Monday :: Apr 7, 2008

You Want To Talk Patriotism?


by Turkana

Should Barack Obama win the Democratic nomination, I have no doubt that Republican 527s will have Jeremiah Wright's most inflammatory videos running 24/7 on the nation's television screens. So, I hope you all will bookmark this article, by Lawrence Korb and Ian Moss, which I received in an email, this morning:

In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation.

What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

And Korb and Moss point out that while this young man was serving in the military, a young man named Dick Cheney used five separate deferments to avoid doing so; and two other young men, named Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, later also used deferments to avoid serving in the active duty military, although I think it's fair to point out that Clinton opposed the Vietnam War, while Bush and Cheney apparently did not.

So, who was this young man who served with such distinction?

This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, who has been in the news for comments he made over the last three decades.

You want to talk patriotism?

How many of Wright's detractors, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to name but a few, volunteered for service, and did so under the often tumultuous circumstances of a newly integrated armed forces and a society in the midst of a civil rights struggle? Not many.

While words do count, so do actions.

Yeah- let's talk patriotism.

Turkana :: 12:33 PM :: Comments (39) :: Digg It!