Monday, August 13, 2012

Field of Honor, Charlie Sykes Style

I had the sincere honor of attending the Field of Honor ceremony on Saturday night. When I heard about it months ago, I did not want to miss it. Anytime an opportunity comes up to pay tribute to America's World War 2 veterans, I don't pass it up. My grandpa was a veteran of WW2. A waist gunner on B-17's, he flew bombing missions over Germany. I always knew he was a hero, but being around other veterans, hearing their stories, really put the terrors of war into perspective. As an adult, I understand it more than I did hearing him tell his own stories as a kid. They fought and died for our freedoms, and we should all pay our respects.

I really enjoyed the ceremony. Everything was put on beautifully. I enjoyed the speakers, the movie and most importantly, all the veterans. They reminded me of my grandpa, and it was like he was there again. I cried, I smiled, and I was thankful for their service, protecting our freedoms and the country we love.

So, when Charlie Sykes, who, to his credit, helped raise a lot of money for the program, came up to speak, I didn't really think much of it. I clapped, out of respect and gratitude for his help. Mr. Sykes started his speech out by reading a letter that was very kind, and very thoughtful. I liked it, and when he explained that the person who wrote it wasn't able to attend the night's events, I thought it was because it was someone currently serving. Instead, it turned out it was written by Paul Ryan. Normally, this wouldn't have offended me, as he is a member of congress from our state. However, this was different. Mitt Romney had just announced Ryan as his VP nominee earlier that day, and Sykes thought this was an appropriate time to start his campaigning for him. He just couldn't wait.

Needless to say, I was offended and incredibly angry that Charlie Sykes decided that this was the time to campaign for his hero. Scott Walker also spoke at the opening event, and he didn't say anything political. He kept his words short and sweet. How come Sykes couldn't have done the same? Doesn't he have any respect for that fact that not everyone believes in his backwards conservative ideology? And what does Paul Ryan know (or care) about veteran's issues? He wants to take away Medicare, first of all. That effects all the veterans sitting in those seats! He's the guy whose budget plan would strip billions away from veteran's services. Housing, education, jobs, medical care and the VA - money gone. The poverty rate among our returning veterans, and especially veterans of the Vietnam War (you know, that war Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan's running mate, fought like hell to avoid serving in?) is incredibly high. You know how Republicans say that all those who use welfare are just lazy, disgusting people? Yeah, not even. It's a large percentage of veterans who utilize those services. VETERANS! Republicans use 'em for their wars, then dump 'em when they get home. Slapping a "I support the troops" bumper sticker on your SUV isn't enough. Support the funding of veterans programs and vote for politicians who will make sure they are taken care of when they come home.

I never once thought that this event was political. Our armed forces protect all of us, no matter who we are, what we believe, what our religion is or our sexual identities. They have done something the vast majority of us could never do - sign up to put ourselves into harms way. Their bravery is astounding and their perseverance is unmatchable. Write to your congressperson, your senators, your governors. Please let them know how important it is that veteran's services are fully funded both federally and statewide. They have never let us down. We can never let them down.

 Grandpa Bernie


  1. So distasteful the Typublicrites can be, never missing an opportunity to toot their own horn, or spread their propaganda. They are quite the breed.

  2. Thanks to your Grandfather for his heroic service. I assume you've seen "Memphis Belle."

    Paul Ryan is a zombie eyed, granny starver, Sykes his loyal stooge for the 1%.

  3. Any politician who needs to grandstand their name during a veterans event, especially the politicians who never served, or those politicians who got their connections to put them into cozy duty stations if they did, those politicians should be called out, either side of corporate aisle.

    I understand Mr. Walker has been using vets as tools. I understand some of our younger vets in Wisconsin are more than happy to help him out. Just watch what comes out of Fort McCoy this fall.
    And don't forget about the tool extraordinaire, Isaac Weix.

  4. THANK YOU! This is exactly how I felt Saturday night! There was no place for politics in this event, even if the Honor Flight states he is a supporter.

  5. It seems to me that you, Capper, are the one injecting politics into the presentation of Mr. Ryan's message. My Uncle Bud, a WWII Veteran and Iwo Jima survivor, thoroughly enjoyed hearing Mr. Ryan's message and applauded enthusiastically, along with the vast majority of the rest of the crowd at Miller Park. His appreciation of Mr. Ryan's sentaments means a hell of a lot more than a few lefties getting their panties in a bunch over this.

    1. Because Uncle Bud thinks he and his buddies should get more over any type of person benefits from public ownership of anything.

      Hey, good on the man for surviving, but he ain't the only one, and I bet for damn sure that he is loving his social security.

      Prove that Uncle Bud is giving up his social security, and any military entitlements he's getting, so that the nation doesn't have to keep going into debt.

      But, he won't do it.

      NONE of the old vets, or old people as a whole, would ever give up theirs.

      They have no problem letting us young people keep paying it in, though.

      Too bad these old fucks are going to vote Ryan and sell anyone under 65 down the river to some stock market gambling ring.

      Besides, Uncle Bud is a either a Marine or a soldier, so he knows when to follow orders no matter what simply because he is told to.

      Semper Fi, bitch.

    2. Well, Carl, I first need to point out that this well-written article was written by Meg, not I. Secondly, Republicans using vets as political pawns is nothing new. I find it sad, but not at all surprising, that you condone that level of disrespect to our heroic vets.

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  6. Thank you Grandpa Bernie!

    My Grandpa too was a waist gunner for some of WWII, but in the pacific theater. Francis E. Sawyer. He was shot down and spent a couple years as a POW in Rangoon Prison in Burma.

  7. Well, Carl, I politely disagree with you. Saturday night was not the time or place for politics. Obviously my message didn't get across to you.

    1. My mistake, Meg, for not recognizing you as the author of this piece.

  8. I thought the overt politics at the event was the 30K who stood up and cheered when Governor Walker was announced.

    Some people find fault in rainbows I suppose.