Of Ivy League Schools, the class of an NCO, and the true meaning of "life and death"

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Of Ivy League Schools, the class of an NCO, and the true meaning of "life and death"

My apologies for being late to the party on the issue I am about to discuss (and my dearth of posts lately) I was taking the Indiana Bar Exam. More on that later.

Nonetheless, by now you have no doubt heard about Army Staff Sergeant, Purple Heart recipient and Columbia University Freshman Anthony Maschek and his "welcome" at a Columbia University hearing on the potential return of ROTC to the campus from the New York Post:

Columbia University students heckled a war hero during a town-hall meeting on whether ROTC should be allowed back on campus.


"Racist!" some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff sergeant awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq in February 2008. Others hissed and booed the veteran.

Maschek, 28, had bravely stepped up to the mike Tuesday at the meeting to issue an impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.

"It doesn't matter how you feel about the war. It doesn't matter how you feel about fighting," said Maschek. "There are bad men out there plotting to kill you."

Several students laughed and jeered the Idaho native, a 10th Mountain Division infantryman who spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recovering from grievous wounds.

Naturally, SSG Macshek responded to it all with the class we've come to expect from our fighting men and women, telling the school newspaper:

"Thus far, my fellow students have been very interested in hearing about my past life and military experiences," he said. "Columbia has been attempting to get more veterans to share their experiences here, and the atmosphere here has been supportive despite the actions of a very small minority of the town hall participants."

Not to be outdone, Marine 2LT (and Columbia '09 grad) Austin Byrd also wrote an excellent letter to President of the University Bollinger (via Blackfive):

Good Morning President Bollinger,

While I expect your inbox has been flooded with responses to the most recent iteration of the controversy surrounding Columbia's relationship with the military, I could not help but add my own to the pile. I graduated from Columbia in December of 2009 with a degree in Art History and commissioned as a 2ndLt in the Marine Corps on 23 January 2010 at Alfred Lerner Hall on our campus. I have been critical of the University in the past and continue to be so in regards to its relationship with the military, but I have a great respect and fondness for it as well.

Many of the current attacks on the Columbia community quite fairly hit the mark on the hypocrisy regarding Columbia's current refusal to allow the presence of an ROTC program on campus. It is indefensible to argue that Columbia need not help to shoulder the burden of our nation's defense by offering its support to filling out the ranks of the military's officer corps. In refusing to allow ROTC on our campus we are tarnishing Columbia's long and distinguished record of service and undermining the University's deserved reputation as an institution worthy of great respect. While there are legitimate concerns surrounding the return of ROTC to Columbia, whether they be philosophical or logistical, none outweigh the importance of continuing Columbia's tradition of public service and excellence.

To be fair, where many of these attacks entirely miss the mark is where they paint Columbia as a homogeneous place in which the military is summarily mocked and dismissed. I did not find that to be the case. Indeed, while I often encountered a level of ignorance in regards to the idea of military service that was utterly baffling and disappointing given the school's role as a preeminent center of learning, I also found there to be great support throughout the student body and the administration. Chaplain Davis was a regular and strong supporter of military efforts on behalf of future officers and veterans alike while I was a student, and the same was true of many of my professors, such as Douglas Chalmers and Kenneth Jackson. Chaplain Davis and some of my professors were kind enough to attend my commissioning ceremony on campus a little over a year ago, an act which I greatly appreciated. In addition, I found Dean Moody-Adams to be amenable and supportive in the short period that I dealt with her during my final semester.

With that, let us remake Columbia's image with the realities of people like Chaplain Davis and the numerous professors whom I counted as supporters of my decision to serve in the Marines. The realities of the Columbia community are more rich, complex, and robust than the current public debate would indicate, and the return of ROTC would serve to highlight our best rather than herald the embarrassment of our very worst.

Respectfully and, more importantly, Semper Fidelis,

Austin Q. Byrd
United States Marine Corps

The anti-ROTC coalition doesn't seem to be backing down much if this article from the Columbia Spectator is any indication. They held their own meeting, and some choice quotes from it:

"We feel that the administration is biased in favour of ROTC, and that we cannot discuss our opinions without being portrayed as being unpatriotic or harassing veterans," Eralp, CC '14, said.

