Archive for troops

What Message Are Police Sending To Young Boys?

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Boy

The Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Who can argue with that? Who can refuse promoting those solid, non-sectarian beliefs?

Ben Wolfinger

Evidently the police in northern Idaho. Ben Wolfinger, the sheriff of Kootenai County, just decided not to renew his department’s charter with a local Boy Scout troop. He had his reasons. How valid they are is another story.

He made his decision to refuse sponsorship for this national organization for one reason and one reason only. It wasn't money. It was that the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay members. According to Wolfinger, his Christian faith and reliance on biblical teachings led him to his decision. How unchristian of him. He chooses bigotry over charity.

Now sponsoring a worthwhile program like the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts of America seems like a pretty nice thing to do. Generous and uncontroversial as well. Considering the benefits to the members, the kids, the parents and the volunteers, it's to be lauded. Unless you're some kind of right-wing religious zealot.

Is this community leader, a police officer sworn to uphold the law (and that means anti-discrimination and hate laws) withholding his support? He's hiding behind the religion wildcard. Is he really saying that he can't be any support to any group that promotes equality?

According to the US Scouts Organization, the BOY SCOUT LAW:

A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

I don't see anti-Gay in there. So what's the problem?

Unless the narrow-minded Sheriff sees something there that I don't, I suggest that he turn in his badge and refuse to take his pension on religious beliefs. The police help people of all colors, races, creeds, and orientations. Sheriff Wolfinger wishes to exempt himself from that on religious belief. If that's the case, let him go.

People around the country must stop this nonsense of selectively picking and choosing which religious interpretations they want just when it suits their bigotry. This is another one of those cases and sadly, it's a black eye for law enforcement both in Idaho and in the rest of the country.

If police want to benefit from an improved community recognition, cooperation and acceptance, if they want regular people to appreciate the fine job many of them do, then giving something back to communities is just such a move. Refusing aid, help and the backing of their departments just makes them look on par with the criminals they are hired to apprehend.

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Video- President and Mrs Obama visits troops in Hawaii

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Giving Thanks to Our Troops

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Video- President Obama to Troops: Marry "Someone Superior To You"

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Snort.

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Enlisted troops in Army, Marines back from deployment more likely to cause auto accidents

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When I first read the L.A. Times headline, I couldn't imagine why troops who returned home would be particularly poor drivers. Are they more prone to driving under the influence? Are they suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, maybe having flashbacks? Have they given up caring? Or do they feel invincible?

Some of the above:

Members of the U.S. military — especially enlisted troops in the Army and Marines — were significantly more likely to cause auto accidents within six months of returning from deployment, according to a study by USAA Property and & Casualty Insurance Group, a major insurer for military families.

These veterans probably are engaging in survival driving habits for a war zone, such as not stopping in traffic, driving fast and making sudden, unpredictable turns, experts said. But those same driving practices create havoc back in the United States. [...]

Officers had far lower accident rates than enlisted troops, and drivers younger than 22 were more prone to crashes than older members of the military.

The good news is that there wasn't a rise in fatal accidents.

Bradley Hammond, who left the Army after serving in Iraq in 2006:

"I want to drive as close to the middle as I can because subconsciously if I see a box or some trash on the side of the road I am thinking it will explode," said Hammond of Lakewood, Colo. "Sometimes I get a feeling someone is following me and I just turn. Something will set me off."

Wars, and in this case IEDs, have taken such a heavy toll on lives and on psyches.

Interestingly, none of the non-deployed service members surveyed reported anxiety while driving.

More here.

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Video- President's Weekly Address: The President and First Lady Thank our Troops for their Service this Holiday Season

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Video- First Lady Dedicates Homes for Ailing Service Members & Veterans

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