In the summer of 1932, at the height of the Depression, some forty-five thousand veterans of World War I descended on Washington, D.C., from all over the country to demand the bonus promised them eight years earlier for their wartime service. They lived in shantytowns, white and black together, and for two months they protested and rallied for their cause—an action that would have a profound effect on American history.
President Herbert Hoover, Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, and others feared the protesters would turn violent after the Senate defeated the "bonus bill" that the House had passed. On July 28, 1932, tanks rolled through the streets as MacArthur's troops evicted the bonus marchers: Newspapers and newsreels showed graphic images of American soldiers driving out their former comrades in arms. Democratic candidate, Franklin Roosevelt, in a critical contest with Hoover, upon reading newspaper accounts of the eviction said to an adviser, “This will elect me,” though bonus armies would plague him in each of his first three years. -- The Bonus Army: An American Epic.
The innermost thoughts of an oath breaker.
Meet Sergeant C, USMC.
An article I wish I would never have to write - To those calling for a civil war, this Marine wants you to stop, and think...
Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:13 PM EDT
By Sgt C USMC
It's been said that the military is always preparing for war. That is true. We prepare for combat every day. We ran 5 miles today to the rifle range and shot nearly 200 rounds a piece at targets and then ran back. However, we also pray for peace. I would love one day to be completely unnecessary. But alas, I am a realist, and I know that day will never come.
The headlines of the last week have reminded me more of glimpsing at the S2 Daily Briefing Sheets while in theater or the Al-Jazeera than the NY Times or the Washington Post. Think about that for a moment, let it sink in.
Before I get into the main premise of this article - I need to make two statements here.
First and foremost , when it comes to the back and forth of who did what to whom and why - I don't give a @!$%#. It doesn't change the action. In life we're judged by our actions, nothing more, nothing less. One of the greatest things of the military is when it comes to an enemy, the politics behind the situation - don't matter in accomplishing that mission. For the military , life is simple in that regard.
Secondly, Regardless of your political ideology, you've earned the right as US Citizens to say your piece - no matter how wrong it may be. That is your right, and I will give my life to protect it.
But this government of ours is a democracy. We vote for our representatives, and they vote in our interests. Sometimes, the votes don't go our way. That's life, better luck next time. Exhaust your legislative options, and then focus on gaining the required votes and/or seats to achieve your desired legislative vote next election time. That's the way things work.
But the SECOND you start committing acts of violence and vandalism, then you've usurped that Constitution. You in a way have assaulted it. And then you and I (I being every servicemember who has sworn to defend said Constitution) will have a MAJOR PROBLEM.
For those of you calling for a civil war, I implore you to stop and think about what you're saying. Look around your neighborhood and your city. Now imagine using that terrain to survive. Imagine dodging semi-automatic rifle fire as you scramble from cover to cover, dragging your wounded child behind you. Imagine the deafening report of a mortar as it strikes the ground a 150 feet in front of you, the overpressure enough to shatter your teeth and perforate an ear drum. Try and envision a Stryker rolling through neighbor's front lawn or a F/A-18 making lazy loops over your head in Close Air Support for the troops in the distance.
Now with that vision in mind, stop by your local Marine Corps base, being they will be the first military units you'd face in an all out 'civil war' . Look at them for a moment, examine their 'work environment' . They're running the track, they're climbing ropes, they're grappelling with each other in mock hand-to-hand combat, and shooting targets while moving in raid lines on a daily basis. Nearly everyone on that base, down to our 'secretaries' has a combat award of one type or another, they've faced some of the most stressful situations on Earth where succumbing to the stress can get you killed, and they flourished.
Now ask yourselves and be honest - when is the last time you've run anything other than late to work, climbed anything other than a flight of stairs, grappelled with anything other than a paper jam, and shot off anything other than your mouth? When's the last time you were in any situation more stressful than a traffic jam?
Now I'm not blaming you for your career choice, not in the least. I can't think of a single job that's not useful in some way or another. I just want you to simply compare and contrast your work environment with ours and ask yourselves "Who is better suited to win this battle ?" We both know the answer here, and if you doubt that answer, look at the results from Fallujah in 2004. Over 1200 of them 'lost' and we 'lost only 28. That's a 'win-ratio' of almost 60-1, and they've been fighting their whole lives.
Put this in another scenario. You and your officemates think your local pro football team sucks , so you put together your own team of the best your company has and challenge them to a game. Even if your team might be good, they're professionals. This is their job. Your job is to answer phones and type on a keyboard. In short, they've forgotten more than you will ever know about football. The result, will be a slaughter for you, and a practice for them. But at least you'll get a chance to sit at home, ice your wounds and say 'whew I never should've done that!'
Not so with combat. The results of combat are far...FAR..more permanent. There are no second chances, no time for regrets, and no do-overs. This is not Call of Duty.
Now I 'd like to disperse a myth here - many of you think that US military would not fight civilians. I can't speak for all, but in my case - the moment you declare civil war, you're no longer civilians. The moment you attack the constitution, you're now enemies of that constitution. And I swore to defend and support and if necessary give my life for that Constitution and utilize every tool, technique, and weapon at my disposal to do so. And trust me, I'm not alone.
I hope some of you heed my words and cool the rhetoric and focus on achieving your goals diplomatically instead of physically. It would never want to receive a frag order to Maryland, or North Dakota, or Texas, but it is an order I will follow no matter how much it pains me to do so.