I can’t remember a time when I have been angrier than I am today. I learned today that a Christian Marine was given a dishonorable discharge for placing Bible verses on her computer.
Read the whole story from Todd Starnes of Fox News here.
A staff sergeant who was her boss told her to remove the Bible verses, which might be in his words contrary to good order and military discipline and she refused.
The Marine represented herself at trial, a mistake, and was convicted and discharged, having been busted down to private and given a bad conduct discharge, which makes it difficult to find a job in the civilian world. Now she’s hired attorney Paul Clement from Liberty Institute and they are taking her case to the Military Court of Appeals.
It is my wish that everyone who reads about this will pray for Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling and her attorney that she may be successful in her lawsuit and appeal. What are we if not a people of faith as Americans. It is ingrained in our heritage. The motto of the Marine Corps is “Sember Fidelis” which is Latin for “Always Faithful”. What is the Marine Corps without faith? They should change their motto to “Numquam Fidos”.
I not only ask you to pray, but to act.
I am acting by writing this column. I am also sending a printed copy of this column to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, along with a Bible and the copy of my favorite Bible verse. It is an appeal that he do something, the right thing, to correct this outrage. If he does not, then shame him. He should resign. How intolerant is it to get rid of a servicemember because of her public proclamation of faith? Where is his Sergeant Major who advises the commandant, does he endorse this decision?
I encourage everyone to write to the commandant, as I am, and to express your displeasure, firmly but respectfully. Send him a copy of your favorite translation of the Bible and a Bible verse. If you are not a Christian, send a copy of your own Holy Scriptures, or some other token of faith. Let them see how displeased we are that this Marine was persecuted in this way.
What was the Bible verse on Sterling’s desk, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” A good one for a Marine if I might say. It is a variant of the verse in the King James Version of Isaiah 54:17 which reads, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue thatshall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This isthe heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness isof me, saith the LORD.”
To the Marine Corps Commandant I’ve sent this verse, which is I think also very fitting for a Marine, from the NIV version: Psalm 144:1-2
Shame on you Commandant, if you let this injustice stand. Shame!
I will be sending my messages to the following address listed on the Marine Corps website. I encourage others to do the same. Let’s fill up his office with Christian and religious texts and paraphernalia.
Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online.
Dear potential employer, I am a Soldier, recently retired from military service. I have over 22 years of service, including many months in combat zones. I have sacrificed my future so that I can serve my country and preserve our freedom here at home. I have had many days of training, including complicated logistics and tactical training. I have a commission in the United States Army from one of the premiere leadership schools in the country, Army ROTC, the Reserve Officers Training Corps. I further tested my mettle at Fort Benning Georgia, completing the infamous Infantry Officers Basic Course, a course so hard not a single female peer has yet to finish. In my career I’ve worked with the very best of Army leaders, some of them who have graduated from West Point, Virginia Military Institute, The Citadel, Army Officer Candidate School and the various state academies. We all received the same pay upon commission, and had the same job requirements.
After service as a combat arms officer, an Infantry Officer, an accomplishment I am very proud of, I was asked to make the transition to become an Army Logistician, supporting the war fighter in battle. My work is not for the faint-hearted or the slow witted. It takes careful consideration and patience to provide the materials, parts, food, vehicles, fuel and other necessities to the war fighter to make him successful on the battlefield, and yet, I have competed every mission and task put before me flawlessly.
A Logistician in Kuwait
I put down my coveted blue Infantry Cord, pridefully displayed over my right shoulder of my dress uniform, for the red piping and the insignia of the Logistician. I did this because the Army asked me to. I have moved at least two brigades to the theater of war and back again, without losing a single piece of equipment under my charge. Flawless execution for countless 20-foot containers and many companies of rolling stock.
In my military career, I have held various challenging positions of leadership, often serving in positions above my pay grade since no other senior officers were available to serve in my stead, or because such an officer had shirked their duty when I did not. I was an anti-tank platoon leader, an Infantry Company Executive Officer, a support platoon leader, a light truck platoon leader, a Movement Control Team Commander, an assistant operations staff officer, an assistant logistics officer, a public affairs operator, and a trainer/mentor team commander. Often I served in these posts without having any training specific to the position I was required to fill. I had to learn the position OJT. I did this by listening to the junior and senior Non-Commissioned officers in my command, who had experience where I had none. That’s how I learned and how we were successful together.
