Today is Armed Forces day. President Truman created the holiday in 1950. It marked the conclusion of one of the hardest battles of his presidency. The deeply entrenched and proudly separate War Department and Navy Department had been combined into one Department of Defense. This is a classic story of how the feds solve a problem. Post-war hearings in Congress were chaired by none other than Lyndon Johnson. Great military leaders including Ike, Nimitz, Halsey, and Bradley testified that the Army and the Navy needed to learn to talk to each other so there would be no more Pearl Harbors. The goal was to train and fight as one team. Pressure, compromise and intrigue were all part of the deal. It included the mysterious death (a theme which continues in DC until the present day) of the first Secretary of Defense, the former Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. Was it suicide or not?
"Saving money" by combining two bureaucracies resulted in doubling the number of coffee carriers and pencil pushers in the Pentagon. You see, we not only kept the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy, we added a Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense. The inability, aka refusal, to talk to each other, much less train and fight as one team continued under Carter in the Iranian desert, until Grenada in 1983. Almost forty years after feds "solved" the problems of World War II, the Army still couldn't talk to the Navy, much less the Air Force and young men died as a result. Read about this classic federal fairy tale in Urgent Fury. Double the bureaucracy, bust the budget, ignore the problem, and get re-elected. Starting to sound familiar?
Forget about the feds in Washington today. Stand tall and recognize the American military, a combined arms team prepared to fight, and if need be die in defense of our country and our way of life. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, ready at a moment's notice in any bar to argue about who is tougher, will die for one another on the battlefield. The courage, commitment and uncompromising integrity of our Armed Forces have earned America's highest respect, and with good reason. The feds didn't solve the problems of training and fighting as one team, the men and women of our military solved the problem. Most recently, Seal Team 6 took point in Abottabad. We salute them. They stand at the front of what General McArthur in his farewell speech at West Point called "a long grey line." The line stretches unbroken through countless battlefields- the Ia Drang Valley, Pusan, Normandy, Belleau Woods, San Juan, Gettysburg, and Bunker Hill, to the beginning of our nation.
Those who have served, or are now serving are America's finest. Each of them, and all who will follow swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign or domestic. Thank them, God Bless them, and God Bless the United States of America.
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Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?
Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.
- Bob McConnell
- Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
- I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at email@example.com, and keep the faith.