Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lack of respect

May 31, 2006


To the editor:

Where was our local media on Monday, May 22, when the 29 KU ROTC, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine cadets said their oaths of office, commissioning them into our Armed Forces? Not one word could be found anywhere in the Journal-World about these brave young officers, now embarking on their chosen careers, who volunteered and "solemnly swore to defend our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic"!

A standing-room-only crowd in the KU ballroom witnessed their "unison" oath, ending in "So help me God." But not a sign of one local media reporter present to record or publicize this newsworthy event. Apparently more interested in "where our bypass should or should not go"; or perhaps "the opinions or letters of the many so-called, self-proclaimed road building experts who do not know doodly squat about where it would best serve our congested city's traffic. That decision should be left to our state and federal highway experts.

Twenty-nine senior citizens, many of them retired service members, were invited to administer the individual oaths at the separate service branch ceremonies, which preceded the main ballroom event. The newly appointed Air Force second lieutenant that I was humbly honored to read that oath to is aspiring to become a navigator in our USAF. May God bless her!

An apology or a belated write-up might be appropriate but at the least, I would certainly hope that someone in the Journal-World remembers that this event occurs annually; and at this approximate same time each year at the Armed Services Commissioning Ceremony in the KU ballroom.

Lt. Col. Dick Hewitt, USAF (Ret.),



Kelly Powell 11 years, 9 months ago

o they do a write up everytime an enlisted man joins? They are risking their lives the same, if not more, than most of these officers and for a lot less pay. Look on the bright side....If the media was there, most likely there would of been anti-war protesters and if you were really unlucky, phelps and his merry band of inbreds would of showed up. I wish them the best and hope they will all be good officers who put the needs of their enlisted men above their desire for advancement.

BrianR 11 years, 9 months ago

Apology, that's rich. No media recorded my enlistment over 30 years ago. Get over it.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago

I'd be curious to know how many articles the LJW has done on soldiers returning home and others related to the Iraq war. Honestly, seems like every week there's something favorable about an area soldier, his/her family, or community effort to help soldiers.

I'm so sick of people like this Ret. Lt. Col whining over the military not getting enough favorable media attention. The Pentagon's annual budget is about $450 billion (with yearly increases and emergency supplements not included). With a budget like that who cares about good PR? You don't need it, Sir!

Frankly, I'd like to see more stories on how the educational system and health care system could benefit from a chunk of that $450 billion. Trust me...not bloody likely!

Forgive me as I refuse to worship the military!

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

I think you nailed it on the head rightthinker.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow, does it matter what the time frame was? Whether it was yesterday or 50 years ago, it is the mere threat of our military power that keep people from attacking harder than any 9-11 event possible. Our protection is from them doing continuous training and prep for that moment. Their precense keeps us and our freedom safe.

fletch 11 years, 9 months ago

As somebody who has organized multiple events on campus, I can tell you this: If you want the LJW to show up, all you have to do is ask. Write up a press release, send it to whoever has the KU beat, and follow up with a nice phone call explaining the event. 90% of the time they'll show up. The only times they wont is if the event just isn't that interesting (no good quotes or visuals) or if they're swamped and don't have space in that days newspaper. I.E. when they are already doing stories on graduation.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey Rightthinker,

You've disgusted me on more than one occasion...the world's still turning, so carry on.

And, by the way, I gave four years of honorable service to the military. I earned the right to my opinion. But my status as a veteran means nothing to you because I don't see things as you do. You revere only the flag-waving, line-towing vets who show up at parades donning every single military badge and metal they can get their hands on. If you love the military so much take Craigers by the hand and the two of you GO JOIN! Enlist your children and grandchildren.

Craigers, our military might did a lot to deter 9/11 terrorists wielding BOX CUTTERS!