Casevac -photo by Jeremy Griffith
In my civilian career I haven’t always worked in journalism, my preferred profession. Multiple deployments have made that difficult for me. When I received my commission, I also earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, print journalism from St. Cloud State University. I did not sit on my laurels however, I also earned my masters degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida. And though I haven’t always worked in journalism, I have had an unbroken period of employment, much of it serving as an IV Technician at the Mayo Clinic. I have run to the patients’ rooms and stuck sharp needles into their arms so that desperately ill people could receive blood products or medicine to save their lives. Most of the patients I’ve served are adults, but some were very young children, who don’t understand why you are hurting them, even as you try to help them. My heart has ached for my patients, especially for the very ill children. This I think demonstrates I have accepted work other people would avoid, because no job is too low for me, no task unimportant.
Public Affairs Operator
I see that you have proprietary requirements and software that you would like me to be familiar with; things like Photoshop, In Design, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, etc. That’s nice. I am familiar with some of them, but not all. Most programs have instruction manuals and as a Soldier I have had to work with many proprietary systems that I was previously unfamiliar with and yet had to learn anyway, despite my lack of experience, or a validated trainer to mentor me. I dug into the manual and learned what I needed to to be successful. I’ve had to be flexible in that way. I’m sure if hired I will be able to quickly get up to speed on what ever processes and software you are currently using, and when technology forces change, I will adapt quickly yet again.
Firefight -photo by Jeremy Griffith
I’m sure that my qualifications can be intimidating for some. Very few in the private sector can boast of my experience. I know that I am overqualified for many of the positions I will apply for. Yet, don’t be anxious. I have been forced to work under substantial pressure with many different people from all walks of life and have still been a valued member of that team. I’ve worked with Iraqi contractors in operation Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle, I helped protect vital assets and air ports in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the 2007 Republican National Convention, working with local police, sheriffs, the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. I’ve provided informatics for the state Adjutant General in support of Operation Caregiver, in support of inpatient shut-ins during a state workers strike. I’ve dealt with the media as a public affairs operator as part of my extra duties as a staff officer, getting out to the public the message of what my unit is doing in the name of the citizens who are our bosses. As a reporter I’ve written many headline, front page stories of general interest to the community and I continue to share stories and commentary through my blog, WWW.AmericanMillenniumOnline.com.
Graduation – PAO
I’m sure that if hired I will be an extremely important member of your team and an asset. If you choose to pass me over in favor of someone less qualified, I would appreciate a call of explanation.
The Minnesota legislative session has ended and the Governor has left in a tiff as he always does. This time he’s mad that there wasn’t mandatory pre-kindergarten funding in his new education budget, despite the fact that educators and administrators and practically no one else supports such funding.
Republicans from the district met with constituents this week to discuss the outcome of the latest legislative session, including the non-sensical veto of the education bill by the Governor. That budget provides $17 billion additional dollars to education to students and districts in the state. But because the governor didn’t get his pet project, mandatory Pre-K, he vetoed the bill, at the end of the session, without any discussion or negotiation with the legislatures.
Ultimately, the Republicans will no doubt be blamed for the shut down and the inevitable layoffs in the districts, especially the Republican Majority House of Representatives. But the fault is purely on the part of the democrat Governor Mark Dayton, who has no support from legislators on the right of the eisle, no support from educators and school administrators, and very little support from his democratic base. In fact, school administrators have called on the governor to abandon ideas of funding school mandatory pre-k because the districts have no teachers available and trained, no facilities and are ill prepared for adopting such a program.
The parents have their students in school already for 13 plus years from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Colleges and Universities have them for another four or more. But that isn’t enough time to indoctrinate students in the liberal world view. Which, in my view is another good argument for abandoning the current school system and asking for a program that involves homeschooling with after school programs, and vouchers for schools that are failing students in the inner cities.
