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As anyone who has been there and done that can tell you. When it comes right down to it, you don't fight for patriotism, and you don't fight for Mom, or apple pie, you fight for each other. I would not expect many to understand that. Freedom truly does have a flavor the protected will never know.

Mike, the first thing that came to my mind reading this was wondering why one joins in the first place? Does it start out as the flag, mom and apple pie, and then change on the frontline, or is there some other dynamic involved?

FWIW, I don't feel protected by anyone's army. Nor do I want such protection. As far war - some are worth fighting, others are only worth fighting against. It's a copout saying you can't pick and choose. As for freedom.... it's just a state of mind. Your forefathers believed it could be protected by a piece of paper. But paper can be torn up. It's a nebulous concept, and constitutions and law should treat it as such. "It's the vibe of the thing, your Honor" that counts.

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As anyone who has been there and done that can tell you. When it comes right down to it, you don't fight for patriotism, and you don't fight for Mom, or apple pie, you fight for each other. I would not expect many to understand that. Freedom truly does have a flavor the protected will never know.

Mike, the first thing that came to my mind reading this was wondering why one joins in the first place? Does it start out as the flag, mom and apple pie, and then change on the frontline, or is there some other dynamic involved?

FWIW, I don't feel protected by anyone's army. Nor do I want such protection. As far war - some are worth fighting, others are only worth fighting against. It's a copout saying you can't pick and choose. As for freedom.... it's just a state of mind. Your forefathers believed it could be protected by a piece of paper. But paper can be torn up. It's a nebulous concept, and constitutions and law should treat it as such. "It's the vibe of the thing, your Honor" that counts.

Greg,

I myself joined simply because it was something my family had always done. Each and every one of us. I suspect others might well have joined for an education, the opportunity to experience new things, or perhaps even just to test ones metal. Some may even have joined because of patriotism.

I suspect you may also be correct, in that things do indeed change. Some experiences are eye opening to say the least.

Your thoughts on war much resemble my own. However, I can not and would never say that anyone wins a war. The loss of humanity to both sides, is far the larger shadow.

Mike

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Guest James H. Fetzer

John,

It wasn't an ideological decision but rather a choice of professions. I never planned a career in the Marine Corps. I was enrolled in the

Navy Regular Program, for which the Navy paid for my tuition, books, and spending money for four years as an undergraduate and, in

return, I agreed to serve four years as a Naval or Marine Corps officer. I took the Marine Corps option. After reflecting on the choice

of a career in the law or in higher eduction, I chose the path to a Ph.D. and academia. I always knew there was nothing I could do as

well as I could philosophy. I had not signed up for a lifetime commitment and I neither abandoned my men or my country, which had,

as it turned out, taken a wrong turn. <DELETED>

My brother, Phil, who also graduated from Princeton, however, was a bona fide conscientious objector. He had decided he would leave

the country if he were forced to fight in a war in which he did not believe. Prior to his appearance before the draft board, he asked me

if I would write on his behalf. I was glad to and explained to the board that I was convinced this was an act of conscience on his part.

I have often thought about how it affected the members of the board to have a letter from an active duty regular Marine Corps officer--

as I recall, I was a Captain at the time--write on behalf of a conscientious objector. By a single vote, Phil received his CO exemption.

So he deserves your praise on principle rather than I. For me, I had fulfilled my obligation and had other goals to pursue, which I did.

Jim

Jim gains my respect for refusing to serve in Vietnam.
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I will not defend that statement from Mike, but let me say this: what he has shown in various threads for over a month, is that he is doing the Marine's, or anyone else he might represent, an honor. [snip]

No, he is not. "Semper Fidelis" is Latin. The first word translates as "ALWAYS" in English. That's right, ALWAYS Faithful (or loyal). Always doesn't mean "sometimes", or only "when it's safe", or convenient, or popular...or only when we agree. It means NOW and FOREVER. Disagreements happen, but a Marine doesn't question another Marine's backbone without cause--and even with cause--never in public! Even then it would be a private matter.

Semper Fi --

Semper Fidelis does in fact mean "Always Faithful". It is the Marine motto, and relates to Faithfulness to God, Country, and Corp.

The first two should be clear enough. The last might be less so. Faithful to the Corp. Means maintaining its honor and integrity as a whole, and certainly not by any individual part.

Were that the case I would have to condone the acts of men like Charles Whitman, and the Men who were responsible for the massacre at Son Thang, the Marines own My Lai. Of course I would never support men of this nature. They dishonor the Corp, and its values.

To question another Marines integrity or veracity is the responsibility of each Marine, in upholding the virtue and integrity of the Corp.

Mr. Burnham completely misunderstands the concept.

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I agree (as a pacifist, not to say I wont defend to the end my country, friends, and family against aggressors if it should come to that). To not be ''upholding the virtue and integrity of the Corp'', ie bring it into disrepute, or through inaction do so, threatens to invalidate the first two. Those who spoke out on Mi Lai did so in the face of a warped understanding of honor.

They are the heroes in this instance.

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