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Listen Up, Presidential Candidates

Comments by a veteran:
Friends, after watching the ABC-hosted debate among some of the Republican candidates for president last weekend, I’m a bit annoyed—at the candidates. Yes, the questioners were off-base, but I fully expected that from ABC. It was very clear to me that none of the candidates had ever served in our military; further, it’s clear that none of them had even given that void much thought.
Since I try to be non-political on this show, I note that neither of the Democratic candidates ever served—and at their debates nothing even close to this came up—or, if it did, I totally missed it.

There are two major points that all the Republicans blew—some worse than others.

The first is the Pentagon decision that now allows women to serve in close-combat units—which, in my mind, makes them eligible for the draft. This is not a question about women serving in the military or women serving in combat—women can and are serving honorably and well in combat. The issue, missed by all the candidates, was that they can now serve in the close combat units that physically, face-to-face, take the fight to the enemy; I’m speaking of Army and Marine infantry and armor units, and special operations forces like Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.

The most common–and most naïve–comment by candidates was that women should have the right to serve anywhere in our military if they can meet the standards. If you haven’t noticed, men are different than women. Our bodies are very different–this includes things like bone density–which affects wearing out and breaking—then there’s things like muscle mass and lung capacity. Men can physically do things that women can’t do—just as women can do physically things that men can’t do.
One more little example of the things I want my Commander in Chief to consider before he puts all the brave men now in close combat at greater risk. Women on an infantry or Ranger or SEAL mission who have to urinate can’t do it as quickly and easily as a man can. The entire unit will need to stop and be vulnerable until she is done.

Now that women can serve everywhere in our military they will have to be eligible for the draft–why would they not be? And if women continue to be excluded from the draft, well–can you see the law suits? So, for the next big war half of all draftees will be females–not just the 10-or-so-percent of athletic types who volunteer now, but the girly-girl next door. Can you picture her doing bayonet drill and later charging an enemy unit of all men?

And where do we need most of our soldiers? In the infantry, so they’ll go there—why would they not—after all, the rule says now men and women are all equal. No nation in the world does this–a few (Russia & Israel) tried and stopped–for reasons obvious to everyone in the world but our Pentagon.

Republican candidates, listen up. Our military is not about equal opportunity—it’s about combat readiness—which means killing bad guys and breaking things. No changes should ever be made to our very effective units until it is proven by actual testing that the change will improve their combat ability. Close combat is fierce and deadly.

And then, dear candidates, there is the issue of sexual tension; say seven guys and three women in a unit out in the field for months at a time living off the land; given the age and hormone levels of young troopers, there will definitely be some pairing off–there will be hurt feelings and competition for attention—and then some rejection. And maybe rape. And there goes the “band of brothers” culture that has made our close combat units victorious everywhere throughout history.

And, no, I don’t agree with our Politically Correct Pentagon that says that we can educate that away.

New Subject: Then there is the issue of the totally corrupt senior staff at the VA. We’ve had three people fired–for the deaths of hundreds of vets. Senior VA executives who lied about wait-times for the vets in their service area, and got cash bonuses as a reward, are, at the worst, allowed to retire with full pay and benefits. No criminal charges have been made. Whistleblowers are persecuted–which is against the law, and the persecutors are not punished. Doctors are giving out addictive drugs instead of treating the issues. The VA Secretary keeps telling us that things are getting better while in fact things are getting worse. If the senior officials admitted how corrupt thing are then maybe I’d believe that they were trying to fix things, but they all continue to lie. There is so much pain and suffering and criminal activity–at the expense of veterans; it’s outrageous that this is not a major campaign issue.

In sum, for the republican candidates, we vets need you to state clearly that you will reverse the horrible decision to allow women into close combat units; this will remove the question of women being drafted. And we need you to address the horrible situation in the VA. Concerned Veterans for America did a bi-partisan study on fixing the VA and sent it to congress—where they’ve formed a study group; but vets are dying now—we need action now. Candidates, we need you to demand that the VA gets fixed—and soon. I hope you all heard this.

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