Webb’s Dog-Tags

Jim Webb doesn’t want his friends to talk about his combat record. He thinks it is “unseemly” to trade on one’s service to country for political gain. It is like him to use that word. He is an old fashioned patriot and warrior. For the same reason, he never talks about George Allan. It would be unseemly. Politics in the United States has degenerated mightily during my lifetime. We used to have leaders like Harry Truman who really did believe that the “buck” stopped with him. Senior military leadership is not what it once was. We once had leaders like George C. Marshall, who, without complaint of any kind, accepted FDR’s appeal that he stay in Washington and allow Eisenhower to command the Normandy invasion. Marshall knew that FDR was effectively denying him future national leadership. He never said a word about it. He maintained a principled silence until his death.

Since Jim Webb won’t talk about what he did in Vietnam when the “chips were down,” I will. Here is the substance of the citation that describes why he was awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam.

“..deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb’s platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex…. First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. … He then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. ….Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker.” It is unseemly to talk about this? The Navy Cross is the country’s second highest medal for battlefield courage.

Think about this. This very young man led his forty-five marines into a fortified enemy position. Three enemy soldiers suddenly appeared. He personally captured the three of them. Then, he moved to a second bunker and in spite of what has just happened, called on them to surrender. The risk in this was appalling. Not many of us would have taken the chance of waiting to see what these new enemies would do. I would not have. In attacking a third bunker, Webb used his own body to shield one of his men from the blast of an enemy grenade. I am surprised that he did not receive the Medal of Honor.

Unseemly to talk about this? Think about the complete lack of focus on self that these actions exemplify. Do we not need leaders like this?

My God. I pray that we will always have leaders like this who can unflinchingly do their duty, and then, a generation later persist in principled silence and self-sacrifice in the way that Jim insists must be.

Senator Allen is reported to treasure the “dog tags” of a constituent, a man who was killed in Iraq. The man’s mother gave Allen the identity tags. Soldiers everywhere will appreciate Allen’s sentiment in this matter, but it should be kept clearly in mind that Jim Webb has his own “dog-tags.”

Webb’s “dog-tags” were not given to him. He paid for them in blood.

W. Patrick Lang
Colonel (Ret.) US Army
Alexandria, Virginia

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Webb’s Dog-Tags

  1. abu sinan says:

    They really dont make them like this anymore. Thanks for telling the story.
    We do need more leaders like this, ones who were willing to put their lives on the line, not to simply send others to do so.

  2. Dan says:

    Excellent post.
    Your last couple of paragraphs remind me of the disconnect today between real and imagined heroism.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Damian Lewis last year. He’s the fine British actor who played Captain Winters in HBO’s Band of Brothers. He told me a story of how on an airplane not long ago, a young American approached him.
    “Captain Winters,” he asked.
    “Well, if you like,” said Damian.
    The young American was recently back from fighting in Iraq, and told him of how moved he’d been by Damian’s performance, how he and his mates had watched the series in southern Iraq on nights filled with indirect fire and it gave them strength. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out his dog tags.
    “Here, I want you to have these.”
    “But you have to understand,” stuttered Damian. “I’m just an actor. I’m no hero.”
    The young American insisted, and Damian accepted them.
    Damian told me the story, and I repeat it here, not to make fun of this young man, but to show how confused many people are about the real and the fake; the fake courage that consists of delivering the right lines at the right time is often more celebrated than the real thing, which grim men display in blood and war and generally don’t like talking about afterward.

  3. taters says:

    Dear Col.,
    Hopefully we will soon be able to call Jim Webb Senator Webb. A compelling piece.

  4. confusedponderer says:

    I do hope that Webb wins (it is today, isn’t it?). I think he’s a good and honest man. Fingers crossed.

  5. Nancy Kimberlin says:

    I have admired Jim Webb through out his campaign and even though I live in CA, have supported his campaign. I truly wish we had more leaders like him also, men who walk the walk, not just talk it. It does look like he is going to win, maybe Americans are begining to wake up and realize character does count.

