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Veterans Day 2010: More important than football

If you're looking for more words about Chad Pennington and Chad Henne or Dan Henning and Jason Allen, I don't have those for you here this morning. You can read my column in The Herald on the topic if you like.

Today this blog pauses to remember, to celebrate, to honor those that defended my right to write and speak those words without fear of reprisal from any despot or tyrant -- no, not Nick Saban. This morning this blog honors the fighting men and women of the United States armed forces and all the veterans who served therein.

This blog honors these people on Veteran's Day 2010 because they are more important than most of the fanciful, frilly things you come to this blog to enjoy. You come here to debate. You come here to exchange ideas. You come here to speak your minds. That is a freedom you should not take lightly.

That is a freedom I do not take lightly. You see, I come from a country where people don't have the basic fundamental freedoms of free speech, or liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

So perhaps I value those who preserve those freedoms here more than the next person. Forgive me if that somehow causes you any inconvenience. You have a right to your opinion so you can think me too sappy if you wish. Isn't that wonderful?

You have a right to your opinion.

People fought and died for that right. And for that reason, this morning, this blog is dedicated to our veterans. I will update with football information this afternoon. But for now, please acknowledge the service of people worthy of much respect. 

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Mondo, Thanks for remembering this special day. I am a vet from the Vietnam era, and my son now holds down the fort in the 1st Ranger batt. He's just returned from his 5th deployment in Ahghanistan. Mondo, u hit the nail on the head when writing about freedom. I know the guys who read this site are patriots but its hard for them to understand just whats going on in Afganistan/Iraq.
again thanks,,

And when was Canada ever in a war?

To all who are serving and have served and protected our country, thank you and may God bless you. My dad was a retired vet who landed at Normandy. I have a deep appreciation for all who answered the call in any war or time of peace. You folks gave everything to preserve freedom, not just here but all around the world. Thanks Armando for giving this time and space for all of us to stop and take notice of the sacrifice it took to give us this nation where we can be free to spout off on a sports blog, go to church where we want to, have a voice in government, even allow voices to be heard we don't agree with. It all comes from the ones who give or gave more than money, they gave themselves. Again, many thanks and prayers for all of you!

Yeah...Nothing worse than a pious vet.

Let's be real.

VERY few people join the service as a "patriotic duty"

They join because they're poor, and want to leave their current circumstances, need a skill, want a SECURE income

Multitudes of reasons, very few of which are SELFLESS

THEN, once they're in, and realize it's not what they expected, and that life isn't FUN anymore then they want sympathy from the masses for "Protecting our freedom".

Coming from a guy who was a SGT in the Army, served 6.5 years...Went to Albania in '99, Iraq in 02 and 04

I don't recall them asking me if I wanted to go to Iraq. Had they, I surely would have declined.

Marc, are you joking about Canada being in a war?

If you weren't, you should know that Canada was in both WW1 and WW2 (before the Americans I can say) and gave many sons to noble causes.

Canadians also continue to give unnecessrily in Afghanistan as we speak. Please do not disparage the sacrifices my brothers and sisters made in many great battles including Dieppe, D day, and Vimy Ridge. I'm no historian but I do know that my countrymen gave more than anyone could ever really repay them for.

And FYII, yes the War of 1812 was US v Great Britain but many of the British soldiers back then are what we know now as Canadians since Canada didn't have Confederation until 1867.

Also in WW2, Candians did help save the Netherlands from occupation almost singlehandedly.

If you didn't know - now you know.

I am REALLY sorry you feel that way, Marc.

But, your feelings are your yours, and do not encompass the whole...

By the way... I'm a vet also... What Branch/Unit did you serve? What AO's did you see during your stay?

the military is SO over romanticized it actually dilutes and disrespects the reality. journalists use it to gain kudos from readers. professional sports attaches itself to it for PR points.

most americans who sign up for the military do it not "serve" or "sacrifice" they do it because they are about to go to jail, have no interest in education, arent real smart, have no other options, are too unmotivated to learn a trade or skill, or its the only job they can get.

most hate boot camp and wish they never signed up. most never ever thought that they would ever see combat and most havent. the ones that have want to get out as fast as they can because most never intended to put their life on the line and have no desire to actually die for their country and are not willing to.

our freedoms arent in jeopardy. we have never been invaded. our government creates the hate others have for us. we invade other lands and force our will under the name of preserving peace and protecting our freedoms. our military does the exact opposite of what it states. it threatens our peace not protects it.

bring all troops home. they can monitor our ports and waterways and airports and land and sea borders. stop drug trafficking and ride on airplanes and patrol the ghettos and mine fields of the inner city and stop crime against good americans. they can cruise around schools and prevent bullys and beatings and muggings in the streets.

