Veterans and the “Occupy” movement.

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Veterans and the “Occupy” movement.

It started with this posting at Addicting Info:

 The thousands of indefatigable Wall Street protestors, risking their eyes and recording equipment against Wall Street’s personal jack-booted thugs in the NYPD, recently garnered even more support– the US Marines. That’s the type of support that may make an NYPD cop think twice before he decides to go all Tiananmen Square on a group of teenage girls, armed with chalk and cardboard signs (maybe it’s because they are spelled properly?).

 The Occupy Wall Street movement may have thought it broke new ground when the NYC Transit Union joined their movement, but that ground just tipped the Richter Scale with news that United States Army and Marine troops are reportedly on their way to various protest locations to support the movement and to protect the protesters.

That part obviously caught my eye.  But what came next was worse, the article cites to Ward Reilly, who on his Facebook claimed:

 “I’m heading up there tonight in my dress blues. So far, 15 of my fellow marine buddies are meeting me there, also in Uniform. I want to send the following message to Wall St and Congress:I didn’t fight for Wall St. I fought for America. Now it’s Congress’ turn.

 My true hope, though, is that we Veterans can act as first line of defense between the police and the protester. If they want to get to some protesters so they can mace them, they will have to get through the F*ing Marine Corps first. Let’s see a cop mace a bunch of decorated war vets…

 We can organize once we’re there. That’s what we do best.  If you see someone in uniform, gather together.  A formation will be held tonight at 10PM.  We all took an oath to uphold, protect and defend the constitution of this country. That’s what we will be doing.


The problem with this section is manifold. 

First, Ward Reilly hasn’t served in the military since 1974. And he never served in the Marine Corps.  And his service was less than exemplary (including a stint AWOL.)  And his truth telling has been an issue in the past.  For instance, as my friend Jonn once noted, Reilly claimed:


[Reilly:]  I served, proudly, for 32 months in Germany in the 1st & 16th(Rangers) as a mortar gunner, starting in 1971, when I volunteered for the infantry at age 17.(With 2 full years left in the ground war in Viet Nam)

I went where the army sent me…that what soldiers do. I could have just as easily been sent to Viet Nam, but I got lucky.

[Jonn wrote:]  Well, that part about “two full years left in the ground war” isn’t exactly true. Reilly joined in October 1971 – ground forces in Vietnam were being reduced and by August 1972 all combat forces had been withdrawn.

That “(Rangers)” in Reilly’s statement jumped out at me when I first read it, so I did a little research and found that the 16th Infantry Regiment call themselves “Iron Rangers” and that’s why Reilly added it to his bio – hoping to scare every one into thinking he was a Ranger.

It’s like the 7th Infantry putting (Cottonbalers) on their unit designation because that’s their nickname (from the Battle of New Orleans when they fought the British from behind cotton bales). Could we assume that they’re actually qualified to bale cotton?

The second problem is of course, that active duty people (and veterans too for that matter) aren’t supposed to be showing up at political events in uniform.  The premise of our military is that we answer to civilian authority, and showing up as if the military is supporting something like this is verboten.

Anyway, we do know there are veterans out there.  Here’s a few videos that show that.  Some context on the first one, since I looked into it.  Apparently there are two parks that the protestors have been using in Boston, Dewey and the Greenway.  The protestors were allowed to be in Dewey, and in the Greenway up until midnight, but they didn’t want them camping there for the simple reason that the city just spent $150,000 planting shrubs and cleaning it up.  When 1:00 am rolled around, so did the police.

Now, it is perhaps unfair to share that one without a look at one guy who is legit (Ryan Cahill), and taking part in the occupy movement.



Now the ridiculous “Veterans Today” (no link for them ever) is calling on all Veterans Organizations to send our people into the street in support of the movement.  That is unlikely in the extreme to happen.  We didn’t take a position on the TEA party officially, and we won’t be officially taking a position here.  Not sure why they even would think as an organization we would.  I’m certain that many of our Legionnaires are out protesting, and probably an equal number are watching it on TV at home grumbling about the protestors.


As Lincoln said, A house divided against itself cannot stand


The reality is that The Legion is a microcosm of veterans as a whole.  And our people run the gamut from the far right to the far left.  I know prominent Legionnaires who have either served as, or served under, politicians on the Democrat and Republican side.  I even know one Legionnaire who served three different Governors, a Republican, a Democrat and an Independent. 


I remain somewhat ambivalent.  If they have a common cause, I haven’t figured out what it is, and I hate to waste taxpayer money on security and clean up.  But, the Constitution allows for a petition of redress to grievances, and I guess that is what this is.  Hopefully at some point someone will articulate the specific intent.