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Grim is the right word for most of the people you are thinking of, although I have known a few who could be relied on make jokes under fire and loved to talk about it afterward. pl

  7. John says:

    I was recently doing some work in East Texas and I encountered the strangest thing I have ever seen. I swear this is true.
    Every place I went there were pictures of John Wayne hanging up. The Duke was dressed in his normal cowboy clothes with his six gun. I saw this in a number of restaurants, but here is the real strange part. I was doing work for an oil company with over a billion in revenue and they had pictures of Wayne hanging in most of the executives offices.
    I am from Texas originally but have lived all over the world and for the last 15 years have lived in California. I see a lot of strange things here in LA, but I will have to tell you it was kind of like being in a Twilight Zone sequence. I wanted to yell at everyone, “Hey, wake up, he is not real. In fact when he had a chance to serve his country during WW2 he didn’t take it and continued making movies.”
    I left thinking to myself, no many people in this country can not sort out the real from the imagined (macho Bush). Weird.

  8. BillD says:

    Jim Webb is the “real deal.” He is a genuine hero. But, they do still make them this way. This month’s issue of VFW magazine has an article on those who have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross for actions in Southwest Asia. Heros all. I sometimes think that we, as a country, do not deserve them.

  9. Will says:

    Some comments
    got two final contradictory polls, Sabato at the UVa center and Novak
    it will be good to check them wednesday morning for refrence. my preference is a divided congress. Dems House, Repubs Senate w/ Webb and Steele. Trick question, What do the four senators from the two most populous states have in common? A Dem Senate is a rubberstamp for starting the Iran War.
    Webb is an authentic hero, Calling for surrender is a sign of humanity. Definitely a good guy. If i didn’t live in the valley of humility (NC) nestled between the two mountains of pride(VA & SC), he’d have my vote.
    Just one reservation, the function of a leader is well to LEAD and to COMMAND. A leader doesn’t have to be the bravest or have the best ideas, or so they taught us at Fort Benning. He has to be receptive to the best ideas and co-ordinate. If you get yourself shot and leave your command orphaned you have also failed them. In fact, in combat, I would rather serve with someone that displayed caution, fear, and was circumspect.
    It’s a fine line and like everything else it’s beyond definition and broad statements and depends on the circumstance. Being bold often results in less casualties.
    On the DMZ at Con Thien in Vietnam I was Army and we had taken over from the Marines. We used to joke that the Army reconned by Artillery where the Marines did it in person, but in my last months a gung ho captain sent my butt on three man night ambushes in the middle of the DMZ. Not good. One patrol got lost and wandered into the minefield at Con Thien. Not good.
    But then again the legendary successful commanders that most inspired their men such as Hannibal, Alexander the Great led from the front and were found in the middle of decisive action and ofter created it.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for Webb and his son. May God Bless and Protect them Both!
    Qien Sabe. Will

  10. searp says:

    COL Lang doesn’t draw the contrast. It isn’t as if George Allen is just an ordinary politician without a military background.
    Allen is a vicious fake.
    I voted for Webb at 6 AM today, in line right behind VADM Jerry Tuttle (don’t know how he voted, didn’t ask, but had a good discussion of tactical comms). I am going to feel great all day today, especially after the results are announced.

  11. Michael says:

    Sadly there aren’t many Jim Webbs left, especially when one looks on the political front. Thank you for giving us the background Col. Lang.

  12. That was an excellent post sir, thank you for writing that.. Lets just hope that Mr. Webb will be my next Senator.

  13. Green Zone Cafe says:

    I find it hard to understand why Webb is not ten points or more ahead in the polls. Allen seems to be a buffoon. I guess he’s been around a long time in Virginia politics, was governor and has met lots of the electorate over years – personal contact means a lot.
    Also with regard to Dan’s comment: The soldier who gave his dogtags to Damien Lewis was fully aware of the difference between illusion and reality, having lived through the reality. I expect he just wanted to show his appreciation to an artist who provided him some emotional substinance and inspiration while he was dealing with that reality.

