« Saying goodbye, teenagers, and thinking through one's blogging | Main | Sports and self-obsession »

May 27, 2005

Comments

Michael

Folks, I'm open to suggestions. A batch of cookies? A visit to the recruiters with a word of thanks for their hard work (and maybe a small number of gifts)? Mind you, I'm not a supporter of this current war. But I haven't always differentiated between the cause for which men and women fight and those men and women themselves. And I've got the feeling this morning I've got to take some small but tangible action.

How about http://www.treatsfortroops.com/

Or possibly: http://www.opgratitude.com/website2/

One other: http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm

One thing I always notice is the age of the troops I see over there. They seem sooo young and most of them are the same age as my children. It's heartbreaking to see them suffering. I think they need as much support from home as we can give them...


James

Hugo,

This is an area where I, for reasons that I have never quite been able to explain to myself, have an extraordinarily strong and emotional response. I'm of an age where my father would have been drafted for Vietnam but for a medical exclusion, and I could have enlisted for the 1st round in Iraq, but didn't, for many many reasons. In short, though, I don't have any strong ties to the military this side of WWII. Having said that, seeing or hearing about scorn & rage spewed at (especially) the enlisted, whether it's Vietnam or Iraq, always makes my blood boil. For that matter, the recent history of soldiers & marines sent into harms way without the best arms & armor available (see Somalia & Iraq), or shortchanging veterans of their benefits does the same thing. I'm a guy who leans to the left on a lot of things, but making sure current soldiers & veterans get their due is a hot botton issue for me. I did not, and don't support this war. And there is no silly yellow ribbon on my car (I have a whole other rant about those). But as long as I can remember, I've had an almost irrational gut feeling about how much should be owed those guys and girls in uniform. I'm sure the guys at the recruiting office would love some bagels (they're in a tough spot right now), and you might even run into your friend from the gas station. But if you want to really make someone's life a little easier while they are away from family and friends, think about sending a care package to Iraq. I'm sure there are lots of organizations doing that at the local level. Maybe the local VFW. Or if you want to do something a little different, try http://www.booksforsoldiers.com.

Caitriona

Hugo,

I've never been a proponent of war and have quite often felt that our gov't is misusing our citizenry who enlist with the best of intentions. Adhering to Anabaptist pacifism and providing support for the *people* who make the choice to enlist are not actions that are at odds. A review of Anabaptist history shows many instances where Anabaptists came under the gun because they offered aid to all comers, no matter the political/military affiliations of those in need of support.

One of my new host-parents is a gentleman who is a Sgt in the Army Reserve. He's a very nice gentleman, just a few years younger than I am, and knows teens well. I may not agree with the actions of the "company" for which he works, but I can still accept that he is a good and decent gentleman who cares very much for people.

There are different ways you can offer support for military personnel without offering support for the cause(s) in which our gov't embroils them. One way would be to set up some sort of "Adopt-A-Soldier" program in your church, where families (including singles!) are assigned a soldier to write, to invite home for dinner, to hang out with, etc. Be their local families. They need that as much as do college students who are away from home. Offer them your friendship. Be there for them. If the subject of whatever govt action comes up, it's OK to let them know that you disagree with that action based on your faith, but be sure to let them know that your disagreement with that action does not taint your caring for the person.

Rhesa

A visit to the recruiter's station sounds good, but I think this post by itself relieves you of that debt, Hugo. Frankly, I was a little surprised when I read the 'graph(s) about you taking part in an anti-ROTC demonstration, because I can't see you doing that.

Rhesa

Just to clarify: I guess what I mean is that you don't reflect a violent nature, so that Hugo from the demonstration is quite alien and different from the one I read everyday. That's not bad, mind you - that, if anything, points to the overall change that's occurred in your life.

Caitriona

Rhesa,

It didn't surprise me. But then, again, I'm married to a man who participated in Vietnam protests as a teen, then enlisted in the USMC in his early 20's, then left as a conscientious objector 15 years later, and converted to Mennonite nearly 2-and-a-half years ago. Passionate men put their entire beings into what they are doing, whether for right or wrong. :-)

Rhesa

Passionate men put their entire beings into what they are doing, whether for right or wrong. :-)

Agreed! 'Course, so do passionate women. ;-)

davejones

It's funny, Hugo, that in our youth (and even older for many) we don't see the irony of our violent pacifism or abject hatred of those who put their ass in the grass to ensure our right to act or feel this way. Our righteousness is beyond reproach.

Vietnam and Iraq are favored topics but I submit we could not fight WWII today. The atrocities and inhumanity by all participant countries would embarrass and disgust us, especially by what we call abuse now.

Other's have alreay provided you with some good ideas. Here's another one with Memorial Day almost upon us:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/observe.htm

As an aside, if you ever find yourself in Washington D.C. I recommend a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (aka Tomb of the Unknowns) at Arlington National Cemetery. The changing of the guard is one of the most moving things you will ever see. The dedication, pride, precision, and honor of the guards is unparalleled. In a way I can't define, it connected me to those who gave it all for us.

