[Homestead] A point of view
mmcharry at dtnspeed.net
Tue Jan 24 23:57:06 EST 2006
<<Well certainly not, I live in his district , and voted for Max but the
is, he was playing with a grenade, activated it , dropped it, and it went
No glory in that.>>
I don't believe that's quite accurate. Another soldier dropped the grenade.
It was one of those friendly-fire incidents. In Cleland's words this is how
the accident happened: "On April 8, 1968, I volunteered for one last
mission. The helicopter moved in low. The troops jumped out with M16 rifles
in hand as we crouched low to the ground to avoid the helicopter blades.
Then I saw the grenade. It was where the chopper had lifted off. It must be
mine, I thought. Grenades had fallen off my web gear before. Shifting the
M16 to my left hand and holding it behind me, I bent down to pick up the
grenade. A blinding explosion threw me backwards." Later the soldier who
dropped the grenade told Cleland what had happened. In a war zone, not
everything is cut and dried.
He got a silver star for actual valorous action at Khe Sanh.
Neither of these actions should have earned him a portrayal as being in the
same as Osama (or whatever that fade-in ad that morphed from Cleland to bin
Laden), but oh well. Anyone from Murtha to Cleland to Kerry to Gore who
served his country seems to be fair game. The guys who had "other
priorities" get to run the country. I believe his opponent, Saxby Chambliss,
was kept out of Viet Nam by a bad knee. Takes a lot of chutzpah for a guy
like that to attack a man with no knees.
I don't believe that military service necessarily makes a person better
suited to serve his or her country, but those who don't serve should at
least not denigrate those who do on the basis of their service.
To paraphrase a gentleman from another troubled era of US history, "Have you
no shame, Mr. Chambliss, have you no shame?"
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