It is a lie that our military is talented

By Curtis M. Hendel

Just when you think the world has gone totally nuts, another story emerges from the mist of insanity to prove us wrong.  The above quote is from a rant by Greg Salcido, the former mayor and current city councilman in Pico Rivera, California.  Oh, did I mention that he refuses to salute the Flag or participate in prayer during the council meetings?  Pico Rivera is a city of just under 63,000 people that lies about 11 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  Not only does Mr. Salcido serve his city, he is also a high school teacher at El Rancho High School.

This is also part of his profanity laced diatribe; “Because we have a bunch of fricken dumbs(expletive) over there. They [the military] are not high-level bankers, they are not academics, they are not intellectuals….they are the lowest of the low, think about the people you know over there, stupid uncle Louis’, they are not talented people, they are dumbs(expletives). The data is in, we don’t have a talented military, we have not been able to beat people with robes.”

The rant apparently started with one of his students who had the audacity to wear a United States Marine Corps sweatshirt to his class.  It was this student that he centered the rant on.  As the above paragraph shows, not only did Mr. Salcido insult our military, but also our enemies.  He inferred that today’s enemy is just old men in robes and that the Vietnamese were stone age fighters and “rice throwers” that couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

This diatribe went so far as to say that those that join the military are citizens that blew their chance in high school with parents that didn’t love them enough to push them to do better.  He compared joining the military to those that jumped from the Trade Center that day to avoid dying in a fire.  He sees the military as that bad, a place where only those that are the “lowest of the low” end up.

As a veteran, this gentleman certainly rubs my fur backwards, but he is just taking advantage of his First Amendment rights.  The freedom of speech.  As with so many other things happening recently, the Freedom of Speech is invoked pretty often.  The 1st Amendment is a great tool in our country as it allows open and free dialog that can help to better our nation.  It is also a tool that, when abused or taken for granted, helps arrogant and foolish people really show the world just how weak their minds are.

As an educated man, I would expect Mr. Salcido to understand that the Freedom of Speech is a right, but does not come without consequences.  If you yell “fire” in a crowded venue when there is no fire and somebody gets hurt trying to run out, you are responsible.  Oh yes, our rights come with responsibilities.  They also come at a tremendous cost.

Greg Salcido was enjoying his rant (I listened to it on YouTube) and so were some of the students.  What they all missed was that it is those that they were insulting that were responsible for their rights to shoot their mouths off in the first place.  Yeah, those 18 and 19 year old men and women drawn to the military to serve their country and risk life and limb.  I can tell you that our ranks are not full because Johnny and Jill didn’t study during Senior Sluff class.  They are full because we have the best of the best coming to serve, training, and training some more for the chance to go to war to defend our nation when the wolves come knocking.  Does that sound like the worst of the worst?  Absolutely not!

Greg Salcido and his ilk are the types that think that they are entitled to their freedoms because they were born here.  Not like they served anyone but themselves, but just because they were born here.  And, as a veteran, I appreciate his Freedom of Speech and his very abuse of it.  But I also support others to become insulted and make Mr. Salcido’s life uncomfortable.  That’s how it works, you are absolutely responsible for your words.

At the end of the day, he is another loud mouthed, supposedly educated American that probably knows nothing of sacrifice and sleeps safely every night in his comfy little bed in Southern California.  And across the globe, sleeping in foxholes and bombed out buildings are the very men and women responsible for his beautiful life.  They are thousands of miles from home, beat up, bruised and bloodied and wondering what their loved ones are doing for each and every one of us.  They serve Greg Salcido as well as their own spouses or children and they do it willingly and voluntarily.

I have contained my slanders and slurs pretty well in this, my diatribe, in response to Mr. Salcido.  And I guess at the end of the day I will take my place with the lowest of the low, my brothers and sisters in arms that I served with and those that served before and after me.  Truthfully, I wouldn’t give up the title of veteran for all of his education and titles and money.  I am just happy and proud that I have friends in low places!