Hugo

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. When I wrote this post, I completely forgot we were heading in to Memorial Day weekend!

Dave, I've been to Arlington to see the changing of the guard, back in April 1997. I wept.

Rhesa and Caitriona, you're kind, and you're right -- I'd like to think that those in my life today don't catch any glimpses of just how much self-righteous rage I had as a young man. I was an angry soul, that's for sure.

Caitriona

Hugo, I'd love to put you in contact with my husband. I think the two of you have much to share, as far as the life-searches you've each lived.

Hugo

Drop him my email!

Brian

But it brought back memories of the mid-1980s, when I was a freshman at Cal and participating in often-violent anti-ROTC demonstrations. (The ROTC building was actually burned down at one point, and no, I had nothing to do with that!)

Thanks for confirming what I believed from the first time I visited your site: you're a pathetic little dweeb who hates men and who acts violent when he's in a group. I am not impressed.

But years ago, I heaped my share of terrible verbal abuse at many a young cadet. I sprayed more than one young man with spittle as I railed on about whatever the issue was at the time

That those young men did not turn and kick your sorry ass all over the "Cal" campus speaks volumes about somethings they have and that you lack: character and integrity. You're a typical Northern California (now transplanted, I realize) thug; you're tough in a group, but a total pussy one on one.

I overturned tables, ran from campus police, and took part in a variety of small acts of criminal destruction of ROTC property that seemed (at the time) to be enormously brave and today seem to me to be colossally juvenile.

I'm not surprised. You're a spoiled little snot without any roots or commitment to anything. You simply go whichever way the wind blows.

I could be a vicious hothead when I was younger and filled with more testosterone.

Don't you dare try to blame your moronic behavior on testosterone. I know the whole purpose of your blog is to try to get more pussy from the skanks who hang around here, but the whole "testosterone = evil" claim is quite worthless.

"...I haven't hurled profane opprobrium at any one in uniform since my last protest, which was fourteen years ago at the start of the first Gulf War in January 1991."

Thanks, asshole. My cousin was killed in that war. Way to go, man-hating scumbot!

So folks, I'm not ready to abandon my Anabaptist pacifism.

Your "Anabaptist pacifism." Your "feminism." You are a fucking caricature. You just say shit here to try to get pussy. You're not a real man. You're a pathetic poseur.

But I have decided that I need to do something tangible to make amends for my past behavior. I was shaken by my encounter with the guarded young soldier yesterday, and I felt overwhelmed by a need to apologize to him for all that I had yelled at men like him many years ago.

Karma's a bitch, ain't it?

(Note: I could never yell at the very few female ROTC cadets I saw back in the day; a strange mix of simple-minded feminism and in-bred courtliness made it impossible for me to ever raise my voice at a woman. I simply ignored them and went after their male counterparts. Embarrassing, but true.)

Oh, no. You could never raise your voice to a woman. Never. Here's another perfect example of how you're trying to score more pussy by being a spineless dweeb. Does your "fiancee"--if she even exists--know how you act here? I doubt it.

Rhesa

Wow, talk about an angry soul!

Rhesa

One more addendum, Hugo: I would suggest a brief letter attached to the gift card to explain why you're giving it to them.

Clarence

Brian, that was totally uncalled for.

The man didn't actually HURT anyone or bully anyone. He was a self righteous punk-prick, just like there are plenty of self righteous expletive deleted at that age. He's trying to make amends, and has grown up..at least about this issue. Why be a JERK to him?

Brian

Wow, talk about an angry soul!

I'd rather express my anger than pretend it doesn't exist. I call it like I see it. Hugo's someone who is not living a real life. He's living out some concept of what he thinks "life" is. Me, I'll take the real thing.

dave paisley

Hugo, I admire the way you just hang it all out there on the washing line for the world to see.

While donating money isn't a bad thing, I don't think it really provides much reparation in human terms. Doing something for the local recruiting office would be much more personal. Starbucks cards sounds like an awesome idea. A little card attached expressing support would be a nice way to make it personal.

p.s. Brian - you're the dweeb.

Brian

Brian, that was totally uncalled for.

Not at all, Clarence.

The man didn't actually HURT anyone or bully anyone.

With all due respect, how do you know this? If he was spitting at the men, as he admits, that's hurt enough. As far as not bullying anyone goes, Hugo's own words contradict your assertion. He was a thug, acting tough in a large group. I've met and known his type. Defend him if you wish, but I won't.

He was a self righteous punk-prick, just like there are plenty of self righteous expletive deleted at that age.

Whether women behave similarly badly is irrelevant. We don't say it's acceptable for women to commit murder because some men do.

He's trying to make amends, and has grown up..at least about this issue.

I'm sorry but I just don't buy Hugo's whole public attempt at appearing righteous. Having lost a cousin in the Gulf War, perhaps I am more sensitive than most about this issue. However, given that Hugo so frequently flaunts his "Christianity," it would be nice to see him practice it.

