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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/26/2019 10:48:44

Good Morning.

I find it somewhat ironic that Mr. Trump has finally gone to Vietnam, but I digress.


Although it's a Fox link, there's another group that's traveled to Vietnam at the same time as Mr. Trump. It's a group of actual Vietnam veterans, and their local Fox station has called for a hero's welcome upon there return. I hope they can make it work.


MENASHA (WLUK) -- Organizers are planning to pull off a huge surprise for Vietnam veterans and need your help.

On Sunday, Old Glory Honor Flight of Northeast Wisconsin flew 53 veterans to Vietnam for two weeks.

The group is scheduled to return home Saturday, March 9.

A welcome home ceremony is planned for that day at the Menasha High School Fieldhouse from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Our Vietnam vets were treated poorly upon their return and many feel as if they endured the horrors of war for nothing,” said Old Glory Board member, Scott Delsart. “This trip will give these vets an opportunity for some closure. Seeing firsthand how the Vietnamese people have recovered from the war, will undoubtedly induce some much-needed healing for themselves.”

Admission to the ceremony is free. The 484th Army Band and the Menasha High School Band will perform, as well as military equipment from the Vietnam era will be on display.

The veterans are expected to arrive at the fieldhouse between 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We want to see the Menasha High School fieldhouse packed to the rafters to show these vets how much we appreciate what they did for us," said Old Glory Honor Flight Board Member Diane MacDonald.


Staying in Southeast Asia, there's the newest flashpoint. In the relatively nearby Taiwan Strait, the US and Chinese Navies are playing a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. We used to do this with the Soviets back in the day.


Two U.S. Navy ships sailed through the Taiwan Strait this week, the latest tit-for-tat move as American forces seek to portray the western Pacific as traditionally open to international shipping and Beijing attempts to assert dominance over contested waters.

The guided-missile destroyer Stethem and the dry cargo ship Cesar Chavez sailed the strait on Monday and Tuesday, “in accordance with international law,” according to a statement by the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet.

It was the second such transit this year.

Seventh Fleet officials in Japan confirmed that the U.S. vessels encountered Chinese forces, but declined to detail what happened, instead calling the interaction “routine and uneventful.”

“This routine transit demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the command statement read. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

U.S. officials also always allude to international waters when describing warships that conduct freedom of navigation operations, or FONOPs, in the nearby South China Sea.

U.S. Navy FONOPs typically involve vessels sailing near man-made Chinese islands that Beijing has fortified with materiel, runways and radars.


And while the Soviets were unpredictable, they were unpredictable in a predictable sort of way, if that makes any sense. It's anyone's guess how China will eventually react to continued provocation.

Finishing up on the domestic front, there was apparently a little-reported terrorist near-miss in the Washington DC area. Honestly, I only heard about this because it happened near the VA/MD core of the blog. It was never reported in the Boston media, that I can see. But it does put more focus on a very overlooked national issue, which would be white nationalism in the military.


WASHINGTON — Lawmakers want to know if military and homeland security leaders are doing enough to monitor the armed forces for signs of white nationalism and other dangerous extremism in the wake of the arrest of a Coast Guard lieutenant with radical views who was plotting mass murder.

In a letter to leaders at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on Monday, the group of Democratic House members said they want assurances that the recent case is not “indicative of a larger, systemic issue within the United States Armed Services.” They also said they are concerned with reports of other racist activity in the ranks.

“Beyond the extremes of domestic terrorism, we are additionally concerned with low level racism and other identity-based harassment that disrupts unit cohesion, impacts readiness, and degrades the ability of our servicemembers to protect our nation,” the letter said.

“Servicemembers who experience or witness racist or hateful behavior must be able to report such behavior without fear of repercussions.”

Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson was arrested on Feb. 15 on charges of illegal possession of firearms and drugs. But investigators said they also uncovered plans by Hasson to conduct a large-scale, violent attack in the Capital region, developing a list of political and media targets he identified as “traitors” to America.

Hasson previously served in the active-duty Marine Corps and Army National Guard, moving frequently. Investigators have found evidence that he was a long-time white nationalist who held violently racist views even before his first enlistment in the military.

The lawmakers — California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier and Maryland Democratic Reps. Anthony Brown, Elijah Cummings and Jamie Raskin — said those revelations come on the heels of previous investigations that found at least six active-duty troops or veterans took part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.

“The involvement of service members in these activities is cause for significant concern, particularly given their combat and weapons training,” they wrote in the letter, first made public by the Washington Post.

Nearly 1 in 4 troops polled by Military Times in 2017 said they had seen examples of white nationalism among their fellow service members. Among non-white members of the military, the figure was more than 40 percent.


While I suppose the military has always been a refuge for the conservative supremacists among us (see Timothy McVeigh), in this current political era it seems to me that it is easier than ever to find like-minded individuals carrying heavy weapons in the name of the United States.


 

13 comments (Latest Comment: 02/26/2019 21:15:22 by TriSec)
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