Wednesday, February 07, 2018

I Love a Parade. Well, Not This One.

It's tough when reality intrudes as you come back from a nice vacation ...  I call your attention to this amazing article from this morning's Washington Post - Trump’s ‘Marching Orders’ to the Pentagon: Plan a Grand Military Parade.

It appears that Donald Trump was greatly impressed with the pomp and grandeur of the French Army's Bastille Day military parade he witnessed during last year's visit to Europe, and wants to stage a similar ... but, of course, much yuger ... parade down Pennsylvania Avenue here at home, ostensibly as a “celebration of the men and women who give us freedom.”

Well, let me be clear on this. As you know, and unlike Cadet Bone Spurs and many other loud Congressional supporters of the military in which they never found it convenient to serve, I actually did serve a 23-year career in the armed forces. I honor and respect my fellow veterans (including my two brothers) and those who serve today (including my son, who is an oft-deployed Air Force Reservist). And I would suggest that the money spent on an exciting but ultimately useless spectacle would be much better spent on military equipment, training, and the long-term care of those who have been gravely injured while performing the service so many of their elected reprehensives have declined to perform. Oh, and if you've had the matchless joy of driving on the streets of Washington, DC, just imagine how much that experience will be enhanced after hundreds of huge, heavy military vehicles finish chewing up the pavement.

During my time in the Air Force, I marched in quite a few military parades. It can be an exciting experience, but for the most part that experience can be summed up in a sarcastic comment I heard many years ago: I was one of a squadron of Wing officers standing in the broiling sun on the flight line at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, rehearsing for the grand parade that would celebrate the redesignation of Second Air Force ("Second to None") as Eighth Air Force ("The Mighty Eighth"). As we stood there for several hours, trying not to lock our knees and pass out in the heat, a crusty old Lieutenant Colonel standing behind me in the formation muttered under his breath, "The only difference between this parade and a Shriners' parade is that in the Shriners' parade, the clowns are smiling."

I'm sure Mr Trump will get his parade. It will be as huge, expensive, and - ultimately - useless as the border wall he also wants. And you know who's going to pay for it.

There are a lot of better ways to spend a few million dollars.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Mike said...

Especially for long term care.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Will it be like the ones that Best Korea hold?