Not being Christian, I don't know the exact text, but didn't Jesus say something about not paying alms or making religious practices in public, so as not to draw attention to oneself? Hugo's not posting here to make amends in any sincere sense; he's bragging about his supposed conversion and how righteous he claims to have become. Why not make the reparations without fanfare and just do the deed?

Instead, he comes here and tells the whole world, "Look at me. See how wonderful I am! I am doing something to make amends to the military. Oh, but [wringing hands]...I just, I just...I mean, well, heavens, I just don't know what to do to make up for those times when I was too full of testosterone! Oh, help me! What should I do??? Please help me be the wonderful, sanctimonious, righteous Hugo that I have portrayed to you all this time. Oh, and be assured, I would never...ever...raise my voice to a woman. Tee hee!"

Give me a break. If you believe any of his comments reflect a genuine change of heart, well, you're certainly entitled to your belief and your expression of your belief. However, I remain unconvinced.

Why be a JERK to him?

Clarence, that was totally uncalled for.

Rhesa

Me, I'll take the real thing.

Apparently the real thing involves plenty of invective and issues that haven't been dealt with in your life, Brian.

Rhesa

Not being Christian, I don't know the exact text, but didn't Jesus say something about not paying alms or making religious practices in public, so as not to draw attention to oneself? Hugo's not posting here to make amends in any sincere sense; he's bragging about his supposed conversion and how righteous he claims to have become. Why not make the reparations without fanfare and just do the deed?

In case you haven't noticed - and that's apparent with your comments on this post - Hugo writes a lot about his life here. And last time I checked, this was his blog, aka his personal space for saying whatever he wants. You're a guest here, Brian, not the landlord.

Pip

I may have missed something here, dear brother -- and as one who still honours the actions you were part of at Berkeley, that's perfectly possible -- but it seems to me there's a huge leap between pitying and even admiring the working class men and women who are called upon to kill and die to protect the middle class way of life, and wanting to do something nice for the *recruiters*, of all people. Surely it would make more sense if sympathy for the soldiery went alongside a renewed loathing for the recruiters who suck them into the killing game with cheap bribes and false promises?

Brian

Me, I'll take the real thing.

Apparently the real thing involves plenty of invective and issues that haven't been dealt with in your life, Brian.

Looks like you're projecting?

Brian

Not being Christian, I don't know the exact text, but didn't Jesus say something about not paying alms or making religious practices in public, so as not to draw attention to oneself? Hugo's not posting here to make amends in any sincere sense; he's bragging about his supposed conversion and how righteous he claims to have become. Why not make the reparations without fanfare and just do the deed?

In case you haven't noticed - and that's apparent with your comments on this post - Hugo writes a lot about his life here. And last time I checked, this was his blog, aka his personal space for saying whatever he wants. You're a guest here, Brian, not the landlord.

It's clear you defend Hugoboy's hypocrisy. Suit yourself.

Last time I checked, "Rhesagrrrrrl," you're a guest here as much as I am; you're no landlord. So unless Hugoboy has appointed you as some kind of feminist thug "enforcer," MYOFB, "Rhesagrrrrrl". You're in no position to tell me what to do or what not to do. Finally, if you want to talk about being "angry" and having "issues," I suggest you look in a mirror.

It's fun to watch liberal hypocrites squirm when someone dares to call them on their hypocrisy.

John

Well, not broadcasting your charity is Biblical, it is true. But so is kindness, gentleness, grace and self-control. I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to lecture others on being a real Christian, when you are (a) Not one, and (b) So obviously deficient in all of the above.

And for the record, Hugo's donation was reparation, not charity. If the offence and the sin was public, it is appropriate that the repentance and reparation be public also. The same applies, for the record, to you and your nastiness. You shot your mouth off about a friend in public, and now so am I doing it about you. I disagree with Hugo about practically everything. I think his philosophy inconsistent, his politics misguided, and his religion infected by the culture, and I am not shy about saying any of the above. Like all of us, Hugo has issues, and to his credit, he doesn't pretend otherwise. But I have never questioned his passion or sincerity. Or kindness. I have no time for Gender Studies, Liberalism or the religious interfaces thereof. But I do have all day for Hugo. Leave him alone, shut your mouth, and learn. If you hang out with him for a while, he might rub off on you.

La Lubu

Hugo, Ignore the background noise.

I gotta second Michael's advice to visit AnySoldier.com. That site recommends that you don't send anything unless you've checked the site the same day you send the stuff, as units get moved around and addresses change. Go to the "Where to Send Stuff" section and randomly click on some names. That will bring up an address and a "wish list", along with the number of men and women in the group on the "wish list". Last night, I found a dog handlers unit that was looking for doggie snacks along with the usual stuff, and a medical unit that was looking for toiletries for their patients. I also found out Infusium 23 isn't available at the PX, and that's mighty popular stuff!

Care packages are incredibly appreciated there. I sent some to a friend's son who was stationed there; he came home for good last fall. He said the Girl Scout cookies were popular, and so were the magazines. He also said the MREs suck, so canned chicken and tuna get much love (and if you have access to a good Italian store, those cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto won't last long, either).

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004