  14. julie says:

    Well that makes Mr. Webb a hateful object to the Bushies who spread the word John McCain was a N. Vietnames agent. I especially like what they did to Max Cleland. He won a silver star for volunterring at Khe Sanh and rescuing prisoners under fire. Sometime later he or someone in his platoon dropped a grenade and he was crippled for life. The Republican position was that he was no hero, that George Bush was a greater hero than him because Bush didn’t waste taxpayer money with medical expences.
    These are people whose heroes are John Wayne, who used his contacts to stay assigned to Hollywood in WWII rather than go into more active service, and Sylvestor Stallone who spent the Vietnam war in a girl’s school in Switzerland. Both of course subsequently won their respective war in the movies.
    People like mr. Webb will get only contempt from leaders like Field Marshall Limbaugh. True victory is in faith based reality, all else reminds them of the inaneness of their lives.

  15. JoeC says:

    There is much more to tell about Jim Webb’s combat record and later activities that speaks to his character and why we need him as a Senator. Landing in Vietnam as a platoon commander fresh out of the Naval Academy and Marine Officer Basic School (where he was first in his class), Webb’s initial, “gung ho” views of the war evolved over time into a deep understanding of the full complexities of fighting an insurgency, intermixed with main-force NVA actions, that characterized the An Hoa basin. This area was mostly a populated zone, with little or no Vietnam government presence – surrounded on three sides by mountains that allowed NVA units to move freely into an out of the populated areas. This had been a “hard” place going back into the post-WWII French war. Jim Webb lost many of his platoon members, killed and wounded, through relatively constant action and the many booby-traps (most used dud Marine artillery rounds). Webb felt every loss deeply.
    Webb went on to become commander of his company and only towards the end of his tour spent some time in his battalion’s operations shop.
    His silver star and two bronze star citations would provide further documentation of Webb’s near continuous combat experience, leadership skills and heroism.
    To earn one of his Purple Hearts, Webb was wounded by grenade shrapnel, but refused to be medevaced and was treated instead in the field by his battalion surgeon. Some time after returning from Vietnam, his leg collapsed while running. Some of the shrapnel had not been removed and a resulting bone infection had eaten way much of his kneecap. This unfortunate injury led to his medical retirement.
    Webb next went to Georgetown law school and while there began a six-year pro bono representation of a Marine who had been convicted of war crimes in Vietnam (finally clearing the man’s name in 1978, three years after his suicide).
    Webb began his first novel, “Fields of Fire” while at Georgetown. For those who would like to know more about Webb’s combat experience, much of the combat described in “Fields of Fire” was based on real events. It provides a useful “window” into Webb’s time in the An Hoa basin.

  16. Michael says:

    Interesting observation here, I tried to verify this by visiting the Whitehouse website, but the video wouldn’t play – can anyone else make it work?

  17. Frank Durkee says:

    Both Truman and Marshall are heros of mine. They among others defined forme what “Public Service’ meant. Uncles on both sides of my family won the Navy Cross in WWII one as a navy pilot and one as a Marine grunt. They were of the “I don’t choose to talk about it, I only did what I needed to do and others did as much , if not more” variety. They set standards that are hard to find today. I miss it.

  18. David All says:

    Thank Col. Lang for telling about James Webb’s heroism: Thank also everyone who commented on this thread, particuarly JoeC, Dan, John, & Will. Am leaving work now to go vote for James Webb. Hope he is our next Senator here in Virginia. Pray that his son comes back safely from Iraq.