"Research and education—that is what a university is for," Morris said. "The logic of the military should be pursued by the military, but not on campus. I am happy to have veterans in class. I am happy to have members of the military in the class when they are there as students, that is, not as soldiers."

"I think there's been this really big push to separate the issue of war and ROTC, which I don't personally understand because the ROTC is a recruiting arm of the military," Garcia said, disagreeing with a Spectator editorial that portrayed the return of ROTC as separate from ideological objections to war and the military.

"They show it as a neutral educational program, when obviously the main educational program of ROTC is to train soldiers to wage war," she said.

You can go read the whole thing, but if you are already angry, I don't recommend it. Good fighting in the comments section though.

I think the entire issue largely speaks for itself, but I'll share my thoughts anyway, since that is the purpose of the blog. First off, unsurprisingly, I agree with what our National Commander said:

"While we support the right of any student to protest the return of ROTC, we cannot condone the lack of civility and ad hominem attacks directed at one of our nation's heroes," Foster said. "The American Legion concurs with Anthony Maschek that ROTC education should be available at every college and university for those who wish to volunteer their service to our country. Students' time would be better spent honoring this brave soldier for the wounds he sustained in honorable service, and acquiring an appreciation for the price others paid for the freedom they now enjoy."

For the most part, my various educational endeavors were largely free of such nuisance. You don't tend to find too many anti-war activists roaming the halls of a southern military college. I spent 1 year at UMASS- Amherst, which just so happened to coincide with the first Gulf War. I was so outnumbered there it was like Gulliver in Lilliput. But, I was proud to have been from a semi-military background, and kept my head up. It was enough however, to drive me right back to The Citadel, which is where I graduated from.

Then I went to law school, and I found my service well respected there as well. Fairly unsurprising since it is one of the most conservative law schools in the country. To be honest though, I hated law school. I liked being around people who were intellectually stimulating, but most of the time we spent discussing issues that largely weren't in my wheelhouse. Discussing "Motions to Dismiss" really didn't fire me up the way a ride in a Chinook did, so I went back in for a deployment to A-stan.

I only ever remember getting angry twice. The first time was when my Law of War professor, a retired colonel made some statement about how most men and women fight so hard because of their respect for their officers and how they don't want to let them down. Um, yeah, ok. The respect for my officers ranked pretty low on my list of why I wanted to fight hard. It was right below "because the local nationals are selling $3 DvDs on Friday, and I need to pick up Deadwood for my Housemate."

The second time was right after I returned from deployment and an article appeared in the school newspaper talking about how the first year of law school "will be the toughest year of your life." Um, it didn't rank in the top 5, much less the toughest. Reading and thinking isn't as vexatious as some might want to believe. Sure, I missed some sleep during exam time, and I ate a bit more macaroni and cheese than was perhaps strictly necessary for my health. But, I slept in a bed, ate 3 meals a day usually, watched my Red Sox almost every night in class, and no one tried to kill me.

Anyway, I bring this up because yesterday at the bar exam I met a few folks that were very interesting to talk to. I'm not the most amiable guy ever, but I do tend to meet folks. The first was one of the proctors of the exam, who was a Legionnaire. Heck of a nice guy, and whenever I came out to soak my hand in hot water (7 hours of hand written essays gave me serious hand cramps) the guy would smile at me, encourage me, and tell me I could do it. Then I got talking to two other guys, and shame on me, at the time I didn't get either of their names. One was a young Marine LT who was getting ready to PCS to Quantico. He wants to be JAG (obviously) and joked that if he failed he might get a chance to be infantry. Ah, it ain't so bad LT, Infantry life is a good life.

The second was a guy who told me about his brother, Tim. Tim was an Apache pilot who served in Bosnia at the same time I did. The brother told me about how Tim got to run security for President Clinton's helicopter over there. Tim returned and joined the Tennessee Guard to train other Apache pilots. In early 2006 it deployed to Afghanistan with the 4-278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. As the brother told the story, I almost missed what he said next, but when I got home from the exam, it hit me, and I looked it up, as remarkably I remembered the exact date that he had said:

Family members described a National Guardsman from Milan who was killed Sunday in Afghanistan as a beloved husband, father and son.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Timothy Flanigan, 37, who was with the Jackson-based 4-278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, was killed in an AH-64 Apache helicopter that crashed shortly after taking off from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Enemy fire has been ruled out in the crash, which is still under investigation.