Governor Dayton has listened to zero of his constituents in regards to his unreasonable desire for mandatory pre-K. It’s time that people started calling his office and telling him how parents really feel.
“The governor really doesn’t know what to do about phone calls from constituents,” said State Senator Carla Nelson-R. “He really doesn’t respond well to pressure, either from phone calls or at the negotiation table. Which, is really why people should call the governor’s office right away.”
Call the governor and tell him how you feel at 651-201-3400 or toll free at 800-657-3717.
A legislative special session is required in order to avoid a shut down of education in the fall. Only the governor can call for a special session, but he cannot end it, which is why local legislators have an opportunity to work on this and other legislative issues if such a session is called.
Read more about the Governor’s veto and impending education layoffs at the Daily Globe here.
Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online.
Two thumbs way up for the first two episodes of The Fighting Season by executive producer Ricky Schroder. All through the two first episodes I was shouting at the TV non-stop and cheering the Soldiers and their leaders and booing their vile opponents. I felt like I was watching a melodrama, except the action was very real!
The Fighting Season is following elements of the 10th Mountain and the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan as they have a two fold mission there, roll up the carpet and leave things to the local nationals, and continue to fight the enemy insurgents until their last day in country. I appreciated the vignettes transitioning from the warfighters on the ground actually putting rounds on target and taking fire from insurgents, to the American Colonel mentoring the Afghani National Police, to the officers and staff planning the operations. Every aspect of the war effort is covered in this documentary. It is taught and insightful and brutal.
I appreciated one scene early on that was part of an interview with a young captain who was the brigade intelligence officer. He was explaining that the fight we are involved in now in Afghanistan is not against an insurgency that wants to win back their nation and drive out invaders. These opponents are a brutal mob who wants to gain control of the country and restore the brutal regime that was in place before; the one that prevented girls from going to school, who had women in basic slavery day in and day out and would kill Soldiers and civilians, anyone that doesn’t bend to their regressive point of view.
Watching this extraordinary documentary had me emotional even as I think of recent events in Iraq where I served as part of the surge back in 2007. The fall of Ramadi in Iraq is a significant set back for the United States and the world. ISIS is now on the door step of Baghdad and as such, will no doubt take over the country very soon. It illustrates clearly how the successes gained through the blood and tears of our fighting men and women can be so easily lost by short sighted and arrogant politicians.
This is not about war, this is war! – quote from the Ricky Schroder made for TV documentary “The Fighting Season”.
But we are 14 years down the road, I get that, and people are tired of sending young men and women to die in foreign theaters. I get it. In the end of the day, Afghanistan and Iraq has to fight for themselves and maintain the gains that we have given them, we cannot safeguard them forever. So it’s heart-rending to watch the news as thousands of civilians flee ISIS on foot in the heat even as their military and police forces drop their weapons and run.
I think about and fear for the lives of three hundred plus Marines currently stationed at Al Asaad Airbase in Iraq who are there to train the Iraqi Army and police and find themselves surrounded by ISIS. I wonder if they will find relief soon, able to leave their mission before they are unable to leave and are overwhelmed by the terrorists, forced to fight to the last man. Remember that this administration has left people die before, abandoning Ambassador Stevens and four of his brave protection detail in Benghazi, Libya. Will this administration do that again to the Marines and other support personnel now in Iraq?
I worry about the 3rd BCT, 4th ID now stationed in Kuwait out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Is this heavy brigade going to go over the berm into Iraq to relieve those Marines? What dangers will they face? Or will Barack Obama keep them in Kuwait doing training exercises and watching over the berm with bated breath? Will Obama unleash the dogs of war or will he keep them chained?
Ricky Schroader and his team of producers and documentarians have in my mind created the greatest war documentary since Restrepo andBrothers At War. In the first and second episodes I could see, actually see AK-47 rounds pass between the Soldiers and the filmakers as they are taking cover behind thin trees and tall grass. Meanwhile, many miles away, an army Major and his staff at the tactical operations center is listening to radio traffic and watching the action through the eyes of drones even as they try to direct air support to relieve the besieged platoon on the ground.