  19. pangloss says:

    Nice note Colonel my fingers are definitely crossed for your republic, I’d hate to see it go down for the count and not get up.
    I do like Ike but he didn’t stand up for Marshall, a great human being period, when he was attacked during the communist witch hunt – politics, eh, maybe. I still like Ike, though.
    Just an outsider’s view, but I’ve always thought of the Navy Cross as equal to the medal of Honor. It is just for navy and marine personnel, right and in any country they are special. A bit biased, I know.
    Hey, I’ve almost forgotten Neil Armstrong – a naval aviator right – you don’t see him selling crap or searching for the spotlight.
    Mr. Webb seems of the same stock.

  20. Will says:

    county by county Va Senate results
    2 heartening things at 10 pm poll day. Tidewater Va, Norfolk, Portsmout, Hampton went for Webb. The military has finally quit drinking the NeoKon Kool-Aid! Close race but the only half the vote from Northern Va is yet in.
    I’ve often been wrong, but it looks good. Will

  21. fasteddiez says:

    Dan, RE: John Wayne
    If you get a chance read William Manchester’s (biographer of McArthur among others) Goodbye Darkness
    His memoir as a Marine in WWII. John Wayne toured in a USO Revue and was booed lustily by the Grunts, who saw him as a phony.
    The reason the Karl Roves of America have their way is but a simple mathematical equation. The numbers of the Boomer age cohort who served in Vietnam during that conflict’s duration is much smaller than the one who actively opposed it.
    The stay-at-home resisters are not about to have some kind of red white and blue guilt trip shoved down their unwilling yaps. So their resistance posture will be to vote down the vets every time, given the chance.
    In short, they suffer from lead deficiency syndrome. Forget, Hell!

  22. mt says:

    He’s coming on strong in the 9th inning. He may just pull this out!

  23. different clue says:

    Two comments above note the problem of people confusing world-of-imagination heroes played by
    actors, and real people acting heroically in the
    real world. English actor
    Edward Woodward who used to
    play the title role in “The
    Equalizer” noted this problem in a TV talkshow interview. He talked about
    the number of people who recognized him on the street
    and thought he really WAS
    “the equalizer”. Once an
    elderly lady begged him for
    his help with something, he
    asked her if she shouldn’t be calling on family members
    or the police or somebody.
    She said something like “you
    are my last hope. You are
    The Equalizer!” He could not get her to understand that The Equalizer was a TV
    show character; and that he,
    Edward Woodward, was not The
    Equalizer; but was, in fact,
    an actor named Edward Woodward. Since she was elderly, youth was not the
    problem in her case anyway.
    Mr. Woodward thought it was
    a problem of people who had
    come to have no faith in
    other real people or in the
    institutions around them,
    and thought that believing
    hard enough in The Equalizer
    would make him real. And able to help.
    If heroism is choosing to
    take a risk up to death as
    a consequence of doing something for others or for
    principle which one could just as well avoid doing,
    there were and maybe still
    are heroes in civilian life.
    Civil Rights workers and leaders (Dr. King being the
    most famous) knew the death
    they risked pursuing their
    work, knew they could always
    avoid the risk by giving up
    the work, and kept doing the
    work anyway. And some of them were killed, as they knew they might be. If that
    can be considered heroic behavior, then they might well be considered heroes.

  24. Arun says:

    Col. Lang,
    I hope to be congratulating you soon on your great new Senator from Virginia, Senator Webb.
    Given Webb’s current small lead (about 1800 votes); estimating that the 18 remaining precincts will break 2 to 1 in favor of Webb; and believing James Carville’s rumor that there are 31,000 absentee ballots in Fairfax county yet to be counted – which should be solidly Democratic; and hoping that military personnel overseas will vote more for Webb than for Allen, I am very optimistic for a Webb victory.

  25. Ian Whitchurch says:

    CNN is stating
    1,165,682 50%
    Republican Allen
    1,158,136 49%
    Independent Grassroots Parker
    25,952 1%
    Looks like a recount with Webb with his nose in front.

  26. arbogast says:

    It looks as though, just maybe, George Felix Allen will have an opportunity to put his dog tags where they belong.