The soldier's father, William Thomas Flanigan, said Wednesday that he will remember his son, who was known as Tim, as a "straight arrow" and someone whose word "you could take to the bank."

William Thomas Flanigan, who is trained as an aeronautical engineer, said he spoke with his son frequently during his deployment. He described learning of his son's death as "unreal."

"At times you can accept it and at others, you can't believe it," he said in a telephone interview from his Indiana home. "He was a very vital person and he touched everyone's lives."

Tim Flanigan was piloting the two-man helicopter and served as a Guard training instructor. He had flown since he was a teenager, his father said.

"He probably knew (the Apache) better than the guys who built them," he said.

His son's love of flying was paralleled only by his love of service, he said.

There's a comment on that page that hit me pretty hard from Lyn Mason:

Yesterday, for some reason, I logged on to a site I hadn't visited for quite some time (patriotguard.org). I was devastated to find out that Timmy Flanigan died in the line of duty back on 02 JUL.

I don't know what compelled me to check that website ...but I did. I was devastated to find that a super trooper and terrific pilot lost his life 02 JUL 06. Timmy was a student of mine when he went through the IFE Prep course at FTIG. Tim was a skillful aviator...and embodied the essence of "team player." He was a joy to fly with...and I don't say that about just anyone. I feel honored to have known him. He was one of the most honest and decent people I've met in my life. He also happened to be an outstanding soldier and aviator.

My heart goes out to his family and so many others that loved him.

He will be sorely missed.

So anyway, from that article I would figure out that the man I had talked to during breaks at the exam was Sean Flanigan. (An excellent Irish name if ever there was one.) I did the math last night too; Sean must have started law school right after his brother's death. For Sean, no doubt, the first year of law school was one of his hardest.

Taking the bar exam tends to be fraught with a certain degree of stress. For many of the test takers, this could alter their lives. Will they have a better job as a result of the exam? Will they lose a job they have now? For me, passing or failing means only whether I have to take the damn thing again, because I am not leaving the Legion unless they kick me out. I never really intended to be a lawyer, I just want to help out writing First Amendment amicus briefs, and doing what I can for my fellow veterans.

Deebow over at Blackfive reminded me today of the quote from Henry V that "he that bleeds with me today, shall be my brother." I think all of us active in veterans issues live that as a mantra each day. And thus, as Tim Flanigan is my brother, so too was Sean. I hope he did well on the exam.

But this morning it was really brought home. Many of you know Leta Carruth, one of the greatest veterans' advocates on the planet. She's an Honorary Member of 2-503 Infantry Regiment, she's a blogger (From Cow Pastures to Kosovo) and most of all she's my friend.

Back when Tim was Killed in Action, Leta lived in Tennessee. Today she sent me an email entitles "CW3 Flanigan - less than 6 degrees of separation":

Back in 2006 I was perusing Any Soldier for Soldier's to support from Tennessee. Found a guy and began supporting him. SSG Jeff Harrell. Apache mechanic. I was surprised to learn that SSG Harrell (now retired from the NG) and I had common friends in west Tennessee. Small world.

To get to the point of this email - Jeff was close friends with CW3 Flanigan. Attached is a photo of Jeff speaking at CW3 Flanigan's memorial service in Afghanistan. Not sure if his brother would want the picture or not but thought I'd send it along. SSG Harrell was hit VERY hard by his death.

The first flag I ever got was from that unit. It has a certificate with an Apache flying over the Afghanistan landscape. Incredibly touching in every respect. I've always treasured it and will continue to do so.

I think the stories of SSG Maschek and CW3 Flanigan point out what is best in this world. When Maschek's story hit the news, service members, veterans and supporters alike coalesced around him and said "Not on our watch." I applaud and salute everyone who came to his defense. I am largely untroubled by what Anti-ROTC folks at Columbia think about me and my brothers and sisters. But woe befall them when they accuse one of racism for merely doing their duty, and trying to do the best they can for a downtrodden people and for those who would malign him later at town hall events.

And CW3 Flanigan died doing that duty. He left behind a child, a spouse, a mom and dad, and a brother who all loved and respected him. It's always a crying shame (literally) when someone so great is taken from us early, but I hope the family finds solace in the knowledge that he died doing a duty he clearly cherished.

As the plaque on the wall of my barracks at The Citadel said:

"Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less." -- Robert E. Lee

Let those who did their duty be honored, in life or death.