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what are all the demands of free education and health care supposed to be funded with the government wants to cut VA benefits and social security and no one has cried foul that they keep getting over payed and all the money spent to give them all a staff so they really do nothing but sit and agree to disagree and if i remember it was Clinton's watch when the doors opened on free trade and our jobs went out of country and we're all communicating on computers and talking on phones and even American cars are 80% all equipped with foreign parts the only car 100% made in the USA is the Toyota Camray (cant spell) assembled in KY. Its not an option to buy American when nothing is available and the last presidential election too many voted to show they was not raciest and hopefully this next one they will vote to show they're not totally stupid big government has crushed us and nothing is going to bring back the America I remember so hopefully it is close to Revelations cause it will be the end of wickedness if you believe in scripture I fought for God, Country and Corps and the country has fallen Marines are loyal and God judges not us see you in Mexico i'm trying to get work China is too far away can't afford air fair and democrat or republican their is no line the definition of Mafia is organized crime the definition of government is disorganized crime did we really risk death and dismemberment for what we have today?

American citizens or not they were with the enemy and against the U.S they cant have constitutional rights in a terrorist country like the bleeding heart liberals crying about the rights of the terrorist at Getmo so dan tucker its not concerning our rights were not siding with the enemy and Phil the Vet give em hell the only thing that obama has done pro America his term R. Paul missed his mark but im still with him cause he has kept the same stand for decades the only thing wrong with the drone attack was it wasnt equipped with tactical nukes in yeamen I wish we had drones when jane fonda was giving shows for the VC ole Ronnie was my Commander in Chief and he handled things without sending thousands of troops the people dont have a clue what we done with terrorist then cause cnn wasnt there and dead men tell no tells get the troops home stop spending trillions and lives we have the best intel in orbit spies everywhere and stealth long range bombers set the example anytime an anti American cell gathers in these islamic countrys and the threat will stop its a clear solution

I find protesting the very people that manage and hopefully make money for me in my 401K an oxymoron. These folks protest the very big companies that provide the dividends that help us all retire who work in the private sector. If they want to protest something it should be the assinine policies of the anti business, high regulation administration that has exacerbated the very problem they created. If it were not for Mr. Dodd and Mr. Franks and their cronies at Fannie and Freddie, all of this could have been averted. The very regulator appointed to over see the GSE's told them the mortage crisis was coming and they sat there and ignored it in favor of campaign contributions. All the wall street folks did was ride a wave created by government doing social engineering. Not everyone can afford not maintain a house. Some folks are just unwilling to take on responsibility and think government should provide for them. That is nowhere to found in the Constitution. America is the land of opportunity and failure, but that does not mean governnent should do more than provide a hand up, and definitly not a hand out for life. If you want those kind of garruntees, you are living in the wrong country. Government and politicians create far more problems that they ever solve. If they stuck to just the 8 enumerated powers we would all be far better off.

Lt Scrounge is spot on about how the economy went into the toilet. BTW Even as currently as LBJ the Democrats have been supporting racists. ("I'll have those ni**ers voting Democrat for the next 200 years." - Lyndon Johnson)

No one has a corner on racism but those that attempt to portray the Democrats as pure are completely wrong.

Those claiming the OWS protestors are against Fascists, aren't getting support from communists and are merely a spontaneous movement haven't been paying attention. (Deliberately? - Your call.) I've been paying attention and I take what people say they believe as truthful until proven differently. The American Nazi Party and the American Communist Party announced their support for the OWS stated intention of collapsing the entire American economic system. I believe them. The protestors themselves spout pro-communist opinions and demand the collapse of the American economic system. I believe them. The protestors spout the belief that the rich and the Jews should be beheaded. I believe them.

What makes them look so stupid is while they are spouting this screed they continue to support the very people they pretend to abhor by using their corporate products. One look at these people with their electronic toys, high-end camping gear and it becomes very clear what a bunch of hypocritical mutts they really are. If they actually believed their college education cost too much they should be protesting in front of the nation’s universities and colleges. If they really believed they are economically oppressed they should be protesting in front of the White House and Congress; the two places responsible for the rules all banks and businesses must follow in order to operate in this country. Until they wake up and actually take the protests where they deserve to be they will remain useful idiots completely manipulated by people and organizations that promote Marxism.

Robert Ireland

No Vet should attach to these ragtag idiots. They can't even clean up after themselves. Shame shame shame.