  27. arbogast says:

    Without comment:
    “It’s going to take awhile. But at some point very soon, I think we’re going to be on top,” Webb told a cheering audience at the campaign celebration. in Vienna shortly after 11 p.m. He appeared with his wife, Hong Le Webb, former Gov. Mark R. Warner and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine; he held hands aloft with the governors.
    “When we look where the votes are that have yet to be counted, it looks very, very good for our side,” he said. “I’ve been in a lot of fights in my life. This is nothing new.”

  28. have skunk says:

    Thanks for these posts about Jim Webb, Pat. It’s looking like we might have done it: strictly a team effort of strange allies.
    Cheers, sir.
    It’s a good day!

  29. ali says:

    I was reminded of Sergeant York reading that. Alvin York I’m sure would have approved of Webb’s reticence. Having seen Rove stealthily garrote Kerry, McCain and Cleland with their medal ribbons such modesty is perhaps just prudent politics in the 21st America.
    Odd how John Wayne came up here: the iconic American, a celebrity cowboy who was none too easy on a horse. I understand why the big fella with the odd walk is a hero. His likable screen persona has come to offer an easy celebration risk free valor.
    If you had a picture the man who did not shot Liberty Valance on your wall you might recall that Jimmy Stewart was a Squadron Commander who flew B-24s through German flak rather than just than strut and posture. The tall fella might make you a little uncomfortable barking for war with no intention of ever leaving Lubbock.

  30. John says:

    I am just amazed that Allen did as well as he did.
    All he has to brag about is that he is the son of the exWashington Redskin coach.
    The people of the United States have become one confused group of people regarding what is important and what is real and what is not real.
    Gentlemen and ladies, please buckle your seat belts. I believe the next few years are going to be a rough ride. It has little to do with the election and more to do with the fantasy world Americans live in and the mismanagement by the US government.

  31. Chris Bray says:

    The shocking thing is how close this race is, and I’m fascinated that so many people could weigh these two men and come to such an absurd answer. Presumably some of the Allen voters bought the one about Webb wanting to have sex with babies, because he said so in his novels. You just wonder how people manage to tie their shoes in the morning…

  32. arbogast says:

    I would like to say that the American people have been judged and found worthy.
    The specter of George Allen coming as close as he has and Conrad Burns coming as close as he has and the result in Tennessee gives me pause.
    But beyond that, I think a very, very great deal of the vote was based on hatred of George Bush. That emotion is well-placed, but it is not a substitute for thought.

  33. Tom Milton says:

    I am certain that Virginia’s Senator-in-Waiting (for now) will do much to restore confidence in America’s future. His ability to think clearly and act quickly is just what we need to restore an America weakened and demoralized by an inexperienced leadership devoid of life experience. We deserve the best leaders and James Webb will provides that in spades. Thank you for this solid-as-a rock weblog.

  34. Will says:

    RE seperating fiction from reality, the classic disclaimer i’ve found is from the veteran online helpline from NFLINE site
    “Remember, I am not a Doctor, Lawyer, or VA worker!
    Nor do I play one on Stage, Screen, or TV.
    My opinions are mine and mine alone subsequently I hold the copyright on my opinions.
    Others must always defer to their own opinions!
    Thanks for bringing up the service record of USAF Col. James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart. I’ve ofter contrasted his war service with fellow actor Lt. Ronald Wilson Reagan
    Best Wishes Will

  35. confusedponderer says:

    Considering that it will be about control, or the loss therof, in Senate, the GOP fill fight tooth and nail over the two ‘uncertain states’.
    Recount will be inevitable. Beware of dirty tricks. Thumbs up for Webb.

  36. Michael says:

    Looks like Rummy just stepped down. Wow.

  37. John says:

    I many times say, we live in the Matrix. A few see the Matrix, but most do not, but it seems that more are starting to see it.
    There are people who are leaders and people who play leaders (that is called marketing). People need to learn to seperate the two.