Salute to SSG Maschek, and Rest In Peace CW3 Tim Flanigan. 

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What can you expect in schools where there are leftist leaning liberal professors who apparently hate America and anything that is associated with it. This is like those who spat on and labeled Vietnam Vets as baby killers and such. My wish is that those then ant these now who deride veterans would get a taste of what the veterans had and have to face. I would love for people like Fonda to have had to be in the jungles and knowing first hand what it's like having life firing coming her way and to wonder if that person she sees a friend or a foe. Thank God that the mentality that exists in our so-called institutions of higher learning wasn't around during WW II or any of the wars prior to that. Allowing the leftest leaning liberal so-called professors to lead a class and allowed to spread their poison among the future leaders and populace of this great country will only make the deterioration happen faster and soon, this country will just be another lost country that will not be able to stand up for what is right and will look for some other county or organization to lead us, something like the U.N., which needs to be evicted from this great country and our membership and support of needs to be withdrawn.

As grand-daddy said: Those that can't do teach, those that can't teach administrate and those that can't adminitstrate run for public office. Surprising how many forget that the miltary can't declare war. We just pick up the pieces that failed diplomacy (ie the Department of State aka the ultimate bull-in-a-china shop) create.

Its apparant that you have NOT done your homework. The dummy-crap controlled Congress has wrecked this Great Nation. Obama at the helm is driving American right into the dumper...!!! Hopefully the damage can be repaired but it will cost the American Taxpayer trillions..........!!! GHU

The same University that booed the common soldier, will cheer when Bush that started the War or Obama Mama that keeps the war going shows up on campus. War is a politician toy but your wheel chair is forever.

This country is ripe for the picking by a charismatic ultra conservative, aka, any one of the current right wing extremist looking to be President. They play on the widespread ignoramce and guaranteed apathy of the electorate. These are the same things that led to the rise of the Nazi party. Today we here of a possible third party forming by the tea bakers newly elected to COngress (with a small precentage of total voters). They are a true reflection of a failed education system, primarily in the red states that have the lowest graduation rates and test scores in the country. I guess the rights view is keep 'em dumb and stupid, let 'em fight against them selfs, and we can take control. Don't forget, we are truely in the same boat, many of us are veterans, have families and just want fairness and equality, in our jobs, education of our childrenn, and opportunities in our persuit of happiness. If there was ever a President that truely shares the "values" of the average citizen if is President Obama.

I'm sick to death of being called a left leaning liberal who hates America. I'm a lifetime member of the Legion, served in both 4 yrs. of the Army and 4 yrs. of Naval Air. Just because I don't like the way the Republican's ran our country into the sewer, doesn't make me UnAmerican. I voted for President Obama and am proud of being called a Democrat.

I voted Dem in a majority of the last election (2010) as well, though a conservative, and I agree, I don't think being left or right, or GOP or Dem makes a person any less "American" than anyone else.  So don't take it too much to heart sir.

I don't know any conservative socialist or concervative communist, it seems that tag only goes with the democrats. They latch onto anyone that seems to be a msifit.

So what you're saying is you voted for a far left cowardly, ignorant, incompetent military-hating liberal thug (idiot Kerry comes to mind), who also hates America and half-way through his first (and only) term, has further dug the republican sewer hole down to China.

Even the navy has a few dumb asses.

so you voted for the mad muslim from mumbasa....good for you...now live with it and quit blaming the republicans......

Thank you for your service and as a Legion member, I say that seriously.

Now,as my mother used to say, it is time to put your thinking cap on. Study the real cause of the collapse and be able to say things that are meaningful, rather than just noise..

I will not call you "unamerican" but I will call you misguided. Try to remember who was in charge of the House and Senate when the war against terrorism was declared. The President cannot run a war without funding and Congress authorizes that funding every year. Rest assured that when...yes I said when...the US becomes complacent again another incident will occur.

uh - weren't the republicans in charge when the war on terror was declared? As I recall, both the house and senate were controlled by a republican majority from 2001 until the 2006 mid term elections. It really annoys me that some people think you have to be of a certain political persuasion to be a patriot, and that if you are not of that persuasion you are "the enemy." Whatever happened to the notion that "I may not agree with what you say or believe, but I will to the death your right to say and believe it?" Now it seems to be "you are only worth defending if you think like me."

