I'm sure that you are all aware of who Soldiers' Angels are. They are the most magnificent Angels on God's green earth; they are heroes, and I love them. I saw their generosity and love lavished upon many Soldiers in Afghanistan, and I know that they did just as much... more... for the Soldiers in Iraq (there were more Soldiers to be loved there.) Among these Angels are some who do extra extraordinary things. They give of themselves in the most difficult of situations. These Angels spend their time ministering to gravely wounded warriors who find themselves in the fight of their lives, sometimes struggling to live; sometimes losing that fight. When there is no one else to hold their hand as they lay in such peril, there are Angels there with them.
This is in no way a dismissal of what medical personnel do. Our medical personnel are magnificent, too. This is not about them. This is about our Angels, and I will explain that shortly.
These Angels are volunteers. No one makes them do what they do. They do what they do out of patriotism and love and respect. They give; they do not take. Their motto is, "Let no Soldier go unloved."
Right now I am telling you; if you mess with my Angels, you are messing with me, and I am calling on each Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airman to say, "Amen," and stand with me in their defense. I am claiming each of them as one of us. They are our Angels. Someone has messed with one of my Angels, and I am about to call him by name.
Many Soldiers' Angels chapters have blogs. They share with the world what they think, some of their experiences, and their patriotism. They call for help and tell stories of inspiration. They summon other Angels. The most powerful experiences will never be shared with anyone, even their own friends, because they are moments of private human intimacy that require great respect. They are moments of incredible pain, shocking life-changing realizations, terrible loss, and moments when life ends. They willingly subject themselves to great pain, and they go in there knowing that it will hurt, but they go anyway. That is bravery. These Angels are strong, strong people. They are, in every sense of the word, Angels. I am a Soldier, and I will call them my own.
Soldiers' Angels is an apolitical organization. This does not mean that they do not stand for anything; but they are non-partisan. They do not endorse candidates, but they may, from time to time, point out anyone who takes a stand against Soldiers or that is not in the best interest of Soldiers. Their angelic tendencies do not stop at the door.
Soldiers' Angels in Landstuhl, Germany, has such a blog. As the world of milbloggers draws together, we talk and support each other. It is part of the evolution of blogging and within a community of patriots who find a common ground.
That being said, I have a part in this, too. I have written now on several occasions about Lizette Alvarez and the New York Times' propensity to portray unfavorable information about combat veterans, painting a picture of victimhood and instability that appears practically designed to alienate combat veterans from the very country they loved enough to serve. In case you haven't noticed, I don't bring politics into this blog. I avoid it, and while I may let slip a bit here and there, I did not endorse any particular candidate or party. That is a conscious decision. My posts about Alvarez made no mention of politics. Soldiers' Angels Germany picked up on my call for more balanced reporting from the NYT regarding combat veterans and echoed me. The Angels stand up for Soldiers. I love them for that.
Their reward was this attack:
I think the work that you do aiding wounded soldiers and their families at Landstuhl Army Medical Center is commendable, but as a veteran I find the extreme right-wing political slant of your web site to be a disturbing travesty that runs in direct contradiction of the official policy of the United Stated Army which is to always remain above politics . Perhaps you should consider re-registering your entity as a PAC?
The latest example of this politicking is your slagging off a highly respected journalist at the New York Times. You seem to have a problem with either the first amendment of the United States constitution or with dissenting opinions vis-a-vis your own personal views. I assure you that the entire US army and the DOD civilians involved with the US military's efforts do not all think in the same repressive right-wing fashion that you do, there is a vast variety of political opinion in the uniformed services/DOD and there is a proper time and place to express them. I find your blog disturbing not because of your opinions, but because you are a non-profit organization tasked to aid soldiers and their families, not a political action committee to further right wing Republican causes which is exactly what you are behaving like. I have written to both my congressman and the DOD leadership to register this complaint and have asked that they insist that if you persist in these biased political diatribes that they revoke your status and demand that you register as a PAC.
I read the articles that you stated are slanted in the NY Times, and as far as I can ascertain they are all 100% factual. If you can prove they are not you are free to redress them with the editor by providing factual evidence or in a court of law under the state's slander statutes. If you think that nine returning soldiers from a single brigade (at Ft Carson) all murdering people in the United States over the past 36 months is normal or not newsworthy then I think that you either have personal problems or would be better suited to serving as a propagandist in some unquestioning totalitarian country's army. In fact, the United States Congress feels that this particular incident is indeed so troubling they have launched a full-scale investigation into it. I also note a lot of grousing on your site about Senators and Congressmen from the Democratic Party such as "Kennedy, Edwards, Frank" etc. but never pray-tell a critical word about any Republican congressman or the recently departed Bush administration.
The free press plays an important role in the functioning of American society. If the press just printed what the government wanted us to hear then we would not have known the truth about the lurid behavoir at Abu Graihb or what really happened to the late Mr.Tillman or Jessica Lynch's real story. I for one prefer know the truth rather than to hear sanitized versions, misleading propaganda, or outright lies.
