The Widdershins

Archive for October 20th, 2011

Ever since the Battle of Belleau Wood, the United States Marine Corps has enjoyed the nickname “Devil Dogs”,  The German Army bestowed this title in honor of the Corps’ ferocity and unwillingness to back down.  The English Bulldog (a fine animal, to be sure) is the mascot of the USMC, and their veteran’s groups form “pounds” rather than “lodges”. ( Bulldogs are well known for their loyalty and refusal to back down when challenged.)

The Corps also prides itself on its ethics, conduct, and values.  Their codes are traditional, and every Marine that I have ever known speaks of them frequently and with reverence, whether on active duty or not.  They are undoubtedly the most challenging branch of the US military. and tend to be the first sent into difficult situations.

Here are some examples of the various Marine Corps Codes:

Honor:  Honor requires each Marine to exemplify the
ultimate standard in ethical and moral conduct.
Honor is many things; honor requires many things.  A U.S. Marine must never lie, never cheat,
never steal, but that is not enough.
Much more is required.  Each
Marine must cling to an uncompromising code of personal integrity, accountable for his
actions and holding others accountable for theirs.  And, above all, honor mandates that a Marine never sully the reputation of his Corps.
Courage:  Simply stated, courage is honor in action —
and more.  Courage is moral strength, the
will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will to do what is right
regardless of the conduct of others.  It
is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard.  Courage means willingness to take a stand for
what is right in spite of adverse consequences.
This courage, throughout the history of the Corps, has sustained Marines
during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat.  And each day, it enables each Marine to look
in the mirror — and smile.

There are more, of course, but these are the two that were so admirably demonstrated by Sergeant Shamar Thomas, USMC when he had a peaceful yet emphatic confrontation with New York’s finest.  Sergeant Thomas is from a Marine family, with both of his parents having spent twenty years in service.  His mother served in Iraq, his father in Afghanistan, and Sergeant Thomas himself has a chest full of service ribbons that commemorate his contributions to his country.  Without him, a bad moment could have become much, much worse.

On Saturday, during the occupation of Times Square, Sergeant Thomas roundly called out the NYPD for beating unarmed demonstrators.  “These are United States citizens!”   “It does not make you tough to hurt these people!” “How do you sleep at night?  There is no honor in this.” “Why y’all gearing up like this is war?”  “If you want to fight, go to Iraq and Afghanistan!”  The video clips show that NYPD officers experienced some difficulty meeting his eyes.

I bit the bullet and watched “Countdown” Monday night just to watch Sgt. Thomas’ interview, and I am whoppingly impressed.  He advised Keith that he had gone into Fallujah, which was some of the heaviest fighting of the war.  He also told Keith that he had been involved in riots in Iraq where rocks and bottles were thrown, and the rioters were treated better and more respectfully than the unarmed peaceful protesters at  OTS.  In short, he was appalled at the response of the NYPD and experienced no difficulty in sharing his feelings with the officers on the scene.  The NYPD just stood there, and they  listened.  Few seemed able to meet Sgt. Thomas’ eyes.  Of course, the camo shirt, the chest full of campaign ribbons, and the simple fact that Sgt. Thomas was considerably larger than the average officer did lend a certain clarity to his message.

Sergeant Thomas, you’re my new hero.  You embodied many portions of the USMC codes that night.  You exemplified honor and courage.  You stuck to your principles despite the potential for adverse consequences.  You personify the moral strength and willingness to do what is right despite the conduct of others.  Truly you are a credit to your family, the Corps and the country.  Semper Fi,  Sergeant Thomas!  May you inspire others to the same level that you have demonstrated.  Oh, and please be extra careful during your deployments, as your greatful nation will have trouble meeting your health care needs should you be injured.

This is an open thread.

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

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“The” Book

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Ironic

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