Sgt. John Basilone lost his life at Iwo Jima after earlier winning the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroic action at Guadalcanal. After the award he was sent stateside to be a "living PR machine" for the sale of war bond but became restless and wanted to return to action. He left behind a new bride of only months.
PFC Robert Leckie from New Jersey served with distinction at Guadalcanal, New Britain (Cape Gloucester) and Peleliu, wounded multiple times and finally sent home for good after injuries at Peleliu. He became a well respected A.P. writer and married a girl from his neighborhood who never gave him the time of day before she saw him in his dress blues after his return home in 1946. He also penned a great book about his experiences, A Helmet for My Pillow.
PFC Eugene Sledge, a doctor's son from Mobile, Alabama, rapidly grew from a boy to a man through his experiences. Serving at Peleliu and Okinawa, he was involved in horrific action as a mortarman. The impact of war was tough for him to overcome after returning home but he persevered and went on to become a Professor of Biology at the University of Monteballo. Sledge kept copious notes of his wartime service in a pocket diary and later wrote an autobiography, The Ballad: The Boys at Peleliu and Okinawa.
Why do I mention these heroes and what do they mean today? Well, they represent the last group of tough American service members who fought in a war that America truly won. We've had many brave and great soldiers since who have fought valiantly since then, many of whom have died or been seriously wounded. But World War II was the last war where it was clear that America achieved her objective, achieved without apology but with great personal sacrifice and loss and sadness for what had to be done.
Since then we've had Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan with many other lesser fights and skirmishes and I can't really say that we've accomplished much for all our efforts. Korea has been divided it seems like forever, we lost a war we could have won in Vietnam because of the influence of the press and weak-kneed politicians, and while the jury is technically still out on Iraq and Afghanistan it looks like things are failing there as well. We can't even seem to properly feed our men and women who are still in harms way.
Meanwhile, for their service in these later causes, many of our veterans can't even get the medical and financial help they need and deserve from a government which has turned its back on them. It's much busier pandering to those at home who have never sacrificed anything or it is trying to open our doors to illegals who are often treated much better than our veterans. What a disgrace.
And what does the future hold? Well, food stamps continue to rise in number, unemployment only looks better if you fudge the numbers which the government does very well, and the strength and fabric of our nation is being ripped apart. Our military is being weakened and turned into a social experiment and the best experienced leaders, those who are patriots and want to do the right thing, are being cashiered out of the service in record numbers, replaced by yes men who will do nearly anything for a promotion.
And as for our politicians, they are right in the middle of the cause, from the President right on down to a large number of our elected officials. They see as their top priority their agenda and their personal accumulation of wealth, power and privilege, no matter what the voters want. They think they know best when they have displayed that their reasoning is questionable at best and a disaster at worst.
So what happens when some distant power, think China maybe or even a huge terrorist force directed by Iran, decides America is ripe for the picking and decides to make a move? Well, our military will no longer have the power to respond effectively, and its personnel will not consist of a fighting force made of up of men like those three brave Marines I discussed at the outset. And God will sit back and watch for He sees that our leaders no longer respect Him. No, our military will be in the midst of a social experiment with its members jockeying for position internally while the bombs are incoming. It will make Pearl Harbor look like a Sunday school picnic.
Is this what we want, America? We need to think about it and talk honestly. Kill the political correctness, recognize when war is necessary and how important it is to finish the job if you start it, and get ready. Face the truth. Weakness never wins; in fact it guarantees failure.
May God have mercy on us and change our ways. And may we always recognize Him is the answer to everything.