THEN I WOULD SAY THANK YOU MILITARY FOR PROTECTING ME!.

I DONT TEAR UP WHEN I SEE A TRILLION DOLLAR DEATH MACHINE FLY OVER MY FOOTBALL STADIUM.

I DONT BELIEVE IN GOD.

I DONT TAKE MY HAT OFF DURING THE SONG BECAUSE ITS STUPID.

i love all humans on the planet and all gods and our arrogance and entitlement as a society is embarrassing.

Thanks Mando...I have been stationed overseas and I realized that I/we take many things for granted. Thanks to all past, present, and future vets for keep this the land of the free and home of the brave.

Andy (USAF)

Drafted soldiers were a different story.

Although, they still didn't choose to go

They probably deserve some sympathy

Salguero is from North Korea?

Marc what makes this country great is that guys like you can join for your reasons and still end up with low self esteem afterwards.

If you checked the statistics of today's Army you might be surprised to find out that every social and economic strata is almost equally respresented in the current class of enlistees.
That is what my son's unit is comprised of and that is what I learned a few years ago when I went to Ft. Benning for his infantry graduation.

My son told me he was joining because he didn't want his younger brothers to have to fight terrorist bastards here on our soil, and he was going so they wouldn't have to.

You may be jaded and think that everyone joined for the same reason you did, but you don't speak for my son, or me, or anyone of the dozens of veterans in my family. In fact you speak only for yourself and I for one will pray for your soul.

Thanks Mando, US Navy Vet.

Mark, good response. War isn't something I really joke about or take lightly. Sometimes it's necessary, sometimes not. But whatever you feel about it and whatever country you're from, people die on all sides in war and every country has the right to honor it's soldiers.

Canada does have a very noble history in battle. I was impressed with your Gen. Dallaire (?) who headed up the NATO forces in Rwanda during the genocide. I read his autobiography and it was very eye-opening. By the way, the United States dropped the ball on that (under Pres. Clinton). They should have done more to assist, they didn't, and the world knows what happened next. But the Canadian General was quite remarkable on the ground and that genocide would have been MUCH worse were it not for him and his troops.

So salute Mark!

Scott your reality is warped. I feel sorry for you.

Many will hate what you wrote, Scott, but I appreciate it.

Freedom is ALSO the right to dissent from what is deemed "proper" and it makes you no less patriotic than the guy clutching a flag and chanting "USA."

Like you, I have no use for empty symbolism or overblown military displays. Neither puts a lump in my throat. Nor do I have any use for religion and consider the entire thing a death cult based on fairy tales.

But I love America dearly.

Mando, Please hightlight Hennings press conference today.

This coaching staff has officially lost its mind and wrecked henne forever with this move. Awful.

Pennington looks like Johnny from the Karate Kid!

22nd SIG BDE/32nd SiG BN, Darmstadt, Germany
-deployed to Tirane, Albania, '99

63rd SIG BN, Ft Gordon, GA
-deployed to TQ Air Base, Iraq

Civilian contractor
-TQ/Fallujah/Kalsu

I was kidding (sort of) MarK...

My point was that nobody really cares about Canada...

you need a "like" button on your blog Armando. Nice post.

feadshipman...

That's a real noble way to believe.

Your son actually joined to "fight terrorists"?

Wow...Propoganda does work

Of course, the entire socio-economic class is covered. It's just that the rich kids, and decendants of them are OFFICERS

Everyone else is ENLISTED

BIG DIFFERENCE

Scott show up at a sporting event and mouth that crap, don't take your hat off around me and see how long it takes me to slap it and you about three rows down the stadium. Creep.

wow there are some really insightful things posted on here, it's good to see some actual intelligence for a change.

i thing the steroids affected marc's brain .