You people with your one track thinking will be the down fall of this country...not those who are willing to look at all sides and consider alternative solutions to problems.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

mefirst, you made a blanket statement about refusing to worship the military, which had a very disgusting tone to it, and then tell us how open minded you are. Sounds pretty open minded. How will my view be the undoing of this country? Please explain.

mefirst, I'm glad you joined the military and since you were in there I guess we should all bow to your opinion. You out of all people should realize that they are due respect. While I don't agree with this letter saying they should cover every enlistment, I do think they are due respect. At least more than the respect some, like you seem to give them. I'm surprised you don't see other vets and just spit on them, with the way you are posting.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

You better believe it tony. I don't have respect for vets that don't even respect the group they belonged to. That to me nullifies their due respect. You can't say respect me as a military vet and then in the same sentence spew vile towards them.

swbsow, no nobody told them to choose their career path but that is why they are due respect. Nobody tells cops to choose their jobs but they do it to protect people. This is the same for our military. They choose to protect this country and will go to war if they are told to. And what for? For their country, for our freedom, and to keep as many bad people out of the country as possible. I agree with you, like I said in a previous post that not every enlistment deserves to be covered and that other citizens are doing the best they can but why say they aren't providing any sort of protection or worth?

If we didn't have a military then we would be a defenseless country just waiting to get pounced on by any other power hungry country. We would have no freedom if we didn't have a defense.

offbrand1 11 years, 9 months ago

When you are tearing someone up because they don't respect the military for the freedoms they have, remember that the freedom of speech is one of our most prized assets.

By all means, disagree with someone for not seeing things your way, but don't let your emotion steal your reason.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey Craigers,

You condemn me because I don't show "respect" to veterans. Perhaps the way in which I demonstrate my respect differs from yours. I choose to show my respect by being critical of an administration and a public who blindly supports a war that puts them in harms way unnecessarily. I show respect by demanding the government live up to the promises it makes to soldiers.

Simple flag waving and attendance at Memorial Day ceremonies doesn't demonstrate respect. It just makes you feel like you're doing something to "support the troops." It makes you feel better. It warms your little pea-pickin' heart and makes you all teary-eyed.

You accuse me of "spewing vile" toward vets, but again you confuse my criticism of the Pentagon's budget with criticism of the soldier. My only point was who needs good PR when you've got a $450 billion budget (at the expense of other domestic needs). I do not worship the Pentagon, and I refuse to happily hand them the skin off my back to fight this God forsaken war. You chose to see that as a criticism of soldiers. So be it.

If you want to thank somebody for your freedom, thank any number of protesters who throughout history participated in the hundreds of movements (labor, civil rights, vets rights, women's rights) that actually have delivered freedom.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad tony has contributed so much to this conversation.

I admit my emotion gets the best of my but I won't respect people because of the organization they belonged to, when they trample it themselves. Actually spitting on somebody that served in the armed forces is another story, but it is a figure of speech, for pete's sake.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

I can see your point mefirst about all the organizations but you can't neglect the forces for preserving our rights either. The protestors and activists have done a phenomenal job getting our government to change, but the military has done a great job keeping us where we are. Maybe you are right about confusing your questioning of the budget as disrespect, but do you really think that we can just start cutting the military budget and expect to be able to hold off a massive military attack on our soil. Honestly, what are you thoughts on that?

Some might view our military spending as outrageous and I admit we need to draw a line at some point, but also where would we stop cutting either?

I see that we are in Iraq and nothing is getting done over there. Do I think that if we weren't there that America would be covered in terrorist attacks? I don't think so, but I guess it is possible. I want our men and women back home as much as the next person, but cutting their budget and not keeping them protected over there isn't my idea of support.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago


It's complicated, and I can't explain my whole world view here in this post, but what it boils down to is that our priorities, as a nation, are wrong. And now, we're in the wrong war, fighting the wrong people, and our military members bear the brunt.

I'm sure there are many points upon which we could agree. We're not polar opposites in our thinking. I just happen to believe the bomb 'em to hell strategy doesn't least not for the U.S. You can't claim to be delivering democracy while killing thousands. You just can't! Yet, the movements I mentioned above...the people who participated in those movements didn't have guns, but they faced a military (the U.S. military) that did and they won their freedoms anyway.

