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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/19/2019 09:56:12

Good Morning.

We'll jump right in this morning and think about politics. Like everything else, even veterans have aligned themselves along policy lines. We're all familiar with the hard-left Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Liberals in military uniform can be a rare thing, but IAVA is but one voice among the chorus.

Our differently-winged friends are likely more powerful and better organized, as veterans in general tend to trend towards conservative. During our nearly two decades of war, both sides have ebbed and flowed, and are often at each other's throats over veteran's issues, candidates, and what's the best approach.

So it's somewhat heartening to find that two of the largest veteran's groups have found common ground. Unsurprisingly, it is war.

WASHINGTON — The relationship began in the most Washington way ever: on the set of C-Span.

Will Fischer, then the director of government relations for VoteVets, the liberal political action committee, was tapped to face off with Dan Caldwell, the executive director of the conservative Concerned Veterans for America. It was a continuation of a yearslong and contentious dialogue over veterans issues, including disputes over health care, which candidates care more about matters important to veterans, as well as their dueling views on the nefarious nature of the Republican or Democratic parties.

But then the two found an unanticipated policy bridge, and have now gone on to work together to persuade Congress to finally revoke authorizations of military force passed after Sept. 11, 2001, which both believe have been bent and stretched to justify wars far beyond Congress’s intentions nearly two decades ago.

“I honestly did go into the interview expecting a combative conversation,” Mr. Caldwell said, “but when we started talking about foreign policy, it was clear there were some areas of alignment especially on war powers. The wheels started turning in my head, and we came together and decided to pursue some of these shared goals.”

It's an interesting read...and once again I can only ponder what role the current occupant of the White House has played in this unlikely alliance.

Moving on, I happened to run across this photo last night.


This is Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Nebraska...and alongside the Missouri river. Those of us on the coast have heard about 'extensive flooding' in the midwest, but somewhat out-of-context. I'm thinking that airbase isn't going to be seeing any activity for a while, and it's just one location among many that is struggling to recover from a cataclysmic combination of snowmelt and storm.

Officials and airmen stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, will not be able to get into roughly 60 structures until water from massive floods over the weekend recedes across the base.

Only mission-essential personnel are working at the installation, and operators are hopeful they might be able to start reopening part of Offutt's flightline as early as tomorrow, according to base spokesman Ryan Hansen.

Floodwaters started encroaching on facilities Friday after water levels rose and broke levees from the Missouri River and Papillion Creek, known as the "Papio" Creek. The record floods are due to "a record-setting snowfall this winter, in addition to a huge drop in air pressure earlier in the week," Offutt said in a news release.

Offutt, home of the 55th Wing, evacuated and relocated nine aircraft as a result -- eight RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft and one of Global Strike Command's E4-B Nightwatch aircraft, more commonly known as the "Doomsday" plane, Hansen said.

Half of the Rivet Joint aircraft were flown to Nebraska's Lincoln Air National Guard Base, and the other half to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Global Strike did not tell Military.com where the E-4B was located, citing operational security reasons. A spokeswoman for the command said the E-4B aircraft was not damaged.

Four RC-135s remain parked on the other side of the flightline, which is elevated. Roughly 3,000 feet of the runway remains submerged, Hansen said.

Some of the flooded buildings recorded water levels between six and eight feet, Hansen said.

We'll finish up with something ligter - baseball! It's nearly opening day, with all the associated pomp and fanfare. I would suppose many teams will feature some sort of veterans and flag display, and maybe even a flypast. Military News has a handy list of teams that offer military discounts, and I am perturbed to find the Red Sox not listed among them. (Neither are the Yankees). But take a look at the list, and you'll find less than half of the teams in either league offer such discounts. Time for MLB to step up to the plate, so to speak.


7 comments (Latest Comment: 03/19/2019 18:37:07 by Raine)
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