We did what we were asked to do...

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A recent college graduate and newly minted ROTC 2nd LT in January, 1965, I reported to Ft. Bliss Texas and joined about 50 others to start my Officers Basic Class in Air Defense Artillery (ADA). A few months later I was assigned to a STRAC (Strategic Army Corp - combat groups designated to be ready to go anywhere in the world in 72hrs) HAWK missile battalion at Ft. Bliss. The next month or so was intense. We lived in the desert...moving, setting up, and running ORE's. (Operational Readiness Evaluations). Sleeping in the desert in a bag on the sand is a treat...snakes, bugs, and cold...not to mention the blowing, stinging, sand.

What's in a word?

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Veteran. It’s such a weird word, implying all sorts of common ground in terms of experience and patriotism. And yet we are as varied as our fingerprints. For my part, I have struggled with my identity as a veteran for many of my 56 years, a love-hate roller-coaster that continues to this very day.

FHBlack: I hate war

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(lifted from fhblack comments and front-paged by Anglico)


I hate war, I hate talking about war, and I hate writing about it almost as much. I was raised in an Army family but believe me that for me made me hate it even more. My Grandfather and father were both in WWII, my Grandfather as a sergeant and my Dad as a lieutenant. When the war was over, Granddad returned to the railroad and Dad decided to stay in as a regular Army officer because he believed that the US would honor its promise of equality.

Open thread: BlueNC Veterans Day Edition

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Good morning everyone.

As many of you know, we have a boatload of Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine veterans who are regulars here at BlueNC. Today we've invited any and all of them to tell their stories or share their ideas. I'll be around all day to front-page them and add our handy-dandy seal to their posts. We'll keep other business going as usual, which means the front page is wide open for whatever comes along, not just veteran posts.

Thank you to all our veterans for their service, and for honoring us with their presence here at BlueNC.

On Fighting A War, Or, The Best Christmas Ever

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Lots of people enlist in the military, many more marry into it.
Others are born into it.

I’m one of those.

I was literally born into the Navy. So literally that my place of birth is the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.

Before I was nine, I was stationed at Portsmouth, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco. That’s where my Dad was transferred to a destroyer being converted from an older design, the USS Somers (DDG 34).

Grier Martin and the Raging Grannies

We didn't have Women on Wednesdays today but I'm squeezing this in under the wire. Apologies for the late post and shaky video [note to self: put tripod in car] but not many people get to see either Grier Martin speak or the Raging Grannies sing. Here they are in all their glory at last Saturday's Global Warming rally at the old State Capitol in Raleigh.

Raging Grannies

Grier Martin below the fold....

Medicare Drug Prices Vote

Buried in everything else going on today was the GOP blocking of a senate bill allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The Bushco plan passed a few years ago was sold using deceitful cost estimates and also contained a specific prohibition against the negotiation of drug prices. Today's cloture vote was 55-42, falling short of the 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor.

Guess who didn't attend the Charlotte OLF Hearing?

There was never any doubt what the outcome would be with Liddy Dole's last-gasp gesture at covering her sorry performance on the OLF controversy. She called for a meeting in Charlotte to get more public input, wasting more taxpayer money on a cheap political stunt. And she didn't even have the guts to show up. No surprise there, of course. It's not clear she even knows where Charlotte is.

In any case, the results of the meeting were impressive, and were aptly summed up by a guy named Jim Cox, who, like me, is a graduate of Canoe U.

Civitas = Fox News. Say No To Both.

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I'm sure Heath Shuler thinks he's doing the decent thing by appearing at a Civitas Conference featuring some of the most rabid right-wingnuts in the country, so it's up to us to educate him about what's really going on. I found the news Under the Dome

The Civitas Institute, the Raleigh-based think tank, will have a crowd of prominent speakers at its Conservative Leadership Conferee, which will be held April 27 and 28 in downtown Raleigh.

Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani will open the conference. Other speakers include U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, and U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry and Health Shuler (a Democrat). The three GOP candidates for governor -- Bill Graham, Bob Orr and Fred Smith -- will speak. So will conservative activists Grover Norquist and Richard Viguerie.

Civitas is a "think tank" like George Bush is a competent president. They both twist reality to achieve their ideological agendas without any concern for integrity and the truth.


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