  38. MarcLord says:

    So much rides on Webb.
    I pray about few things, but I am about to pray that Webb becomes Senator of Virginia.
    Before the election, I prayed that what Plutarch reported was Apollo’s blessing on Solon in 594 B.C.would be upon us:
    “Take the mid-seat, and be the vessel’s guide;
    Many in Athens are upon your side.”
    I give thanks for what we’ve re-gained so far and hope God smiles on our Republic as we roll up our sleeves and clean up a very big mess.

  39. ali says:

    I’m surprised Spielberg hasn’t got round to celebrating this little fella: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy
    I know it’s been done. Needs doing again.

  40. mike says:

    Col Lang:
    We all owe a great deal to the voters of your great Commonwealth. Thank you, Virginia!!!! I believe the many veterans and active duty military in Virginia carried the day. Let us hope that no Rove shenanigans overturn the will of the people.
    PS: What is the skinny on former CIA director Robert Gates?? Stansfield Turner seems to like him. Were you at DIA when he was DCI and can you give us any inside scoop??

  41. blowback says:

    As Billmon reports, the Virginia state executive is already in the hands of the Democrats so it is more likely that Jim Webb will be going to Washington.
    The two most crucial wins for the Democrats could turn out to the gubernatorial victories in Colorado and Ohio. Having Democratic executives in these states could be crucial to victory in the next presidential elections.

  42. arbogast says:

    Hey, just saw Webb on YouTube.
    That might be President Webb we’re looking at. If he can win in Virginia, he can win anywhere.
    You know, I take back the pompous nonsense in my last comment. Americans are great! God bless America!

  43. blowback says:

    Rumsfeld was pushed, he didn’t “step down”. Anything so that the chimp doesn’t have to accept responsibility for anything he has done.

  44. James Pratt says:

    I hope that James H Webb Jr wins the recount in Virginia and extends his service with his country. Because of the accounts I read here and another website a few weeks ago I sent him nearly 1 1/2 weeks of my gross pay. My home state Senate race was unlikely to be affected by my pittance on the pile, but I figured Webb needed the help and would be a good investment for the country. 60% of his contributions came from the Web, unPACed money from admirers. I opposed the Vietnam War for the last four years but I would never blame the soldiers. The blame goes to LBJ, Macnamara, Nixon and Kissinger. The fools who saw easy oil laden prey in Iraq are listening to Dr. Kissinger again.

  45. fasteddiez says:

    All posters,
    Please forgive the bitterness of my earlier posting. With Mr. Webb’s almost insurmountable lead becoming reality, my heart is melting. I thank the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia (where I was once stationed), for restoring my hope in the wisdom of the “American” character to overcome these impediments to national sanity.

  46. jonst says:

    Re: Gates. See Iran Contra. Specically Judge Walsh’s comment on him. See estimates of the ‘strength’ of Soviet military and economy circa 1976, or so,-1986. For added spice see estimates on the ‘strength’ of E.German economy when compared to the West German one. Yes, he’s exactly what we need at this time. An expert on the Soviet Union. Well, after all, now Condi has someone to talk to who knows,roughly, what she is talking about.

  47. Will says:

    Here’a all you need to know about what coming to Iraq with Gates. from WikiP, note the composition of the Iraq Study Group.
    “The ISG is led by co-chairs James Baker and Lee Hamilton, and will be composed of five Republicans and five Democrats, including:
    * Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court Justice
    * Robert M. Gates, former Director of Central Intelligence, tapped as US Secretary of Defense on 8 November 2006
    * Edwin Meese III, former US Attorney General
    * Vernon Jordan, Jr., business executive
    * Leon E. Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff
    * William J. Perry, former US Secretary of Defense
    * Charles S. Robb, former Governor and Senator of Virginia
    * Alan K. Simpson, former Wyoming Senator
    Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani was originally a member but resigned on May 24, 2006, stating in a letter to co-chair Baker “my previous time commitments do not permit me the full and active participation that the Iraq Study Group deserves.”[3] He was soon replaced by Edwin Meese III. ”
    Note that the one NeoKon appointed recused himself and the restof the repubs are Bush 1 and Reaganites.
    Reality is coming. Will

