BlueNC Veterans

Two of the great myths of modern conservatism is that there are no atheists in foxholes, and no progressives in the military. And while I can't speak with authority on the foxhole question, I have learned over the years that a large number of regular BlueNC readers have served honorably in the United States military.

On this day of remembrance, please be so kind as to share your story.


To my dad

My father was a U.S. Navy veteran, a hospital corpsman (a medic, for those more familiar with the army) who rose through the ranks to Senior Chief Petty Officer. As you may know, Navy corpsman go to war with the U.S. Marine Corps, which my father did in Korea. He was on the ground in frontline fighting, when he was wounded in action and eventually sent home. In physical terms, he recovered fully. On the psychological side, the war took a huge toll on his well-being. He eventually committed suicide.

I followed my dad into the Navy, serving from 1968 to 1977. I was assigned to the USS Saginaw out of Little Creek, Virginia, and then the USS Charleston out of Norfolk. In 1973 I joined 2nd Anglico at Camp Lejeune, an airborne spotter unit that supported the 82nd Airborne. I resigned my commission in 1977.


November 11, 2007

Looks like America hasn't learned jack shit over the past three years.

A family of veterans

Starting with my dad, who served as a shipfitter onboard USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649). He quit high school when he turned 17, enlisted, and was sent directly to boot camp and Charleston, where Grant was built, launched, commissioned, and sent directly to the Pacific theater. Grant was almost sunk at Surigao Straits, with 34 lost (including the ship's doctor). Dad celebrated his "anniversary," claiming that he made 3rd Class on the same day two years in a row, having obviously run afoul of some regulation or another. All of Dad's four brothers served as well, 4 in the Navy and one in the Army.

My uncle ADJ1 Toney Barnett (Dad's brother by adoption) died in the tragic fire on USS Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf. I was 11 or 12 at the time, and his funeral made a big impression on me. Watching video from the flight deck camera during a couple of stints in firefighting school was difficult. Many years later, I found his name inscribed on that long black wall in Washington -- another poignant moment.

So it was natural for me to seek and receive an appointment to Annapolis, entering from South Carolina with the Class of '77. I was fortunate to serve during a time of relative peace until I resigned at the end of 1983. I served on USS DEWEY (DDG-45) and USS SEMMES (DDG-18).


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

I followed my dad as well

He volunteered for the Army in 1940 and served in the Pacific (as a radarman) until the Japanese surrendered. He attended college on the GI Bill (Engineering) until the Korean War broke out, when he received a direct commission and was (once again) sent across the big blue for a few years, one of them stationed in Tokyo.

If it hadn't been for the GI Bill, he would never have been able to afford an education, being the son of a coal miner. But he did, and he provided for our family very well. Including saving up for my college needs, which I told him to keep, because I planned to do the same thing he did.

I joined the Army in 1982 and was assigned to 5th SFGA and 1st Socom at Ft. Bragg. I was going to leave the Army after my first hitch and go straight to college, but by that time I was married with two kids, and we simply couldn't afford it. My tuition and books were taken care of courtesy of Uncle Sam, but I still needed to put food on my family and such. So I reenlisted, transferred into a headquarters job so I wouldn't be traveling as much, and then I went to night school at Campbell University (Ft. Bragg campus).

To say it was hard would be a laughable understatement. The family was asleep when I got home at 11:00 (every) night, and still asleep when I left at 5:30 the next morning. After almost two years of that, wife and kids packed their bags.

My heart breaks when I think about how much our troops and their families have sacrificed with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. How many of those families have come apart at the seams? The 30th is back home now, but I'm afraid many of those families are still suffering, thanks to PTSD, TBI, substance abuse, etc.

Thanks SCH and James

This week I got riled up again hearing former President Bush talking about his "conversion" to the anti-abortion side after seeing his mother's miscarried fetus in a jar. Someone should have taken him to a VA hospital before he decided to embark on these ill-begotten wars of choice. Perhaps he would have become a pacifist.

"Support the troops" is nothing more than a faded bumper sticker, to be dusted off and paraded around on Armistice Day or Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. We make ourselves feel better about ourselves, while truly ignoring the very serious injuries to body and psyche suffered by our men and women who are thrust into harm's way.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

There's nothing like AWOL George

to stir up anger and turn one's stomach. I'm surprised no one fragged the pathetic loser way back when.

My Great-Great Grandfather was a Private in the

Indiana Infantry, at age 15, during the Civil War. His ancestors (we are of French heritage) fought in the Revolutionary War...and others on both sides of my family have fought in every, including the Battle of New Orleans, war except Korea. I was an artillery officer in Vietnam.

Truthfully, the only people I know who care about veterans are spouses and other veterans who have "been there." A gentleman Marine in our church fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He is a member of "The Chosin Few." To my knowledge few have expressed appreciation to him for all he has endured in their stead.

Stan Bozarth

I come from a long line of Vets.

I served in the USAF 4th TFW, 334th TFS from 1977 to 1980. My younger brother was attached to the 101st AB and was on the DMZ and in the mideast and his primary roll was as a sniper. My dad was in Korea with the 707th Ord Corp on a hill top as the Chinese came across the Yalu river. His older brother was a top turret gunner on a B-17 called the Tarfly that was shot down in Sept 1943 and he spent rest of WWII as a POW and then went on the stay in the military, ultimately serving in the Pentagon. Another of their brothers did two tours in Vietnam (a volunteer when others were doing their best to stay out) along with several uncles from my mothers side of the family. Their father (my grandfather) was with the first US troops to enter WWI and was a scout/recon doughboy. I have relatives that served on both sides of the Civil War and an ancestor who's name appears on a muster roll from the Mass Militia in 1775.

And every damn one from my grandfather forward are dyed in the wool, hard core Democrats.

Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reasons.

I always remember

when I was a kid, sitting on the front porch of my grandparents house, at the foot of the mountains, and seeing my dad, great uncle, and granddad all sitting in the rocking chairs, all sharing stories about their experiences in the army, air force, and navy. I always think about it at this time of year around Thanksgiving, when I'd spend a lot of time visiting my grandparents, sitting on the front porch, staring at the mountains about a mile in front of us, watching the trees change the color of the entire horizon right at the NC/VA border. I especially enjoyed my granddad's stories as the ship's cook and how he got to hear some crazy stories, and be involved in a few himself with all the food related bartering that went on.

My husbands dad, a psychiatrist, I believe served as a medic too.