UH, congress declares war, and congress was democrat!!!!

No. In 2001 both houses of congress were controlled by the Republicans. And war was never declared.

AMEN to the remarks of AF mom!!!!!!!!
If we all think the same NOTHING will be accomplished BUT there is a Middle Ground that will protect all HUMAN RIGHTS!

AF Mom writes:
Whatever happened to the notion that "I may not agree with what you say or believe, but I will to the death defend your right to say and believe it?"


Absolutely nothing but just because I defend your right to be wrong doesn’t make you any less the enemy of those that still believe in this country and understand there are those that hate us and are willing to kill us unless we do as they want us to do. We do not believe in Peace At Any Price, and unlike those that do, we are not interested in living as slaves to other nation’s demands. Those that do are, and will remain, the “Domestic Enemies” we took an oath to defend against when we joined the military. Some of us haven’t abrogated that oath simply because our term of enlistment has ended.

So while I’ll defend my domestic enemies’ right to be wrong, I will not accept their position as anything as other than that of an enemy regardless of what political party they belong to or branch of service they might have once been affiliated with. I hope this answers your question.

"your domestic enemies...?" how sad you are. I don't believe in "peace at any price" anymore than I believe someone whose politcial views are different from mine are my enemies. I might not have voted for Reagan, but I wept and prayed for him and my country when an assassin tried to take his life. And although I voted for Bush2 in 2000, that does not mean that i agreed with everything he did, or that I could not change my opinion of him and the direction that i felt our country needed tot ake in 2004.
I feel quite sorrry for you, if you live with a heart and mind bound in hated.

No I live heart and mind with the defense of my country from all enemies foreign and domestic. BTW Save your pity. I don't need it and I'm not intersted in pity for anyone.


Thanks for serving my friend, but I damn sure wouldn't brag about voting for Obama . (note: he is not my President).
And for your rant about Republicans running our country into the sewer....................we may not have a country after this sorry excuse for a leader, and his comunist friends, get done with it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wake up and wise up before it is to late.

Well...You are part of the problem we are in at the moment. America and veterans expect more. It's not that I think you are un-American, it's that I think you lost your way somehow. Get back on track and remember what you originally enlisted for.

If you support Obama you ARE an anti American! Obama is a socialist that has done more to destroy this country than any terrorist could ever dream of. He has filled his cabinet with Marixsts, Communists and takes advice from Terrorists! (Weather underground)He is intentionally bankrupting us so that he can destroy our Republic and start over with a Socialist democracy. So YES if you support this "Democrat" you are most certainly Un american or a FOOL!! I suggest you start paying attention to exactly what he is doing inswtead of what he is sayin (lying)

Just replying to Mr. Jackson.....It's seem that a lot of Americans have forgotten that President Obama took over a Nation that already was in trouble financially from the BUSH administration....from a WAR that he created for the second time(we had Saddam onetime and they let him go) and not a word was said not one as we sank and still sinking in Blood Soaked Finances that cost lives of the Armed Forces and the People.....and didn't the Republicans do the investigation of the citizenship of the President....One thing to be said it's going to take more than one term to correct this mess we're in.....it took 4 to condemn us....it's going to take 8 to get us out......When you Wake Up every Morn and thank the Lord for another Day.....as Him to give a Special Blessing to the Armed Forces....The Retired.....The Serving......and The Ones that gave the Sacrifice of dying for the Freedom which You Have.....and you Don't Appreciate It.....Yes I Am A Veteran 20yrs US Army.....God Bless Us All.

WOW this statement is so far right it's reads more bipolor than right wing I'm a Democrate but I voted for Mccane because I though it was his time but when the time comes in America when your labled un-American because of who you vote for than we are no longer a Democracy as a famous Patriot once said I may diagree with what you say but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it.

While I largely agree, that Patriot in question here was French, so not sure that is entirely the right way to go.


I'm really not certain why people tear down any President.  Fight against policies, sure, I get that, but he's still the Commander in Chief.  It's like the brother you hate, sure, YOU can beat him up, but you shouldn't allow anyone else to do it.

Gerald writes:
WOW this statement is so far right it's reads more bipolar than right wing I'm a Democrat but I voted for McCain because I though it was his time but when the time comes in America when your labeled un-American because of who you vote for than we are no longer a Democracy as a famous Patriot once said I may disagree with what you say but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it.


