Big Red Car here in the ATX where it is currently 78F on a Friday afternoon. But, hey, you probably love snow, ice and bitter cold — so good for you.
On Earth as it is in Texas.
So The Boss has been biting his tongue since the State of the Union speech. He’s really irritated by the hypocrisy of the Congress and the President in regard to SFC Cory Remsburg.
SFC Cory Remsburg
SFC Remsburg is the soldier who was honored by the President at end of his speech. The chamber rose in applause paying homage to the kind of man that allowed them to legislate in peace. They make laws in the peace only because of men like Remsburg. We sleep in our beds at night peacefully because of Rangers like SFC Remsburg.
You will recall George Orwell’s famous quote:
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
SFC Rembburg was such a man. A rough man who volunteered to allow us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night because he was willing to do violence to our enemies.
SFC — Sergeant First Class, E-7, typically a Platoon Sergeant — Remsburg served ten combat tours in Afghanistan with the Ranger Regiment.
Rangers Lead The Way!
The 75th Ranger Regiment is composed of three battalions located at Fort Benning, Fort Stewart (Hunter AAF) and Fort Lewis. On an instant’s notice they go where the fight is and they have spent a lot of time in Afghanistan.
Rangers are the American Army’s raiders. Men who can come from the sky, over land, from the sea to find, fix and kill our enemies. They routinely operate behind enemy lines and can live off the land.
In The Boss’s day, every Regular Army officer (as opposed to reserve officers) had to go to Ranger School and Airborne school. Only half of the men who undertook this training graduated and most never served with a Ranger unit. They went out to their units with the Ranger tab on their left shoulder. It was a mark of some distinction. It provided their units with men who could then train the rest of the unit in patrolling and raiding.
At Normandy, Rangers scaled Pont du Hoc and lead the invasion. If you saw Saving Private Ryan, you saw that Tom Hanks was a Captain in the Rangers.
While SFC Remsburg was discharging his duty and making Congress safe and able to consider their duties, the Congress was reducing his pension.
That’s right — this same Congress and President passed a law reducing the annual COLA (cost of living allowance) of medical retirees like SFC Cory Remsburg by 1% per year until they reached age 62.
This bunch of phonies were applauding SFC Remsburg’s noble service AFTER they had cut the guy’s pension.
This was done in a piece of legislation which provided funds for one of the most scandalous and corrupt programs in American history — the payment of support for the benefit of children of illegal aliens who were not even resident in the United States.
The illegals got paid. The soldiers got screwed. The Congress and the President pretended it was otherwise. Phonies all.
This is the way that these Congressional phonies and our President acted. They publicly applauded and they privately penalized soldiers. Soldiers like SFC Cory Remsburg who served ten combat tours and who has almost given his life to our Nation, literally.
In the military, we used to call these kind of politicians “jock sniffers” — guys who liked to be around better men who they admired but whom they could never be. They were not to be trusted.
The English equivalent of GI Joe is Tommy Atkins.
The English poet Rudyard Kipling had a great poem of the same name — Tommy — which decried the same failing. A nation lauded their soldiers when they needed them and then discarded them when the war was over.
I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.
Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!
For men like SFC Remsburg, the war will never be over.
So the Big Red Car curses the phony Congress and the President for their perfidy and dishonesty. Restore this man’s pension and that of all soldiers under 62, you worthless bastards.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a pissed off Big Red Car. Take care of yourself this weekend and drink a toast to Rangers everywhere. Sleep peacefully tonight, America, good men have made it so. But God damn it, take care of them like they have taken care of us.