Posts tagged ‘VFW’

September 20, 2013

CBS Resurrects Vietnam Era Veteran Bashing

by lewwaters

Soldiers TearsThose of us who served in Vietnam know all too well the “Myth of the Deranged Veteran” that cast a dark shadow over us for so long. We recall the negative portrayals of us after our return in television, movies and even book series.

We were ticking time bombs, drug addicts, mentally disturbed due to some horrific experience we were forced to endure by the hated government of the time and we were subject to “flashbacks” where we would mentally find ourselves back in some battle, but in reality doing harm or killing innocent people, people we either didn’t even know or our loved ones.

That it was a lie did not even matter, it sold and convinced many to either fear us or to pity us.

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May 14, 2010

Anonymous Vandals Take Credit for Mojave Veterans Memorial Theft

by lewwaters

A vandal by any other name is still a vandal!

Vandals claiming to be who took it upon themselves to defy a recent United States Supreme Court ruling and remove the Mojave Veterans Memorial, erected in 1934, have sent an anonymous letter to the Barstow Desert Dispatch outlining their reasoning for committing the crime.

Anonymous letter explaining cross theft sent to Desert Dispatch

The validity of the claim is unknown, but there are indicators that this may indeed be the scumbags who planned and executed this desecration of a long-standing Veterans Memorial.

The vandals supply 15 points in their justification of this dishonorable act and I will reply to some below. You may see all 15 at the link above.

1. The cross in question was not vandalized. It was simply moved. This was done lovingly and with great care.

Removal is vandalizing, plain and simple. You do not have permission or the right to decide what Battle Weary Veterans from World War One may or may not erect to honor their fallen comrades. If, as you claim, you are a Veteran, shame on you for this egregious desecration of a Veterans Memorial and denial of others rights to remember fallen comrades as they see fit.

We fought for the rights of those we disagree with as well as those we agree with. That you decided to take it in your hands to deem what rights others may have violates everything we all fought for.

5. The cross was erected illegally on public land in 1998 by a private individual named Henry Sandoz. Since then the government has actively worked to promote the continued existence of the cross, even as it excluded other monuments from differing religions. This favoritism and exclusion clearly violates the establishment clause of the US Constitution.

The Memorial was first erected in 1934 by a group of World War One Veterans led by Riley Bembry and who wanted to honor soldiers who had perished in the ‘war to end all wars.’ He and his fellow‘doughboys’chose a simple Latin cross that was typical of many Veteran Memorials at that time. Riley asked Henry Sandoz to watch over the Memorial some time before he died in 1984. Sandoz replaced the original wooden Memorial in the 1970’s and after it was vandalized, replaced it with one constructed out of 3 inch metal pipe filled with cement, the one you decided to steal, in 1996. The land in question was not a Federal Preserve when the Memorial was first erected.

A Memorial in the form of a Cross is not necessarily religious in nature or intended only for fallen of the Christian faith.

Would this vandal take it upon himself next to enter Arlington Cemetery and remove all of the crosses on the graves of other fallen Veterans because of inserted “establishment clause?”

War Memorials and the Constitution

No other monuments from differing religions have been excluded. That was a bogus trumped up claim made to justify the view of one man, Frank Buono, to have the Memorial destroyed.

6. Anthony Kennedy desecrated and marginalized the memory and sacrifice of all those non-Christians that died in WWI when he wrote: ‘Here one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles — battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.’ The irony and tragedy of that statement is unique.

No, Justice Kennedy’s word might have angered you, but the symbol of the cross in Memorials has transcended religious meaning long ago. As my friend and former ACLU attorney Rees Lloyd puts it,

“Symbols have meaning in collective life. People die for them. For instance, the Flag. The Cross manifestly has a religious aspect. But, equally manifestly, it conveys a secular meaning — the meaning of selfless service and sacrifice for others, and is so understood. Universally, Beyond language barriers. In fact, there is not other symbol so universally recognized as representing selfless service and sacrifice for others, including the ultimate sacrifice of one’s life. That is how it is understood at veterans memorials, and why it is the symbol so often chosen to honor the war dead.”

Missed, by the miscreant that took it upon himself to initiate this criminal act is that Supreme Court ruling was not about the cross itself, but was over the trade of the land the cross sits on for a larger parcel of land within the Preserve passed by congress earlier. Of that, Justice Kennedy said,

“The land transfer-statute embodies Congress’s legislative judgment that this dispute is best resolved through a framework and policy of accommodation for a symbol that, while challenged under the Establishment Clause has complex meaning beyond the expression of religious views.”

With that, these vandals did not enter public land to remove a symbol, but trespassed upon private land held by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to steal a symbol belonging to and revered by Veterans.