Yeah, if anything, it gave me the ability to REASON, not to regurgitate CRAP that everyone spews and have my OWN mind...

Hence the reason I'm no longer a member of the services.

TRUE STORY:
I had a platoon SGT that had us gathered around for a pep talk, in formation say...

"I know it gets real monopolis out here" referring to the MONATONY of field excercises...

This guy was my BOSS...

Monolpolis...I couldn't make this up if I wanted to

monotony*

Kudos Scott...

We pretty much said the same thing.

Except I'm actually a veteran, so, if I can bash myself and others, I think it holds a little more weight

Marc i know your type, you got kicked out and are bitter. i am shocked you made it six years and doubt you ever made sgt, S birds never make it that high.

marc, do you live w/dropped out of school girl friend ?

so just cuz its vets day mando doesnt hsve to actually provide us with paid content?? jeez u lazy .. go ask that dirty dancing sun glass wearin sob to teach me his fist pump

Thanks Marc... I never made it to Germany, I suppose that's a good thing since most of the guys I saw leaving for Germany were in bad shape...
I was apart of Second Marine Division and 2d FSSG at MCB, Camp Lejeune linked with 2d MAW at MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS New River under LtGeneral W. "big" Boomer, during my Desert Storm experience... We kept A whole bunch of planes (A-10's FA-18's) going back and forth... our unit delivered 1,733 sortie's in our stay. I strung more depleted Uranium then Oppenheimer.....

Regardless of your feelings Marc.... Thank you for you service....

the problem is reality is too real for you military lovers to accept. those who are intelligent and objective will accept that.

and too the dumb idiot shaggy who wants to assault me for not taking my hat off at a football game while the military is being shoved down my throat - thats where i want my employees - the military - because they are paid by me - to be. protect me from domestic terrorists like shaggy who force their warped reality like miamiborn's as well.

its always the military war monger lovers who are so offended. and the smart realistic humans like myself have to interject facts and perspective to try and help the warped minded ones.

i dont want to assault someone for loving the military. why would shaggy want to assault me for not loving it.......

thats warped.

bring all you got shaggy. i will protect myself because my military wont. you never know who you are dealing with....

mess with me or my kids or my wife and threaten our health and well being and safety and you will wonder why you were so stupid.

Haha, Marc. I understand that my country is a small fish and many don't give it any credit other than to say it piggybacks on the United States. But I love my country, it has a proud and noble history. I'm glad my parents emigrated here. Do you know that in the City of Toronto, we have 111 languages represented? It's kind of crazy. You can almost feel like you are travelling even though you never leave the city. I've learned so much about other people and try to be tolerant of others because of the city that raised me. It taught me many valuable lessons that I would not have learned if I was anywhere else.

However, I wish our troops weren't in Afghanistan right now. The hwy 401 runs right through Toronto and is known as the Highway of Heroes. Military planes carrying our casualities land about 150 kms east of here and hurses carry the casulaties to their final resting place about 100kms west of here (give or take). People line up along the highway to pay their final salutes and it's endearing but I also find it unecessary. It feels like such a waste at times. I just don't understand the cause of our soldiers being there in danger is all. So I can relate to your feeling about current military service.

However, those soldiers that served in "the Great Wars" did save people from tyranny and oppression. And I feel like those people are heroes.

Current soldiers earn my respect and will always get it but sometimes I wonder if they are just being "played" by political agendas and I find it very sad.

But they will always get my support.

THANX VETS!!!

FOR KILLING ALL THOSE RED SKINS SO WE CAN STILL THIER LAND.

THANX VETS!!!

FOR NOT WANTING TO FOLLOW ENGLAND'S LAWS AND KILLING THOSE WHO WANTED TO RULE OVER US FROM OVER SEAS

THANX VETS!!!

FOR KILLING EACH OTHER OVER BLACK PEOPLE FREEDOM.

THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

THANX VETS!!!

FOR TRING TO BEAT JAPAN EVEN THOUGH YOU COULDN'T BECAUSE THOSE ARE SOME CRAZY MOTHER.. WATCH YOUR MOUTH. BUT A YOU COULDN'T BEAT THEM SO YOU DROPPED A BOMB THAT KILLED THEM AND THEIR INNOCENT

THANX VETS!!!

