Mr. McClellan reports that his inbox is overflowing with people who "want to get rid" of him after he wrote two columns on doing away with military funeral honors for all veterans except those who were actually killed in combat:
But what about the guy who spends a couple of years in the military and then gets on with his life? Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died.McClellan suggests that the free space and headstone in a national cemetery ought to be sufficient.
Tom Blumer at Newsbusters asks:
Well, what about those who incurred serious service-connected disabilities as a result of their "non-heroic" service? (The level of disability claims has from all appearances gotten completely out of control, but that's a separate topic. I'm discussing veterans with legitimate and provable physical and mental injuries resulting from their service.)
Indeed, by Mr. McClellan's theory, those people would not eventually be entitled to a funeral with military honors either.
McClellan's suggestion is that local service organizations pick up the tab:
Why not let the veterans organizations provide military honors at the funerals of their members? If a person gets out of the Marine Corps and wants to stay connected, he can join the Marine Corps League. I’m sure the 101st Airborne has an association. In a more general vein, we have the American Legion and the VFW.In other words, if you want a military funeral you would have to join a service organization. Service organizations certainly do a lot for our vets. The American Legion post we belong to raises money for the troops and sends boxes of necessities to those who are deployed; the members participate in Veterans Day ceremonies, Memorial Day ceremonies, members volunteer their time to visit vets in nursing homes, and countless other efforts. I guess adding funeral honor detail wouldn't be that much of a step and many would do it voluntarily, but that's not the point.
The sequester has indeed forced many painful budget cuts for all of us but it seems to me if the taxpayers can still afford to pay security detail for Obama's jaunts to the golf course then in all likelihood the taxpayer won't begrudge a veteran a military funeral. Logic like McClellan's is the kind that suggests we cut tuition assistance to vets or assistance to homeless vets. Oh, wait...
In his follow up column, McClellan points out that after getting out of the service he availed himself of the GI bill and now considers his country's debt to him square. That, of course, is not an option our vets will have now, is it?
Only to Bill McClellan, perhaps, would a tour in Vietnam sound like a vacation; in writing about a friend that got drafted, he explains...:
The Old Jarhead:
To measure whether an American citizen is a “hero” or not because of his combat experiences is bordering on lunacy. By serving our country, without running off to Canada, puts us in the precarious position of becoming a “hero” IF we are called to defend our country or any people in any country. I never expected to spend time in
, but I was there anyway and I could have been a “hero” by McClellans’ standards. But I do not believe that we joined the military just so that we could be “heroes.’ Vietnam
Most vets, even those on Guadalcanal or Iwo Jima or anywhere else, seldom see themselves as heroes. They will tell you they were just doing their job. Most Medal of Honor recipients, for example, always say, "I was just doing my job." They don't see themselves as heroes.
Apparently, neither does Bill McClellan.
By the way, consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. It's a great organization and if the VA takes Mr. McClellan's advice, WWP might really need your donation. They don't care how many years you served or if you came back alive in order to give aid.
(H/T: The Old Jarhead)