“I read in Tuesday’s Iowa State Daily that the College Republicans have begun collecting sundries for U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why? Doesn’t the U.S. Army victual its soldiers? Don’t their families send them yuletide goodies? Aren’t GIs paid enough to buy what they need, and even what they want?…
…Donating toiletries, boxed and canned foods, socks and beanies to U.S. soldiers who can already deodorize themselves, who eat better than the poorest Americans and who are gallantly garbed, is an eleemosynary travesty.”
…Necessities should be doled out to people who really need them and who might get them if not for the hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled to the Pentagon in the greatest squandering of money on the planet… What are they doing for us? Nothing. But against us they’re doing a lot: creating anti-American terrorists in the countries they occupy.” (ISU Professor Thomas Walker/Iowa State Daily.com)
CHICAGO, December 15, 2011- Professor Thomas Walker is an instructor at Iowa State University. He was deeply offended by College Republicans collecting sundry items for soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
What is an “eleemosynary* travesty” is tax dollars being used to pay this professor’s salary.
Academia is full of pinheads, poltroons, dolts, and popinjays like Mr. Walker. They are paid very well from our national and state treasure to indoctrinate our young people. Then they get very hefty tax paid pensions for contributing nothing to society for their minimal toil. Unlike real educators.
Mr. Walker has every right to his opinions and the expression of his opinions in a free press. That is what every member of the military protects; from the recruit in basic training, to the uniformed clerks in the Pentagon, to the troops on the front lines in harms way.
Collecting and sending basic necessities to members of the military is not something new. America has a rich history of this form of charity. Families have been sending goods to service personnel since the Revolutionary War. A war fought that gave Mr. Walker the right spout his sonorous pontifications.
If anyone deserves charity it is our American military personnel. Contrary to Mr. Walker’s assertion, military personnel on the front lines can’t just go around a corner to get soap, toothpaste, snacks, toilet paper, or tampons. There is no around the corner in a combat zone.
These troops are not serving on military bases with commissaries and PXs. They are serving under harsh minimal conditions. They are not living in the lap of luxury in some ivy covered tower like Mr. Walker, who can call to get pizza and beer delivered 24/7.
The troops are our sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, friends, neighbors, and yes, even Mr. Walker’s fellow college professors. It has been that way since the founding of our military.
Mr. Walker also seems to forget the military does not pay lavish salaries and even those who live on fully complimented military bases are not wallowing in the lap of luxury. There are military families who rely on public aid and food stamps to get by.
Military personnel are not in harms way by choice, another assertion Mr. Walker makes in his supercilious screed. The only volunteer aspect of the military is enlistment. From that point on there is no volunteerism or choice. There is only following orders- going where you are told to go, getting there when you are told to get there, and doing what you are told to do when you get there.
Mr. Walker’s letter to the editor has elicited a great deal of outrage. It should generate scorn, ridicule, and mockery. Mr. Walker is nothing more than a sophomoric macaroon spouting pure silliness. From his letter we can deduce what he is teaching students at the taxpayers expense.
It sure isn’t remedial English.
But, Mr. Walker’s letter should also elicit patriotic pride. While we may disparage Mr. Walker’s cranial and thoracic vacancies, we should celebrate the fact that we all have the right and freedom to express ourselves publicly without censure or punishment. Mr. Walker is proof that American Exceptionalism is still alive and well. Even though he is not an exceptional American.
One of the tenets of free speech is the inclusion and acceptance of outrageous and offensive speech. It is also the acceptance and inclusion of clownish, uneducated, purposely misinformed, foolish, and boorish expression. Like professor Walker’s.
On the positive side, Mr. Walker’s letter has generated donations of sundries for our troops who deserve and need them. Fortunately his fuliginous comments backfired and created a groundswell of “yuletide goodies” for our men and women in uniform.
If you would like to see that our troops get some basic necessities Troops Direct is one organization that provides sundries for military personnel serving in Afghanistan. There are probably other organizations in your area that provide comfort items for military personnel.
This holiday season try to give something to those who serve and deserve.
*eleemosynary |ˌeləˈmäsəˌnerē; adjective of, relating to, or dependent on charity; charitable. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer, freelance photographer, and consultant. He is a passionate cook and eater. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, annoys, and provokes. His opinions are his and his alone.
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