FOR GOING TO THE DESERT TO FIGHT THESE DANGEROUS PEOPLE WHO WERE IN BED SLEEPING AT THE TIME. WHO WOKE UP TO BOMBS BEING DROP NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.

OH YEAH WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

THANX VETS!!!

FOR DOING WHAT YOUR TOLD. PUTTING YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

THE SAD PART IS THE PEOPLE WHO YOU PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR WON'T DO IT FOR YOU.

GOD BLESS THE WORLD NOT JUST AMERICA

Thanks for the message DC. That's a great story. Unfortunately I'm an ignoramus to current events at times. Maybe if I paid less attention to these frustrating Dolphins and learned more about those that actually add value to humanity - I might be a better person for it.

The Canadian military is terribly underfunded. We are the inverse to our American neighbours in that way. We underspend in the military and overspend on law enforcement. Sure it makes one feel safe here but you can't go more than 2 or 3 months without getting a serious traffic ticket that then raises your car insurance premiums. I mean, they have to justify the expenditures somehow.

FYI - Toronto has more speed traps than any city in North America. It's terribly overpatrolled.

marc =scott

Scott Alderson...

Today, if you are unaware... IS VETERANS DAY.... No one is trying to shove Military down your throat. But thinking that your not going to find people who are grateful to the military on a day like toady does not speak well of your so called "Elitist Intellect"... You can open this blog on all but 2 days a year without someone even Mentioning the Military... But on Veterans and Memorial Day... perhaps you should read some Marx or something?

If you read to add too... as much as you speak of your own "Brilliance" you would understand how fighting a war on THEIR turf... keeps it from being fought on our own... Our Military... whether you want to admit it or not... may have saved your ass a Dozen times without your even being aware.... remember that when on board a train, Plane, or inside a stadium or a very public place... Our Military destroyed 100's of training facilities built to teach people to Kill your ass right here in the good old US... and have stopped Dozens of attempts at more terror. Don't ya just love it here??? A place where you can spout all the anger and vile you wish without getting cut in half with a Machete....

Thanks for the tribute Armando.

How wrong you are shaggy.

I made Sergeant in 3 Years...

I would have smoked your sorry as$ any given day.

My former soldiers still respect me. I however, no longer care.

I'm a civilian. THE END

and scott does NOT = Marc

Is it that hard to believe that not EVERYONE has a hard on for America, or buys into the crap they feed us?

simpletons

Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a CRIME!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And Number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers
Rehabilitation

Know your rights
These are your rights


Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!
Well..............................

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
Run
You don't have a home to go to
Smush

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this
Run

Thanks Mando. USN 1974-1985. As for all you "haters" out there, I try to remember the ones that I served with on this day. And, the ones that are no longer with us. Honor them! Otherwise, shut your piehole! On a lighter note, Applebee's is running a special today for Veterans as well as Golden Corral.

Thanks man.

I said thank you .

What are you deaf?

D4D...Not too many devil dogs in Germany

The contract I was on I supported Marines

Applebees and Golden Corral...Two of the worst resturant chains that exist!

Golden Corral on Vet's day looks like a credit union on the 1st and the 15th...

Applebees has a great desert menu :)

If you are that bitter and angry at the military, after having served, might I suggest you go talk to your local VA about a VA Mental Health facility near you.. y

Thanks Mondo, MSGT USAF
1958-1978
Aircraft Mechanic B-47E,KC-97, B-52G,KC135Q,YF-12A,SR-71,F-4E Phantom,F-105G Wild Weasel,RB-66 Destroyer,C-5A. Was proud to serve my Country,the greatest,most generous on this planet. Bob

amen mando! thanks vets! god bless!

Shaggy is a bia. Big panzy boy trying to be tough. BLOW IT OUT YOUR PIE HOLE BUDDY.

Your best post of the year, Armando. To all the vets reading this: THANK YOU!

Scott/Marc,

I understand where you guys are coming from as far as the media/politicians trying to "hide" behind the military to prove their patriotism. I respect your disliking of killing and war and God and all of that.

