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There's Supporting the Military and Then There's SAYING You Support The Military

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This article this image goes with
( http://bit.ly/2dINPoe) is kind of terrifying, BTW.

I posted about Donald Trump's bragging about sexual assault on Facebook, and added a caption I copied from a friend of mine:

"I swear to science if one more person says 'Hillary is just as bad' I will hulk out."

Which, of course, meant that a friend-of-a-friend (who is also prior service) decided to bring up Benghazi.

A bunch of mutual friends posted replies before I got to it, but I wanted to share mine here.
I'm going to say this as a former soldier to another one: Remember Tailhook? Remember the scandals with drill sergeants in TRADOC? Those were just the big ones while I was enlisted.

Bragging about sexually assaulting women - especially from someone who wants to be CiC - sends a very specific message that such behavior is OKAY. And when you've got 16% of your armed forces seeing such behavior defended as "okay", that does a HELL of a number on mission readiness.

We can talk about which party has done more for the military or vets (hint: Wearing a lapel pin doesn't count, denying climate change while DoD realizes the need and benefits of adapting to new realities doesn't help, and sending troops to do missions they're not trained for sure doesn't help), but the fact of the matter is, you're trying to deflect a question of sexual assault by saying it's about service to the military. And you're not correct *there* either.

Aside from the bait-and-switch lack of an argument that guy tried, there's another reason I wanted to bring this up.  This is part of a pattern that's been disturbing me for a long time.  Specifically, that supporting the military has been less important to the loudest people out there than appearing to support the military.

This isn't some quick semantic difference, either. This is an important difference. It's the same difference that led me to write about the ways injured trainees were treated during my time at Fort Leonard Wood. Ways that hurt the military as a whole.

It's the difference between obsessing over a single incident and recognizing that we already learned that demeaning and dehumanizing large portions of your active duty military does not support the armed forces. (Edit: I was pointed to this article, illustrating that The Donald explicitly did not learn this lesson.)

It's the difference that led to me being heckled by well-dressed young men in a SUV while I protested the second Gulf War. The same young, well-dressed men who insisted they had more important things to do than to go enlist.

Of course, we probably should have expected that from another well-to-do person, who, as a young man, used four deferments (for bone spurs that didn't seem to impact his athletic performance) to avoid actually serving.

I'm not the most hawkish person out there. (Though I've surprised some of my friends in the past.)

But dammit, I am sick and tired of the military and vets being waved around by people and groups that don't actually do a damn thing to support it.

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