Sorry Gerald, as much as you might like to wish it otherwise, the two are not mutually exclusive. I’ll defend anti-American domestic enemies' right to spout their vitriol but that still doesn’t make it any less un-American. Nor does that defense prohibit me or others from pointing out just how un-American you and your rhetoric appear.

Unfortunately, you like others seem to think the First Amendment only protects you and people that think like you. Thus you expect others to just roll over and play dead after you’ve finished speaking. It doesn’t work that way and you get no points for thinking it does. It is time you start getting used to it, you don’t get to spout without reply, no matter how much you wish it were otherwise.

No matter what you believe and feel about our president, He is still our president. We gave an oath when we were in the military that we would support and defend this country. That means even the people that we don't care for or believe in. You might think that oath is only good while you are enlisted but I think you gave that oath for life. If anyone is un-American it is the people that don't support other Americans. Including our president!

some people take the oath to uphold first and formost the U S Constatution that also is to Uphold the most inportent part of the Constatution the Bill of RIGHTS SO AS WE THE PEOPLE ARE TO RETAIN THESE RIGHTS AT ANY COST rEMEMBER oBAMA IS nOT OUR pRESEDENT dUE TO THE FACT THAT HE WAS BORN IN A fORIGN cOUNTRY kINYA AND TO pARENTS OF dULE cITIZENSHIP PLUShe took his oath on the Unholy Karan not on the Christian Bible the one that this country Was Founded on Dont Follow a Forign Trader and Deceaver

I like all the political bashing going on. It's doltish but entertaining. This whole article started out about ROTC not Bush or Obama. Not the economy or left wing vs right wing. If we are going to debate patritism and its relationship to politics we have to also ask who is at fault for our current demize. It's us, you and me. We allowed members of Congress to put themselves on pedestals, set up their own special benefits, under the guise that they are working on our behalf. Bull. We work for them. We are at war because of them. And we are going broke because of them. And we let it happen and we continue to let happen! We the people, of the people, for the people failed to do our job. We did not watch or over see our own government. Shame on us. So let's not debate what is patritism or what party is more patriotic or if the military wages war or defends freedom. Ask how are we going to get Congress to change its ways? How are we going to reduce the size of government? And can we repeal Congress's medical and retirement benefits so that it actually reflects that of the country and not the elitist? And let us join together to restore America to her rightful place of influence by getting more involved in her issues abroad and at home. Because being American and patriotic isn't about party lines or ROTC. It's about being involved in making a difference for the benefit of the whole.


let me clarify- Amen to what David said, not what Roberts said

Thank you I don't know why everyone has to be labled most people are closer to the middle than far left or right the country is split I'm a Democrate and I served in the Navy "64"-"66" I support or troops I believe in America and I believe we are past due for a 3rd party that takes the best ideas from both parties.

Face it dude...you are a left wing liberal dem...they(you) are ruining this country...sucks to be you...and I was in the Navy for 30 years...


Iwas a proud democrat but The party left me and I wised up. Open your eyes and ears and listen very carefully. The democratic party is not the same party your parents loved. Have you ever noticed howmany dems become republicans or independents while you very rarely hear of republicans becoming democrats. As we age we get smarter and wiser if we are willing to listen and learn. Keep an open mind and figure things out for ourselves and not just follow the old gand down the street.

I spent time in the ROTC program at John Carroll University, splitting my time between JCU and Baldwin Wallace. I was there when the first attacks on the Twin Towers occurred. The outpouring of support from the overall campus was extraordinary. However, not two years later, while attending Kent State University, it was a different set of rules.

There was an 'anti-war' protest happening on Campus at the Student Union square. Being former military, I attended, along with many others that were former Military. What I found there was disgusting. None of these anti-war protesters were older than 21. None of them had ever served a day in the military. Not one of them had any idea what it meant to put your life on the line for something you believe in. In other words, they were kids.

Being what was called a 'Non-Traditional' student, at the age of 28, I found that there were those who did support the military. The lessons these Anti-War protesters learned that day, (without violence, mind you), was that it was our CHOICE to serve our country, not done by force. Just like it was their choice to protest a war they do not believe in. While many of those 'anti-war' protesters denegrated the military for the actions in Iraq, there were some there who protested the war, yet SUPPORTED OUR MILITARY. People must learn that you can support our troops, but you do not necessarily have to support the actions taken by those troops. They were ORDERED there by command, the President, and others who supposedly knew better.

