of many
    economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed
    in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a
    lot of parents could not afford the trip.

    We in the audience were white and Native American. We
    were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian.
    We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at
    least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We
    were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from
    New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags
    and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced
    by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for
    the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns
    of John’s private school a half-year before.

    After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was
    a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I
    would've probably killed you just because you were
    standing there." This was a serious statement from one
    of John’s good friends, a black ex-gang member from
    Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just
    like I'd die for him."

    My son has connected me to my country in a way that
    I was too selfish and insular to experience before.
    I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to
    some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the
    Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy.
    When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John
    is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother
    is in the Navy.

    Why were I and the other parents at my son's private
    school so surprised by his choice? During World
    War II, the sons and daughters of the most
    powerful and educated families did their bit. If the
    idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the
    only reason those lucky enough to go to college
    dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our
    children to volunteer for military service once that
    war was done?

    Have we wealthy and educated Americans
    all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or
    have we just gotten used to having somebody else
    defend us? What is the future of our republic
    when the sons and daughters of the janitors
    at our elite universities are far more likely to
    be put in harm’s way than are any of the students
    whose dorms their parents clean?

    I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine
    Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me.
    I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future
    "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather,
    at least I know that I can look the men and women in
    uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is
    the best I have to offer. John is my heart.

    Faith is not about everything turning out OK. Faith is
    about being OK no matter how things turn out."

    Oh, how I wish so many of our younger generations
    could read this article. It makes me so sad to
    hear the way they talk with no respect for what
    their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers
    experienced so they can live in freedom.
    Freedom has been replaced with “Free-Dumb.

    'In God We Trust'

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