7. Justice Kennedy’s words in particular and others like them from the other Justices caused me to act.

No, your selfish, narrow-minded bigotry is what caused you to take it upon yourself to decide for upwards of 50 million Veterans what they may hold in honor.

9. Discrimination in any form is intolerable, as is hatred.

Except for your hatred of what others honor in memory of their fallen comrades as you decided to discriminate against them?

11. Despite what many people are saying, this act was definitively not anti-Christian. It was instead anti-discrimination. If this act was anti-Christian, the cross would not have been cared for so reverently. An anti-Christian response would have been to simply destroy the cross and leave the pieces in the desert.

No, it might not be “anti-Christian,” but your criminal act is definitely “anti-Veteran” and a dishonor to the very uniform you claim to have once worn and to the memory of those in whose memory the Memorial was erected.

13. If an appropriate and permanent non-sectarian memorial is placed at the site the cross will be immediately returned to Mr. Sandoz.

Your shameful crime will not go unpunished. You have taken it upon yourself to decide what others may do. You have set yourself up as the sole harbinger of what is right in defiance of the United States Supreme Court, Congress and more Veterans than you care to know about.

You quote a great man, Abraham Lincoln to justify your crime against Patriotic Americans when you say, “To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.”

Your crime is not justifiable in any sense. You are not a Patriot or honorable person. You are the very coward you mention, a coward who sneaks onto private land traded by Veterans to honor a Memorial erected by our Grandfathers under the cover of darkness.

You have not stood up and spoken your view; you stole the rights of others to their views from the middle of the desert.

Your crime is unredeemable. It is cowardly. It is despicable.

You should surrender yourself to the appropriate authorities and return the Memorial to where it has stood for 76 years.

Then, thank God that your penalty will be at the hands of the very judicial system you decided you have the right to defy and dishonor and not at the hands of so many pissed off Veterans.

May 11, 2010

Mojave Veterans Memorial Torn Down by Vandals

by lewwaters

Where the ACLU has failed, vandals have succeeded!

The Mojave Veterans Memorial, erected in 1934 in what is now a Federal Preserve, has been a target of destruction by the ACLU and others who have no respect for Veterans or our Memorials.

Erected by Veterans of World War One in the middle of the Mojave Desert, some 11 miles from the nearest highway, it became the target of Frank Buono, a retired National Park Service employee now residing in Portland, Oregon some 1100 miles away from the simple Memorial.

Making it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, after being encased in a plywood box for several years, the Memorial gained reprieve recently when the High Court ruled 5 to 4 to overturn a lower Court ruling mandating the Memorial be destroyed since it is in the form of a Cross.

As the case was returned to the District Courts, the ACLU has stated that it still plans to argue for the memorial to be torn down.

And now, someone has seen fit to dishonor America’s Veterans by taking it upon themselves to “cut the metal bolts that attached the symbol to a rock in the sprawling desert preserve” and remove the Memorial.

Linda Slater, National Park Service spokeswoman said, “Authorities had no immediate motive for the theft [and] possible suspects range from scrap metal scavengers to ‘people with an interest in the case’.”

We are told the US Justice Department is “looking into the case,” but given recent developments from them, I hold little hope they will look very far.

Clarence Hill, the national commander of the American Legion stated, “The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice. While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that Veterans Memorials will remain sacrosanct.”

Rees Lloyd, a former ACLU attorney and Director, Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of The American Legion Department of California says, “This is an outrage that must not go unredressed. Has our nation been so transformed that there are now those among us who would desecrate a Veterans Memorial by tearing down a cross which was established by veterans in 1934 in the remote Mojave Desert to honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans who have made our freedom possible, especially those who have given their lives?

Has the very soul America been so changed that this could even be contemplated by anyone in America?”

In a news release from Liberty Institute, VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr said, “This was a legal fight that a vandal just made personal to 50 million Veterans, Military personnel and their families. To think anyone can rationalize the desecration of a War Memorial is sickening, and for them to believe they won’t be apprehended is very naive.”

Tradewell, himself a combat wounded Vietnam Veteran continued, “The memorial will be rebuilt and the vandals will be caught and prosecuted in federal court, since the crime occurred on government property. We hope this horrible act will highlight the importance of resolving this case quickly so that the memorial and land can be transferred to the VFW so that the service and sacrifice of all American war dead will be properly recognized and honored, as originally intended by a group of World War I VFW members 76 years ago.”

Liberty Institute is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this heinous assault on America’s Veterans Memorials.

For more information or to leave a tip, please visit http://www.donttearmedown.com/

For whoever did this, we’re coming for you.