  48. Chris says:

    Col. Lang
    Thanks for your timely comments on Webb’s character.
    Its interesting to me as a long-time Virginia resident that George Allen was able to pass as a fake Virginian, in essence, having appropriated the props of racsism, boots, and chaw.
    Knowing the veneration of the state for origins, I didn’t doubt that Webb’s family being there a few hundred years, plus his service, would turn Allen transparent.
    And to the commenter who mentioned “Goodbye, Darkness”, that is one of the best combat memoirs ever and a truly great and touching book.

  49. Wombat says:

    Allen has just given a reasonably graceful concession speech. Hooray for Webb!

  50. arbogast says:

    If you want to feel good, and I mean it, then watch this…and sing along as I did, if you want to.

  51. colorado bob says:

    Great Post …. I was looking for an answer to a problem with my template and found his fellow using the same one :

  52. MarcLord says:

    Col. Lang:
    When are you going back to advise the Senate?

  53. David All says:

    It is good news that Allen has conceeded & James Webb will be Virginia’s next senator. Hurray!
    Almost as good is Rumsfeld getting a long overdue boot, although Gates is a rather dubious replacement. Bush trying to have Gates confirmed in a hurry by the lame duck Republican Senate speaks volumes as to the baggage Gates brings with him.
    About real heroes:
    There is an article on Jimmy Stewart’s service in the Eighth Air Force in the Dec. 2006 issue of World War II magazine.
    Also there are two books on the leader of the Band of Brothers, Dick Winters. One published 2005 is “Biggest Brother: the life of Major D. Winters, the man who led the Band of Brothers” by Larry Alexander. The other is Major Winters’ own book, “Beyond Band of Brothers: (the War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters) published this year.
    This Saturday, Nov. 11th, is Veterans Day. It is also my Uncle Joe’s 88th Birthday. He was born on Armstice Day, 1918 and served in the Navy during WW II as a Naval Engineer repairing damaged ships, some times in the middle of combat. After the War, he went to college on GI Bill and recieved an engineering degree. He then went back to work for the Navy as a civil engineer for more 30 years. He is retired & lives in Florida, but still gets around quite a lot. Especially to visit his daughter, Angela, who works for the Navy’s Office of General Counsel at the Navy’s weapon testing facility in Crane, Indiana. Want to salute him, My Uncle Floyd, who was a ground crew chief for the Eighth Air Force in Britain during the War and all the other veterans who have given so much in serving this country.
    In Closing: Here, appropriately for Veterans
    Day, is the most moving image, I have seen in some time of a Pearl Harbor Vet with a wounded veteran of the Iraq War at http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/11/image_of_the_da_1.html
    (Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan)

  54. Will says:

    MODO nails it
    “MAUREEN DOWD: A Come-to-Daddy Moment
    “Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they’re taking it back.
    “They are dragging W. away from those reckless older guys who have been such a bad influence and getting him some new minders who are a lot more practical. ”
    ” “Baker’s no fool,” a Bush 41 official said. “He wasn’t going to go out there with a plan for Iraq and have Rummy shoot it down. He wanted a receptive audience. Everyone had to be on the same page before the plan is unveiled.”
    “They don’t call him the Velvet Hammer for nothing. R.I.P., Rummy. ”
    My comment
    Darth Vader is isolated. We are watching “The Return of the Jedi.”
    Espabila, Favila, que viene el Oso!” Will

  55. W. Patrick Lang says:

    In another year or so when they are ready. pl

  56. oreo10 says:

    Had Webb lost I was going to chide you about having waited so long for this post. Since Webb won I will thank you for your input; perhaps your comments pushed him over the top. Thanks!
    I do appreciate your position and your perspecive on issues, and I would like to thank you for having such an interesting website.

  57. Mac Nayeri says:

    It’s good to know that people like that are among the leadership of this country.