I urge you to change your blog's policy, remove all of the politicized posts and stick to your primary (and important) mission which is to provide support for wounded US soldiers and their families, not to advance right wing political causes. I have written Major General Kevin J. Bergner, the US Army Chief of Public Affairs, concerning this matter.
Thank you for your consideration and best regards,
(former Staff Sgt., Strategic Air Command, Unites States Air Force)
Oooh... so dominant, so butch, so... what's that word? Bitchy.
Michael Sweeney of Leavenworth, WA, how dare you try to intimidate one of my Angels? There is no other purpose for this email other than to do exactly what you are claiming to object to; to silence another in their First Amendment rights. Well, Mikey, your problem is no longer with my Angel. Your problem is with me now. Of course, if you had a problem with what I wrote, you should have started up with me to begin with. Your mistake; now corrected.
Game on, bitch.
Let's start at the top, shall we, Herr Sweeney? Let's start off with your desultory commendation of the efforts of which you clearly have no grip. You have no idea that you "slag" this Angel on the tail end of three straight days of sitting with a wounded Soldier; sitting in for his Mom, who couldn't be there. She sat with this young hero who had been hit with an IED, badly burned, while he went through what are without a doubt the most horrifying moments of his young life. She shared them and she hurt for him. Nobody forced her to do this, and you feel compelled to hit her with a, "your efforts are commendable, but?"
Let me explain something to you, Michael Sweeney; there is no "but." Her efforts are so far beyond commendable that you can't possibly wrap your little political diatribe-driven mind around it. If you stopped at "commendable," you might have had a hope of behaving like a human with a clue. With the word, "but," you lost all rights to an opposable thumb.
Okay, next asininity. What does the official anything of the United States Army have to do with Soldiers' Angels? These Angels are a wholly separate organization and do such wonderful things for the members of the United States Army that they are above reproach, and certainly from a former member of the United States Air Force. When the United States Army needs help enforcing its policies from a former Air Force Staff Sergeant, we will beat it out of you. I don't speak for the United States Army or the DOD (see the disclaimer prominently displayed at the top of this page,) but speaking as a current Soldier and a combat veteran, your quoting of Army policy rings so hollow as to make you sound like the little brown jug being blown.
It's apparently empty because you've sucked all the fire water out of it. You sound so much like an angry drunk.
Your condescending drivel continues with referring to Soldiers' Angels Germany's website as a travesty. I'll clue you in to a travesty, Michael Sweeney; take a look at your own thumbs. You don't deserve them. Monkey paws would fit. Don't get used to them; we are working our way down the evolutionary scale as we deconstruct your blather. You use the word "disturbing" a lot. While you seem to blame Soldiers' Angels Germany's blog for this, I would submit that you were disturbed prior to your alleged reading of it. I am not entirely convinced that you actually did read it, for I find no mention of Franks or Edwards anywhere on the site. Disturbed indeed. Try "delusional" on for size. You see things that aren't there. I suspect there are voices, too.
You take issue with the "slagging" of a "highly respected journalist?" Perhaps you highly respect Lizette Alvarez, but if there is a propagandist to be found between the two of them, I would suggest it is the writer with access to the mass media who manipulates numbers to portray the image that she chooses instead of a balanced view; Lizette Alvarez. Shades of Himmler there, boy. If you take issue with that, you can talk to me. I am the one who deconstructed Alvarez' writings to demonstrate the statistical weakness of her writings, and last year the NYT ombudsman had to admit that her articles used "fuzzy figures that were impossible to compare to society as a whole." How often exactly, Michael, do you walk on your hind legs? I'm starting to get the image of a quadruped here, buddy. I'm wondering if your role in the Strategic Air Command was in the role of a test animal for a space shot. I know they give K-9's rank; why not a live crash test dummy stand-in? I think they left your belts loose and you bounced around the inside of the capsule a bit. That might explain the ringing noises and the voices, Michael.
Having you as a fan certainly speaks volumes for Alvarez, too. Check the mail for your fan club card cancellation, Skippy; not sure she's going to enjoy the association. I know that I wouldn't care for your support. I'd rather get an endorsement from Castro.
You then lapse into behavior I haven't witnessed since belting the playground bully in the fourth grade. Your wail about notifying your Congressman and DOD leadership; what the hell was that? Why don't you just go and tell the playground monitor? What in the living hell makes you think that the DOD would want to make trouble for our Angels? For you? To make little Mikey Sweeney of Leavenworth, Washington happy in his pants? Is it hard to smoke that stuff without opposable thumbs? How do you light the lighter? Do they let you have stuff what makes fire?
I think that you spend a good deal of time with protective headgear on and a drool bib, bandaids covering the various abrasions you get from your favorite pastime of making gravel angels. That's the closest you get to being an angel. You are truly a wonder of Paleolithic survival.
You are apparently a lawyer as well; this all begins to gel. Your helpful interpretation of the laws surrounding non-profit service organizations vs PACs is destined to be published in the Law Review. It'll be in the back right next to the ad for the X-ray glasses. Let me get this straight; she sits for days at a time holding the hand of a young man in the agony of his life, and you think that's a PAC activity? Yep, you're a lawyer. See? We are working our way down the evolutionary scale.