I don't believe we should abolish the military and I'm NOT a pacifist, but I think if we put our billions to use on healthcare, education, infrastructure among other things we would find ourselves in fewer "conflicts." As a society, we'd have a better understanding of the world and our role in it.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow, that's what I mean. People talk about the budget of the military, but they can't purchase that equipment because of the cost. They don't have the funds. It would be nice if the companies that made body armor and other equipment would sell it discounted but instead they see a government contract and up the rates. It is corrupt from the top to the companies that the government is in bed with.

mefirst, I'm sure we could agree about a lot of things. Part of the problem is the fact that the US is consider by very many to be their police. I don't know how we can be removed from that. I would like to see education funded more, but then we get into how much money do you put towards a system that might not function at the level it should? Administrations of school districts should not have six figure salaries and then the teachers they employ be paid less than half of that.

As for healthcare, I think this is a struggle that will never end. The reason why I say that is because it is driven by our market. Healthcare costs go higher and higher due to R&D, then insurance rates go up, and it just keeps on going. I don't see healthcare costs going down or being affordable for all anytime soon.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago


You take issue with funding education and the high salaries of administrators, yet you have no problem with throwing billions at this war and we still aren't meeting the needs of those fighting it.

You acknowledge government and companies are in bed together. Companies are getting rich off this war and their CEOs are contributing to Bush's coffers...Dems too. That's the ulterior motive, not the spread of Democracy.

As for healthcare, the U.S. spends more per capita than ANY OTHER country on the planet, yet we're ranked 27th for life expectancy and 38th for infant mortality.

People act like there are no solutions to these problems but there are. It just takes a public that's willing to get informed and demand action from their representatives. Half of all bankruptcies occur due to medical expenses and 75% of those who file bankruptcy due to medical expenses had insurance, but the insurance company found "loopholes" to deny coverage. And, you want to talk about administrative costs and high salaries? Insurance CEOs average salaries in the 10 millions and 12% of expenses go toward administrative costs. With medicaid, 8% to administrative costs.

happyone 11 years, 9 months ago

Half of all bankruptcies occur due to medical expenses and 75% of those who file bankruptcy due to medical expenses had insurance. That is right on mefirst!!

Although I am not for this war in Iraq, I must say that ALL the men and women that have served in any branch of the military deserve nothing but respect. If it were not for them volunteering (or being drafted) many of the freedoms we have would not be.

Yes, the demonstrators helped but they were not the sole intities in us getting our freedoms it was a combination of both.

What surprises me with this war is that although so many people are supposedly opposed to it where are all the demonstrators?? We do not hear of any. Think back to Nam demostrations were big and continuous.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

mefirst, I agree that the ulterior motive is to generate profits but I can't agree that the only reason for being in Iraq is for money. I will say that greed drives people to do some things but maybe it is just that I don't want to, but I don't believe the only reason for being in Iraq is for big oil and money. Those that say this are simplifying things a little too much.

As for healthcare, I still think this is one of the consequences of the free market system we have where profit is the driver of business. I don't see the costs going down anytime soon unless we completely revise our economic structure or compromise the free market with large restrictions on the health care industry.

And I apologize about losing my cool earlier yesterday. I do appreciate what you did in serving our country. I wasn't very composed yesterday for some reason.

mefirst 11 years, 9 months ago

No need to apologize. Seriously. I wish people could dialogue on this webpage without resorting to anger (I'm guilty), pettiness, and insults.

I have to say Craigers, when it comes to the "free market" and certain hotbutton issues, I've determined that the free market only exists when convenient for big business. For example, the free market would dictate that if you were in need of medications, you could get them from the cheapest sources, even if that means from Canada or Mexico. But, that's not allowed...why? Because the pharmaceutical companies have politicians in their pockets.

High insurance premiums, failure to pay for services, the cost of health's not driven by the free market. OUr access to the free market is limited. Costs are so high because pharmaceutical companies are running the show.

The healthcare industry will change only when Americans are dying left and right because they can't afford coverage. It may take 10-20 years, but it will happen.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

We aren't allowed to see pictures of them in the media when they return to the country in coffins, so why should the commissioning be covered?

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