“This is not “Call Of Duty”! -quote from “The Fighting Season”
In another Vignette, an Army Colonel mentoring the Afghan National Police is driving in convoy with his men and checking checkpoints to make sure the locals are executing their duties properly. Traffic is intense and the Soldiers heads are on swivels, looking out for trouble. The colonel gets out of the vehicle, to the chagrine and horror of his men and he engages local businessmen in the bazaar, buying fruit from the vendors and talking to them about local issues. The men chastise him, fearful he is putting himself at risk unnecessarily. The colonel just laughs them off saying, “you can’t do this job staying in the car! They have to see you doing the job.”
A female Army captain speaks at one point about her work with Afghan women. The strict rules of conduct in that country forbid men to search or even talk to strange women, so the nation is training women police officers and female Soldiers like this young Army Captain is mentoring them. The captain talks about her role as an advisor and shares her admiration for the leader of the local police, a woman of renown, who has championed women’s and human rights in the country.
Meanwhile, at one of the Forward Operating Base, the commander of a brigade combat team of the All American 82nd Airborne is planning an op in a beleaguered part of the country. The snow has melted in the mountains and foreign and local insurgents are returning to fight, the fighting season has begun. The colonel coaches his men through the Army’s military decision making process, MDMP as they come up with courses of action for the spring and summer campaign. He rejects the early COA he receives and tells the staff to go back to the drawing board. The colonel presents a final draft of the plan to his boss, a one-star general who is the deputy commander of the task force. Problems are found in the air logistics piece of the plan; the unit is taking too many turns, about 8 round trips, in helicopters to get to the objective. The brigadier is concerned that the unit might be telegraphing their intent and making themselves too easy a target for insurgents with rocket propelled grenades. The planners of the 82nd are pushed back to their offices to revise the plan once again.
Meanwhile, a female First Sergeant, in charge of logistics for the upcoming mission, is trying to figure out how to best provide material support. She’s loading containers of supplies and equipment for air movement and the containers have become too heavy. She’s got to double check the packing list inside to see what’s in there and what can be removed, and one of her knuckle-heads has misplaced the key to the container lock. She’s pissed, swearing up a blue streak to subordinates on the phone. They better get this right or there will be a woman’s wrath and Hell to pay.
I really like this series and I can’t wait to watch the last three episodes on this week on Audience on Direct TV. I highly recommend it. I covers all aspects of the operations, from the Soldiers on the ground to the planners and leaders, and to the logisticians who almost never get credit for their very important work in providing support for the meat-eaters and trigger pullers. I like how the filmakers are hardly ever heard from in the movie and they allow the stories to be told from the point of view of the servicemen and women.
Mr. Schroder and his small team took enormous risk with this documentary, putting themselves in harm’s way to film it. The film is beautifully shot and amazingly dramatic. This should win an award and I recommend anyone see it who has had a loved one in a combat zone and has asked the question, “what is it like over there?” This series answers that question beautifully and I can’t wait to see the rest. Huah!
Manny Pacquiao’s ebulient peronality and straightforward fighting style makes him a winner in the eyes of fans all over the world.
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Mayweather may have won a technical fight between himself and underdog opponent Manny Pacquiao, by in the eyes of the adoring fans the world over, Manny, a modern day Robin Hood, was the winner.
Mayweather’s technical win seems to hinge on a weak punch, run away and hug strategy. Using his longer reach, the black American would keep his Filipino opponent away at distance, and keep on throwing week punches every time Pacquiao would try to step in and fight. There’s a reason for this. Pacquiao is a dangerous fighter who knocks people out. In the close fight, Manny wins. That’s why often when Manny did step in, Floyd would wrap him up and hug him. It’s a good strategy if you aren’t looking for a real fight, but it makes the outcome less clear.
Floyd Mayweather’s run and hug strategy may have won him the fight in technical terms, but made him the loser in the eyes of people watching.