I have perused the very writings in Soldiers' Angels Germany's blog that you rail about, and I have in fact found the finger pointed at Republicans. Last time I checked, Richard Lugar and George Voinovitch are Republicans. Either you have cognitive problems or you are blinded by your self-righteous fury at seeing information that makes some of your favorite figures appear in a poor light. Either way, you are factually in error. When you sling arrows at my Angels, you need to be correct in your depiction of facts, Sir.
I resisted the temptation to end that sentence with, "you incipient ass," and went with, "Sir." Aren't you proud of me, folks? I'm so high-minded.
Else I will... well... what I am doing; pointing out that jackassery is its own reward. Aren't you glad that you learned how to type with your paws? Maybe next time you'll think twice before assaulting an Angel, big boy.
You then go into professorial mode and begin explaining the workings of a free society, wrapped gloriously in the robes of a pompous hypocrite. While you try to muzzle someone else's free speech to your liking you are explaining how that goes against everything you believe in? Put down the pipe, Mikey, and slowly step away. Try that muzzle on yourself. I think it might fit just fine.
Evolution check; no opposable thumbs, doesn't walk upright much, muzzle fits, rode in test shots for the Air Force... I'm thinking that your whole back end swings back and forth when you're happy. I'm right, aren't I? Yep... I've got you pegged. You're a smart one, Mike. A real rocket scientist... err... test subject. I know you. Your deepest secret; you piddle a little on the rug when you get all excited.
I'm thinking Spaniel. That piddling problem is hereditary; you can't help it. It comes from inbreeding at puppy mills. Not your fault, but probably has something to do with your anger and control issues. Look into Detrol.
By the way, it was Specialist Tillman. Give him the respect that he deserves. He was a Soldier. He was a Ranger. He was killed by friendly fire doing a very dangerous job in a very dangerous place that you will never see. He is not a tool for you to use to assault Angels. If you read my archives, you will see where I have encouraged my Army to tell the truth always; good, bad and ugly. You barely deserve to utter his name, much less incorrectly. The Angel that you are tearing into sees Soldiers like him every day, holding their hands while you dream your political dreams, imagine threats to your way of thinking, and spout self-righteous hypocrisy against those who you imagine offend you. She is a hero, too. You still have no clue. You exemplify the "cocker" in Cocker Spaniel; a credit to your breed.
I think your word was "disturb." Yes, Michael, you are indeed disturbed, but it's not her fault.
Lastly you try to focus my Angel back to her "mission." Who are you to tell her what her mission is? I mean, really? Who do you think you are to tell this volunteer hero what her mission is? You should be ashamed of yourself, Michael. I, for one, am ashamed for you; just in case you didn't get the message. So step off, punk.
You deserve to be made fun of. You brought this on yourself when you tried to intimidate a Soldiers' Angel. If you don't want your name on my blog, don't commit jackassery and put your name on it to boot. I know you thought it was a private little mugging; your own little power game. Clearly, she wasn't keeping your dirty little secret. When you emailed her your threats, they became her property, which she brought to light in amazement, but not in the slightest bit intimidated. Not everyone is a wuss like you. Remember to tell your Congressman that when you write him to whine about being outed for your perfidy. Congressmen love spineless wussies. They'll probably commission a panel to study you, which will publish their findings that you need to be a protected species; the wily North American Blither-typing Rocketspaniel.
Perhaps it's all tongue-in-cheek, like that poor-taste piece in The Onion. That was some piece of comedy you wrote. I mean, you've written MG Bergner about this? My goodness, you are either a superlative comic or the most ridiculously self-important dog who ever learned to use his master's computer when he wasn't looking. The Onion removed their offense. If it was comedy, you can put a retraction or apology right here on this blog. Open invitation.
You'll earn your thumbs back.
Just to be clear about this; this is not about your politics, so you can let your paranoia take a break. This is about your assault on a heroic Angel, one who experiences pain with wounded warriors, absorbing some of their pain. It hurts her, too, you know. You, on the other hand, are busy being a pain. Big difference there, Chumley. I don't like you... paranoia switch back on.
Our Soldiers' Angels are a national treasure. After reading about her last three days, I wanted to send my Bronze Star to her; I think she deserves it more than I do. Perhaps I was a bit hard on Mr. Sweeney. What do you think?
Nah, probably not.
In any case, responding to this dastardly attack on our Angels, I showed my fangs. Hey, I'm not proud of it; I hate being so ruthless to anyone, but it pisses me off and I will do it for other Soldiers or for our Angels. Please show your Angels some support today and let them know that they are patriots and heroes. In response to this attempted slap, give them a pat on the back and let them know that you support them. www.soldiersangels.org
I do not represent Soldiers' Angels. These opinions are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the opinions of Soldiers' Angels. I do, however, endorse Soldiers' Angels and denounce anyone who denounces them. Thoroughly.