Is One Who Avoids Capture As A Draft Dodger A Hero?

There are many dedicated patriots who did not run when they were called to service. Many of these brave men and women were, and continued to be, damaged by their service to The United States of America. Some went beyond being damaged and joined the broken.

I wonder how many awoke the other morning and learned, if the reports are true, that their sacrifice and the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters, was not demeaned, disparaged and dishonored by a foreign power, but by our very own commander and chief. Are they more distressed today, than they were yesterday?

The President Of The United States, a “man” who’s father’s wealth bought him out of military service, has again shown his disdain for those of us who pledged our lives for our country. In a string of slurs beginning with attacks on Senator John McCain’s P.O.W. heroism up until the recent slandering of General John Kelly, the contempt for which Mr. Trump has shown to those who wear, or have worn, the uniforms of the U.S. Armed Forces has been readily and repeatedly on display and leaves no doubt to the validity of the latest reporting.

From basic training through the end of our commitments, we are taught to respect the office, if not the office holder. Yet, Mr. Trump has brought disrespect to that office, and dishonor to the title of commander and chief. Through his condescension for those of us who have served, for those who continue to serve, for those who have suffered, for those who continue to suffer, and for those who have given their lives – he has disgraced the office and title and no longer deserves even polite respect.

Many found Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee as an insult to those in the Armed Forces. I wonder if those same individuals will now choose blindness to the true and genuinely insulting, hateful and vile intent of the Oval Office’s current occupant.

Will they continue to give him support?
If they do, what does that say about their support for our troops?

These are serious questions, for never in our history has the person wielding a bayonet at a serviceperson been their own commander and chief.  And of course, this blade strikes the back, and causes deeper pain than any other.

Two years ago, I wrote “War Springs Eternal” as an homage to my brothers and sisters in arms whose sacrifice went beyond what is often called “the ultimate sacrifice.”

I dedicated the novella –

-To those who were asked to do the unthinkable.
-To those who HAD to do the unimaginable.
-To those who are broken and still fighting.
-To those for whom the fighting became too much.

Today I rededicate “War Springs Eternal” to those who have now experienced an undeserved and unexpected and ultimate betrayal.

Joe Leonardi
U.S. Navy Veteran

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