Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dishonorable Dishonor The Honorable

There is no life so honorable as living to serve one's country. From the day one enters military service they make sacrifices to uphold that honor. It is a proud profession and should receive nothing but respect from those that they protect. Full disclosure; I did not serve. A hearing problem prevented that. In twenty-twenty hindsight, I wish I could have.

Through both my business and my social life, I have known a small number of military officers. Mostly Navy. I have found them to be honest, straight forward, companionable, and smart. Their service provided for their education and allowed them advancement as the military at it's best, is a pure meritocracy. So by the time these people leave the service they have a proven ability to perform their duties at their level of rank. Otherwise, they would not have attained that rank. Those that leave the service are usually smart and competent.

I was disturbed when I read that Douglas Gansler, a Democrat candidate for governer in Maryland claimed that his opposition candidate in the Democrat primary, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown was unqualified because of his military service. Mr. Gansler claims that Mr. Brown is not up to handling a "real job".

I find this particularly troubling as Mr. Gansler comes from a political family and the closest he has come to a "real" job is as a clerk to a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals and for a short time as an attorney. Mr. Ganslers career is, certainly, no more honorable than a man who served in the military.

Recently the New York Times has run an opinion piece by Kathleen Belew linking returning veterans to the white supremacist movement. If a complete statistical analysis were made, would the percentage of veterans exceed the non-serving population. I doubt that it would be. In fact, I expect it would be less.

Last month Macy's refused to hire a young woman who had just returned from military service. Their claim was that she would not be able to handle angry customers.  What did they expect she would do? Snap under that intense pressure? People in the military face a lot more pressure than some diva whose Jimmy Choos don't fit.

It was not too far back when employers were happy to get ex military because of their work ethic. The work ethic has not changed but for some reason the attitude toward these fine people has. I personally believe that when a vet returns home, if he can't find work within three months, the government should offer him or her employment. God knows that the government doesn't mind growing it's labor force. Maybe something good and useful could be done with this.

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