  58. blowback says:

    As much as it hurts I have to apologize for my comment above about Rumsfeld being “pushed.” According to this WaPo article, it looks he really did jump.
    I suspect that he has already told the president and Cheney that he will leave after the midterm elections, saying that the country needs new leadership to wind down the war. And he will resign to take a job in some sort of humanitarian venture, thereby creating the perception that he is a caring person who left of his own accord to devote the rest of his life to good works.
    I still have my doubts about the “good works” but he is wealthy enough for it to be true.

  59. Wealthy enough? I guess. He owns 5 houses, all over the world, the two I remember are in Switzerland and the Dominican Republic. Interesting choices. About being against war, and about being against Bush. Just because one is opposed to either, doesn’t mean that ones position is taken reflexively, or ideologically. I was against war in 60’s, as many uninformed jr. high girls on the West Coast were. I did have the sense to think I was too young to know enough to march against the war, as some of my friends did. Thought they were kind of goofy and sheep-like, or following parents, since they couldn’t really give me good arguments for what they were doing. When the stories about returning troops being mistreated, rather than honored, that horrified me. It seemed obvious that any troop putting life on the line for the rest of us should be accorded welcome and honor upon return. That’s an eternal blight in our history, that boys and men were sent to fight and then scorned. And yes, I do despise Bush, mostly because he’s a useless, privileged poseur. But I have never voted against him or his party because of “Bush hatred”. After Sept. 11, I decided it was time to start paying attention, since now I was an adult, and would have to be voting for people who would be sending people into combat, a complicated and protracted one. I read newspapers, books, watched news, felt that was the least I should do with country having been attacked. I watched this war in Iraq on TV quite intently; seemed obvious to me that the Iraqis did not really fight, and probably intended to regroup later. I thought surely our guys had this notion in their warplans. But then up goes that absurd banner, Mission Accomplished; President Bush and advisors seemed clueless that more might be coming down the pike. I even thought maybe this was our fake to the enemy, a disinformation campaign to make them think that we weren’t prepared to fight anymore. If only…it wasn’t a fake, unfortunately, and ever since then, I have consistently voted against the absurd prosecution of this war. The Dems on Armed Services (Biden and Levin) plus McCain were saying early on that they better get it together soon, and they never did. They had plenty of info, they just continued to only listen to themselves…it’s just stupider than stupid when they are putting soldiers’ lives on the line.
    Thanks to everyone who posted info about Jim Webb, I followed the Virginia campaign, wanted him to win because we need experienced military people in the Congress, but never even heard that he had any medal at all….

  60. Jensia Kj says:

    What do you think of non military people wearing dog tags?
    Well I’m 1 5and I’ve been wearing dog tags since the start of 8th grade(I actually finished my freshman year of high school so I’m officially dog tags a sophomore). Well yeah what do you think. I wear them because 1. its pretty legit 2. It has my name and a bit of my medical information(I have asthma which is now well controlled) and 3 one of them is centered text and says “Yamaha” since I am in motocross and Yamaha is my favorite manufacturer besides Honda.

  61. turcopolier says:

    Jensia K
    your choice. I rarely wore dogtags unless I was in the field with troops who were in uniform. If you want to be authentic you need to get an old C-ration can opener and hang it on the chain. This little gadget is useful for setting the head space and timing on a M-2 .50 caliber machine gun. Ah, the gun fearful will rebuke me for saying that to you. BTW, the notch in the edge of a real dogtag is for the purpose of wedging it between two of your teeth so that your body can be identified no matter what the stage of decomposition. Still want to wear them? pl

  62. steve g says:

    Col. Lang
    My good friend from Dallas Texas
    was witness to his being awarded
    the Navy Cross at An Hoa. Many
    grunts also put a tag in the bottom
    boot lace in case the worst happened.
    Still have a “P-38” or “John Wayne”
    on my key chain for back up utility.
    Never failed to open that can of
    ham and m)*&%*ers!

Comments are closed.