Given all the “points” that Mayweather accumulated from the judges throughout the fight, Floyd chose not to engage Pacquiao anymore, choosing instead to run around the ring and keep away. Already this weak punch, run and hug strategy has given rise to humorous memes on the Internet.
Some of those memes include the following:
Pacquiao is a fighter, Mayweather is a marathoner!
Pacquiao is a figher, Mayweather is a hugger!
Mayweather: Free Hugs!
And Etc. From the very beginning the back stories of the respective fighters suggested an epic battle between good an evil. Pacquiao is the epic small town hero and national champion of the Philippines. He smiles, he worships God openly, and he interacts with fans. On contrast, Mayweather is all about the money, in fact that is his monicker. In the lead up to the fight there was awkward video of a Mayweather fluncky hanging bottles of expensive wine in a expansive room in one of Floyd’s overpriced houses. The weird video showed just how out of touch Floyd seems to be with the common people. He is a franchise fighter and business man who cares primarily about himself and fails to connect to people.
So it was Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker apparently. Ultimately the professional boxing style wasn’t very entertaining for most people who aren’t fans of boxing who only tuned in because they hopped to see a real brawl, which didn’t materialize.
There was a telling moment when a rude interviewer was talking to Manny after the fight. He looked very uncomfortable next to Manny as he basically asked him why he was such a loser, being out-boxed by the American opponent. Manny smiled and said simply, “I think I won the fight!” That shocked the interviewer, who countered. “Well, what about Mayweather’s power. Could you feel that in the ring?” To which Manny smiled, with his bright personable smile and said, “I can handle his ‘power’!”
Because there was no power to Mayweather’s punches. A martial arts practitioner will tell you that you can’t break a board or a brick by punching it at the full length of your punch, which is what Floyd was doing to Manny. The target has to be closer in, and the fighter must punch through the target for there to be any power. Whatever power was in Mayweather’s punches was pretty much extinguished at full reach when they occasionally made contact with Pacquiao’s face or body. Analysis given by the announcers demonstrate that the fight was basically judged by the number of punches thrown versus the effectiveness of those punches, which came out hugely in Mayweather’s favor. It seems an odd way to judge a fight that seemed largely to come out as a draw in the eyes of the viewers.
Many are already speculating on whether there will be a rematch, but I find that highly unlikely, based on the build up to this fight. It might take another five years, at which time, the fighters will be well past their prime. The only way Mayweather would schedule such a fight is if he could capitalize on it for more money. He can find the money elsewhere, and much easier too.
The fight was largely a disappointment to Philippines fans, who put a lot of emotional stock in their hero. But the loss doesn’t diminish Manny at all. If nothing it elevates him through the sorrow of disappointment in the eyes of the fans who admire his straight forward, honest fighting style. I was in a house filled with Filipino immigrants that night and all of them were angry at Mayweather for cheating and running rather than fighting. Many asked the question: why doesn’t he get penalized for that? Isn’t that illegal? I’m not a boxing fan, so I don’t know the rules, which seemed to favor the American and weigh against his Filipino challenger.
The rules of society don’t make much sense sometimes and often heroes of the past find themselves at odds with them. Jesus Christ, Robin Hood, Davy Crocket, etc. all were victims of this, but in the end it did not diminish them, but elevated their legend. At the end of the day, Manny Pacquiao was elevated again on the shoulders of people who love him and identify with him. In the meantime, the ‘winner’, Floyd Mayweather will be able to cash in, while at the same time be the subject of ridicule not unlike Pontious Pilate, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Santa Anna.
One more observation on the fight before closing. Did anyone notice the weird opening? There were three national anthem’s played. The United States and the Philippines, and I get that, but why was the Mexican Anthem sung? It was a weird awkward moment to be listening to an anthem played for a participant who wasn’t there, had no dog in the fight. Apparently the PC police are in full force. The excuse was, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Whatever. It would have been better if it had not been played. Leave the PC crap at the door. All it did was cause snickers amongst the impatient fans who waited hours to see the primary fight card.
The so-called epic matchup between Mayweather and Pacquiao ultimately was a disappointment to people watching.