Gbaji actually infered something from context and got what i meant right. I'd clear your schedules people, there may be comets coming or seals openeing to reveal lambs and horses or something.
I got reprimanded once when I was a 20 year old 2ndLT because I punched some guy in the face who was burning a flag on the street in DC . It was some stupid pro pot legalization rally or something. I don't even remember. I just remember loosing it and the hippies throwing Italian ices at me. I rember literally HEARING my father's voice shouting at me that it was intollerable. As surreal early twenties memories go it was up there. I was, fortunately, in civies, and had the good grace to run away. Unfortunately the USAF has this whole "Honor Code" thing, so I told my CO who offered to aliveate me of any further testerone induced foolishness by removing the source of said hormone. I declined and was happy I couldn't be demoted from the bottom. Nothing ever came of it.
Anyway, I'm quite aware of the signifigance of the flag, thanks. I've been to funerals at Arlington with honor gaurds, I have family burried there. I have 24 male cousins presntly (Irish Catholics, what can you do) 4 of whom have *not* served in the military. There's been a Donohue who I'm closely related to (there are a lot of Donohue's in Boston and NYC who I have no idea who they are it's not an uncommon name on the east coast) in ever major military enagement in the US since the Civil War. My cousin Micheal was even in Grenada. Freakin Grenada. No one was in Somalia, and my uncle Don still laments that there was that level of gunplay and none of us were there to save the poor non-Irish fools from themselves. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jdonohue.htm
Here's some asshat's "I love dead soldiers graves!" page with a picture of the grave of the first Donohue to serve this country. The first Donohue born in the US. Here's a rifle Paddy, go fight in the bloodiest battles ever seen on US soil. Welcome to America. Fought in the Civil War, fought in the Indian Wars. I brought a flag to his grave every weekend I worked in DC. In keeping with true army, and screwing the Irish, tradition they misspelled his name on the stone. There was a big furor about changing it for a while but the family decided the reality was he probably couldn't write and just agreed with someone elses spelling of it. We were all probably named O'Dougnaghue or something in Kerry in the 1800s. The writen records we have of his service list him as Donohu, no e. I thought about changing my name to that once, for uniqueness sake.
Old John won a little trinket for his military service. You may have heard of it, it's called the Congressional Meadal of Honor.
You can go have a look at his grave if you're ever in Arlington. http://www.homeofheroes.com/verify/1_Citations/afc_01rvn.html
Here's a page with the Citation my uncle Marty got after he flew a giant helicopter, an HH-53 40 feet off the ground at twenty miles an hour through North Vietnam while a POW rescue party followed him on foot. Then he set it down in a rice patty, waited half an hour untill they returned not finding any hostages, and flew them out around SAM battaries and small arms fire.
They probably would have given him a CMH too, if there had been prisoners to rescue. Bad intel. This will sound ludicrous, but eighteen years of Uncle Marty bitching about how badly they needed a Donohue over at AFI is why I started down that career path. Instead of a CMH, they gave him a little thing called the Air Force Cross. He still flies helicopters.
The last family funeral I went to in Arlington was in '02 when my father's cousin Bill F. Donohue was burried there. I'm sure the asshat has a picture of his grave somewhere too, but I've lost the taste for posting links at this point. I never really knew Bill much, he was just another retired Marine Colonel in the family. I had been to his place in Vermont a few times and his son had been to visit Jen and I in Virgina a couple of times. I never really knew any of them well. But we all gatehred at Arlington again, to see a man who's military carreer passed as about "average" in my family laid to rest. Just a Bronze Star, nothing to write home about. Served in WW2, Korea, and 'Nam.
Some of us were ROTC brats, some of us graduated West Point or Annapolis or Colorado Springs, some of us were Master Sargents who could crush a gandaughters prom date's hand into pulp at 82 years old, some of us were discharged dishonribly. Some of us were drunks, some of us chased women, some of us worked in offices, some of us drove tanks, some of us flew helicopters and jets, some of us Captained ships at sea, some of us joined the Coast Gaurd and were forever the butt of every joke at family reuinions giving the Navy men a needed break. Some of us still serve today. I don't. But there are currently five Donohue men of my generation serving in the Armed Forces. An army LT civil affairs expert (recently back from Iraq), a Navy submariner he's some sort of Cheif I can never keep navy ranks straight or maybe my father just calls him that as a term of affaction like "Hey, Cheif get me a beer.", and three Marine enlisted men, probably all sargents of some kind but I couldn't tell you what they do. Might be snipers, might be janitors, really don't know. They're cousins, I see them maybe once or twice a year not counting weddings and funerals.
I think I've bludgeoned my point home solidly enough here. Weadings in my family almost always involve sabers and dress uniforms. (Not that I have snowballs chance in hell of fitting into mine untill 30 pounds flee me in fear) My family listens to me argue about Kerry's military service and they say "Silver Star, big deal. Uncle Pat has eight of em!"
I don't bring stuff up like this very often because, well it's my personal life, and my families, and almost never relevant. I wanted to make this point clear tonight though. I do understand about the flag. I've understood about what it stood for since I was four years old. I learned how to salute it before I learned how to ride a bike. My 12 years of Government Service is just puzzling to most of my family. They look at me quizically and say "You left before you got twenty? Are you nuts?" Not "what did you do after the military?" but "are you crazy?? You gave up a chance to wear a uniform to work every day? At 30??"
I understand the flag. I've seen it draped over the caskets of family I've loved and I've spent the better part of my adult life working under it's auspices. I show it upside down in my avatar because I'm disgusted at the state the US is in at present. When Kerry gets elected I'll change it to a happy puppy or something.
/irrational touched nerver alieviated by fit of name droping and famliy pride. I return you to your regularly scheduled 'Roo Edited, Wed Jun 9 06:25:13 2004 by Smasharoo