I've read all reasons for occupying wall street as well as other communities nationwide who have a
similiar occupation . I've seen the various news programs on television picturing the protesters in all
shapes , ages , and colors . Everyone blames big business and wall street for their financial dificulities
and there is an element of truth to the issue . There was and still is to some extent individuals , banks
and corporations reaping fortunes in illegal gains . Whose to blame here ? Our own government for not regulating or instilling measures to prevent it from happening . The promotion of class warfare
to me is unacceptable . The halves and have nots . It's stupid ! It turns people aganist each other and
creates an image fo futility for our country . Banks are closing due to bad loans , homes are foreclosed on for no-payment . Families are forced due to unemployment and hugh debts . Some of these folks have lived beyond their means high credit card debt , over priced homes they couldn't
afford . Keeping up with the jones . Come on folks lets get real . A lot of these folks got in over their
heads and they want someone else to pay for their own stupidity . Some of these folks protesting are
looking for a free ride without responsibilities . It doesn't work that way ! But the inaction of congress
is deplorable . Wheather you are a democratic , republician , libertarian , independent , whatever your
congress is failing you . Their inaction has created this mess . A good start would be to start prosecuting those who reaped illegal profits rather than a smack on the hand . Recover some of the ill
gotten gains . Elect a congress with some balls to get this country back where it belongs . As a veteran I am proud of my country as everyone else should be . The clowns and naysayers have had their 15 minutes of fame it's time to move on !!

Wake up! This is real! There is a element of our society I will call "the apathetic majority", previously
known as the "silent majority" who lives in disbelief. The FEDS came by (in their US GOVT vehicles) and
officially closed the finance company next door to work. There remains a new, vacant, building.......
as a testiment to what is still going on. I do not know of anyone who has lost their home, but I could
understand how they feel.(this shouldn't happen in America!) SHAMEFUL! Make those VA home loans
into VA HOME GRANTS and maybe the banks and realtors will stop laughing at us and start giving us
the RESPECT we deserve!

I wish that these people would not keep saying that they represent the 99%. I am part of the 99% and they certainly do not represent me. With a few exceptions most of them represent the 5% of the population who either are a part of the hate America first crowd or the I do not have to have personal responsibility so let the government take care of me crowd. Now people are exploiting these clueless people for political agendas. Very sad.

I read on the news today that an Iraqi war vet was wonked pretty hard at one of these events and is in critical condition. New York I believe. The OWS crowd here in Portland Oregon has gotten out of hand and sanitation, drug use, alcohol abuse, and viloence is common. Porta-Poties are overflowing, and buckets of human excrement are running over in the parks. Just as I figured, these socialist crowds are their own worst advertising, and I see no reason why a vet should even associate with these socialist tools. If they are associated with these clowns, they certainly haven't done their homework. Watch out who you associate with, it may come back to haunt you in the future.

I grew up in Youngstown, and remember the early 60's riots on the southside, I remember Kent State.
This country is being torn apart, I can't imagine the police tactics used in Oakland? Would these same tactics work in Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Chicago or Cleveland. Gang members outnumber the police, and the citizens are armed with AK's, AR15's and Rem 700's. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon end, because these soldiers will be need to patrol the urban centers of America. Look at the unemployment and outsourcing of jobs for 30 years. I hope I'm wrong.

Greetings Youngtown, I grew up south of Pittsburgh. Hindsight is 20/20! What happened at Kent State
was a act of treason. (that will never happen again, if I can help it!) Take a good hard look at what is
going on in Syria today! Another act of TREASON! Firing on their own people......... Our story continues.............V.

These unemployed Tea Party X generation Yuppies, are looking for handouts. They want their credit card bills and house payments to be forgiven. And they want free student loans for their kids.
Their protesting in a park, Just because their job got outsourced to China. They should move the prtests to the Universities or to the National Mall, General Black Jack Pershing would know what to do!

I can assure you that there are no Tea Party folks among the occupiers. Many of them are my friends, fought communists in their youth, and battle on to this dayl

You know what? I believe I will take every thing that says American Legion on it out and burn it!
These people do not represent me in any way. May GOD have mercy on your souls... Never again!

Hi Jerry,
It's ok pal, don't get stressed by this scuttlebut--you know your stuff, you're right in principle on most things I've read from you, but here's the trap--if good people like you leave the Legion, it's not going to simply go away(the other guys will still be there), but it is going to be diminished by your absence. We the "new generation" of vets have an opportunity--while supporting the Legion and the really great things it does (VA cooordination/funding/rights for vets), we can keep partiicipating in a dialogue(frustrating sometimes) and can encourage the Legion of the future to be less reactionary than it was in the past.
Is it ok for a (retired) Army guy to say "Semper Fi" to a Marine? If it isn't I understand, but that's meant as a tribute, and unfortunately Army JAG doesn't have anything I know of,

Thank you JJ, I still have my moments of stress! It's upsetting when it sounds like someone is talking
out their rectum. And even more so when someone is talking down to you (it's insulting and demeaning!) My guard goes up when someone is trying to EDUCATE my. I was a flight weather forecaster and worked in air traffic control (high stress job), like you, I'm getting older and I don't need it (stress) anymore. PS it's a free country, speak your mind! Semper Fidelis, we're all on the same team. That we have in common. I've got to go, working on world peace is no easy task, either!

