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 Yesterday, I found myself needing to restock on Argghhh!arita makings. Turns out, in Kansas, liquor stores are not open on Easter (they are usually open on Sundays, one wonders when that little bit of Christian dominance in the law gets poked at), not even the ones owned by our local Spot-on-the-Forehead Indians that you can call Indians without risking PC offense.

So, I went to one of the three places in Kansas where liquor is available 24/7-365. The Shoppette on Fort Leavenworth, where I should have gone first.  The other two are at McConnel AFB in Wichita and Fort Riley.

Due to the vicissitudes of defense contracting these days, I no longer work on the Fort, nor have I for six months. I'm working for people at Fort Belvoir. I've been on the Fort about 6 times since I quit doing the daily drive I'd done for 15 years or so.

And as I approached the gate, it felt odd. Strange.

For the first time in my life, I felt unwelcome. I've been going onto military installations since before I was born. And I was born on one.

And there is nothing changed about Fort Leavenworth. No signs, no policy changes, no dark looks from the gate guards.

It's the leadership. Not of the Fort, but of the Services.

They've spent the last two years telling me I'm a burden. I'm a drag. I'm a parasite. I'm greedy and needy and they're just not that into me anymore.

That they just wish I'd go away.

From the President (except when he needs props), to the Secretaries, to the entire JCS.

I've been listening.

It's working.

You are driving me away. I don't feel welcome any more.

You're winning, a$$holes.

Don't expect me to help with recruiting, either.  


Don't let them win, John. Hopefully, someday, new leadership will emerge that will restore things.
May all spammers be tormented by a thousand fleas in their crotch the last photon decays
Your sentiments are understood and shared by many.    It's the old "Tommy Atkins" attitude, but at the very highest levels.  Even worse, the incompetence, corruption and foolish policies only hasten the day when they will call on others to sacrifice to save their legacy.
 BY the time my father died, 24 years ago, he hadn't been on a major military installation for 15 years or so. He went to teh NG HQ in Nashville to keep his and my mother's ID cards up, but that's it. He hadn't been to the PX or Commisary at Campbell since I was in high school in '72.
Sounds like my brother in law. Hes a Sergeant in the Army with the 602nd MP Co. Hes a good kid with a good head on his shoulders. Hes always commenting about how many idiots there are with rank and how much of a pain in the ass they can be. Hes deploying to the sandbox in a month for Bagram. Hes been to Cuba, S-Korea and Egypt but  Its his first time in a combat zone and hes got a good battle buddy thats done 2 in Iraq and one in A-stan. I just pray we have more good leadership over there than not.
I had really thought that things would be quite a bit different these days. I had thought that our last decade of action would have produced a huge number of vets that would move up through the ranks, into the combat schools and maybe even into politics. Good men who had been in positions of real leadership, who actually made decisions and taken responsibility for their commands. I know such men exist. Front-line troops and the rank-and-file are doing their job. Always have.

What happened? Leadership, in my opinion, or the lack thereof from the CIC down. In any organization, people pick up their cues from their superiors. Why would the military respond any differently from the other government bueaurocracies - the IRS, EPA, TSA - hell, even the Secret Service has embarrassed themselves remarkably well a few times. No leadership from a buffoon who play-acts at being the President and CIC, and a political class that plays along with the game.

I hope that it will change - both for the military in general, and for our country as a whole.