But you're blaming others, not the soldiers. And one thing you said Scott, very cynically, that most soldiers are only there so they don't have to go to jail, etc., that's not the case with the military members I know. These are people that went into the service for numerous reasons (see the world, make a career for themselves, and yes, even a sense of duty to their nation, seriously).

The military members I know are very good people. They don't want to kill. But they know that their job is to follow orders.

So, hate on the Generals, or the government that sends these guys to war, hate on the media and the politicians, but don't hate on these folks, they're just doing their job.

By the way, politically I'm probably very close to your thinking, so don't think I'm some rah-rah guy, I'm not. I also have issues with the United States and what it does at home and abroad.

But that's a totally different issue than offering respect and thanks to good people who put their lives on the line (for something you respect or not). Either way, they're risking their lives. And that deserves our respect if you ask me, no matter who you are.

Very well said and fair, DC.

Thanks Mark. After yesterday, I'm feeling a bit peaceful. I was hot after I heard the news on Penne (as you probably read). Hot all last night too. I just can't believe the turnaround. A few weeks ago it was "sky's the limit". Even AFTER the 2 home losses. But now things feel different. Shaky. Like we're skating on thin ice. Waiting for the bottom to drop any moment.

I don't understand why Sparano & Co. are too hard-headed to think that maybe, just maybe, the scheme should change. Maybe the mindset and game plan is the problem, not the QB. Penne even said it, offense is about momentum. I've been saying that FOREVER! But Henning isn't a "momentum"-type coach. He'll throw cold water all over momentum. So what's Penne talking about, overruling Henning when he calls a bad play?

It'll be interesting to see what happens Sunday. I'll pray for the best. For me, I won't be convinced Henne's a bust unless Penne wins out (or goes 7-1). If he does that then I'll believe the team was fine, it was just one guy (Henne). But if Penne doesn't do that, then what happens? Draft another QB? People are screaming Cam, this guy is going in the Top 3-5 probably, doubt we draft that high (seeing as how we're pretty much in the middle of the pack). We'll be back at 15-20. That guy won't be there then. Even if we got him, that's another year or 2 (or more) to teach the guy the NFL style and our system. And GOD FORBID if Henning is teaching him (it's like learning Latin, a dead language). So, there's a lot more bad that can come out of all this than good, unfortunately. That's my assessment.

DC, I agree with you 100%. Henne went up agains the toughest teams on the schedule - why not see if he learned from this and then pass judgement at the end of the year. I'm still relly hot about this but decided to hold my tongue until now because of the tone of Mando's post.

It's a QB league - and oyu have to know what oyu have at QB - I just don't think you discard a guy in his first full year on target to pass for almost 4,000 yards. I think the picks and the timing and the touch comes with experience and the team is robbing not only Henne but it's fan base of this possibly happening just to save their own jobs.

I haven't felt this cheated since Ricky retired.

I'm not really bashing the people, just pointing out the truth of the situation, which most probably wouldn't admit.

You guys have valid points

THANK GOD PEOPLE ARE DYING TODAY TO PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO ARGUE ON A BLOG!

Last thing I'll say, is that I believe you have to be a BIT of a sociopath to want to join the military...

I mean, you may not WANT to kill anyone, but, it's kinda part of the job description...

Heck, it's one of the few jobs you legally get to kill, and I think a part of MOST people want to know what it's like to kill...

It's the first question even a stranger has the gall to ask when they know you went to war...

"Did you kill anyone?", or some variation of that.

Marc/Scott

You do realize to effectively protect ones country and strategic interests one needs a military?

Someone must perform this difficult duty in order for all of us to be safe, i choose to honor these people.

It is a shame you both do not.
.

I think you should stick to sports commentary. Unfortunately, most of the vets that are alive today and that fought in wars, most notably the Vietnam and Iraq wars, did not defend our freedoms. They, very sadly, were the pawns of politicians who used them for their own ends. In neither of those cases were our freedoms attacked or in jeopardy. How is the world, or more specifically the US, better off after those two wars? We maintain our freedoms because of our legal system, our courts, our law enforcement system and so forth and not because some poor young soldier was unlucky enough to loose his life walking by a corner in a Baghdad street when an IED exploded. Sorry if you find that difficult to accept, but it's the truth.

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