Yes, the Marine Corps has a JAG too. Under the Navy Dept. It's stamped all over my LAST WILL & TESTAMENT. If they are not flying airplanes, they are probably practicing law somewhere, hopefully for the "right" side, whatever that means. Good OFFICERS welcome here, come on down....

To all these presents, greetings...
You want the truth?
You can't handle the truth!
You savor the pleasures of life, at the expense of the sweat from my brow...
You enjoy your pristine residence, at the expense of my brother's blood...
You breath the air of freedom, that for those who have fought for it,
has a special flavor, that the protected will never know...
You tread the endless highway of life, built for you,
uncaring, without a single thought of who came before...
and bathe in the shadow of our nation's flag,
which, ironically, is draped on my coffin...Lest we forget...
The hill of life, is hard to climb, the road is steep and rough...
And if you are to make it to the top, you must be very tough!
Undying FAITH and CONFIDENCE, you'll need if you're to win...
Without these priceless attributes, you're beat before you begin!
And if the Army and the Navy, ever look on heaven's scenes...
They will find the streets are GUARDED by THE UNITED STATES MARINES!!!
To all Marines PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. Happy Birthday, SEMPER FIDELIS

More wealth, more people
I can not take credit for this letter but it hits the point

Regarding Thursday, Oct. 27’s front page story “Rich get richer, outpace middle class” which draws comparisons on wage earners over the past three decades, laments the fact that the wealthiest 1per­cent have seen a 275-percent wage increase, while the lower wage echelons have seen much more modest gains.

Comparing 1980 to 2010 is like comparing life 15 years before the automobile assembly lines to 15 years after. Several complete industries have sprung up over the past 30 years, creating entirely new streams of revenue. Each of the following brand names, for instance, have produced one or more bil­lionaires, and all of them hav created many multi­millionaires: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Yahoo, Netscape, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Dell, Pixar, Ebay, Intel, RSI, Linken In, Groupon, Go Daddy, Paypal, AOL, Intuit, PeopleSoft, Broadcom and Qualcomm.

One could also list closely related high-tech, tele­com and consumer electronics billionaires.

Using numbers from the US Census, the top 1 percent in 1980 would have been represented by 2,265,458 people, whereas in 2010 the top 1 percent were represented by 3,087,455 people. So, in 30 years, our nation increased the number of wealthy “1 percenters” by 36 percent (821,000 more people) AND managed to nearly triple their level of wealth … that is laudable, noteworthy and amazing.

Another one of the most lucrative sectors during these three decades has been professional sports.

NFL salaries, which averaged $198,000 in 1986, in­creased 400 percent to $800,000 by 1993 and cur­rently average about $2,000,000 per player. That is essentially a 1,000 percent increase since 1986.

The bottom quintile stays relatively the same be­cause of turnover and the vast upward mobility that’s available from the bottom. Teens and entry­level employees eventually get education, experi­ence and promotion. Unfortunately, it is those whom the government provide for the most, who tend to advance the least.

The OWS movement defines itself as "anti-capitalist" and bases its appeal on blaming the top 1% for all our economic ills. It has no positive message or agenda, unlike the TEA Party. Its goals are very murky, but seem to be based on the premise that bringing down capitalism - personified by Wall Street - will lead to some sort of socialist paradise of economic prosperity, full employment, peace and love. It is endorsed by the Communist Party, the Socialist bloc of Congress, the Black Panthers, Michael Moore, Hugo Chavez, the government of Iran, and assorted other left-wing crazies. It is, in sum, a nihilistic, reactionary movement based on hate stoked by envy and Marxist ideology.

I utterly reject the notion that the rich don't deserve the products of their labor and that it should be taken from them and redistributed to those mediocrities chanting in the streets. Europe's and our economic problems have been caused by Keynesian economics and too many socialist giveaways, not by rich people. I'm a vet, I'm not in the 1%, and I refuse to have anyone think these OWS creeps represent me in any way, shape or form.

You might check out this photo, one the "liberal" media would rather you never saw, of an "Occupy" protester s******g on the American flag. THEN tell me these are the good guys.

Just another sign of the times and who knows what it will all lead up to.

Glad to see the American Legion staying 'mum' about this.

Glad to see the American Legion staying 'mum' on this.

The guns have fallen silent because they are cowards, afraid to speak out. Now resorting to censorship and editing. Afraid of the truth! Perhaps they are the tyrant! FDR stated "the only thing
we have to fear, is fear itself" Justice will be served! Remember, remember............V

Okay I'm cnoivnced. Let's put it to action.

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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.