You may believe that the solders have a choice. No. We don't. We follow the orders of the President of the United States and those appointed over us. We do so by choice. What have you done? All these students who protest having ROTC on their campus are true idiots. Some say they welcome having Veterans in classes with them. ROTC is a CLASS. Granted, it's not your traditional class, but it IS a Class for learning. One that you, as a student, are NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE. You VOLUNTEER for it, just like you volunteer to join the Armed Forces. No one forces a student to enroll in ROTC. So why does it affect you? Are you so wrapped up in other people's lives and choices that you do not live your own? The ROTC students do not interfere in your life. So they wear a uniform to class. How does that affect YOUR education? Does that prevent you from studying? Does that prevent you from hanging out with your friends? No.

Columbia University is making a huge mistake. ROTC is a valuable institution on any campus. Not only does it bring prestige to your campus, but also shows visible support for our troops who DIE in battle to protect your freedoms. Every student bleats on about Freedom of Speech, and complains about our Government, etc. These students, who choose to fight and serve, PROTECT your rights. And you harass them for it? Deny them?

If Columbia University cannot support having ROTC on their campus, then they are not a worthy school. While they may be a so-called 'Ivy League' school, their denial of a decent program of education shows that they are not worthy of our money to attend. After all, some students want the best education, and the best choice. My personal belief that any school that doesn't offer an ROTC program is NOT worthy of my time or effort.

... to be able to veto the stupid anit-American nonsense the non-governmental body dreams up.

I find this letter to be in the same vein as the ones that speak badly about our military.

Labeling those that disagree with us and generalizing what and who they are is exactly what they do to us.

It is better to forgive and move on than to spread hate no matter what side of the coin you are on.

Actually Columbia is one of the few right leaning schools. Lots of "old money" going there.

The "old money" folk do not want their children serving in something as plebian as the military.

Those booing anyone speaking regardless of who it is are hopefully open to others being equally critical to their points of view, however it has been my experience that tolerance is intolerable for a certain segment of our youth. Put more simply, they can dish it out, but they can't take it.

Please find students at fault and kick them out of school ASAP.Draft them and put there free buts on the line. Hang them if they try to dodge the draft. These "Kids" have no respect for our country, They were lucky enough to be borne here in the best country in the world, Because of our Vets who faught the Germans and the Japs. Along with the terrorists .

A lot of the 60s radicals, blatant hypocrites that they are, left their working-class "brothers and sisters", went on to grad schools in the humanities and social sciences, and then latched on to cushy, tenured faculty jobs, where they continue to attempt the ruin of a third generation of students. I saw this up close and personal when I got back from 'Nam and again in the late 80s and early 90s when I was in grad school myself and the guys were coming back from the first Gulf war. Here we go again, I guess. When will these jerks retire and/or die off?

Cause for hope, though: a lot of my students and the kids I see now have nothing but contempt for these disloyal bastards and laugh at the brainwashing attempts.

It is because of the brave effects of individuals like "SSG Maschek" that students from around this country are still able to walk into a building and attend class.

I Salute SSG Maschek.

I'm neither liberal, nor am I left or right, I'm a true republican, with a degree in Business. I did not vote for that clown who bows down to kings and has no respect for the military. While he was in diapers I was on patrol in Nam getting shot at. It seem the college pukes would never make it in the military because they are cowards and they hide behind mommy or daddy who never served in the military. These college pukes I see are from rich families and have no respect for people in uniform. I just hope there is not third world war, them assholes would never survive and there degrees would never count. They would be locked up in interment camps pleading for there lives and pointing fingers at the people that put them there. Just be glad you are in a democratic society, your crap doesn't count. SSG Mascheck should be applauded for his actions, who put his ass on the line for this country, so show some respect, you anti war clowns.

Right on Ed, i was a doorgunner/crewchief on hueys in nam these kids wouldn't be able to handle it in any kind of battle........


Ohhh, you forgot to say that you fought the entire NVA and that you fought with Rambo !!! One of my burdens after comming home from Vietnam are the jack assess who fought the whole war themselves!!! Man....shut the f up. Oldjarhead

Sorry Rodney, I misread your email. I thought you were trashing the US military in the middle east.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.