There Is No Such Thing As A Former Marine

Authored by Dan Caldwell via The Daily Caller,

“Thank you for your service,” that’s the purpose of Veterans Day, to tell those who wore the uniform that we appreciate them. Of course, the focus is on military service. But what often goes overlooked are veterans’ valuable contributions and service to the nation in civilian life.

Nearly 20 percent of our nation’s police officers are veterans. Close to 400,000 veterans own businesses that create opportunity and benefit their local communities. Tens of thousands have become teachers, transforming young lives by sharing their knowledge and devotion to duty.

Veterans also represent their neighbors and fellow citizens in state legislatures and the halls of Congress.  Even though less than 2 percent of Americans served in the military during Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, currently 14 percent of state legislators, on average, and more than18 percent of the U.S. Congress are veterans.  It’s worth noting that these are historically low numbers, but fewer Americans are joining the military today due to the smaller size of the military in the post-Cold War era. And the most recent generation of veterans is stepping up, last year, more than one-third of all veterans running for national office served after 2001.

Military service imparts valuable life lessons, as author JD Vance, who served as a Marine, puts it, “We think of the Marine Corps as a military outfit, and of course it is, but for me, the U.S. Marine Corps was a four-year crash course in character education.”

We are blessed that so many of our nation’s 18.5 million veterans use that education to continue to serve the country out of uniform.

For me, my character education began on November 13, 2005, when I stepped onto the yellow footprints at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Over the next 13 weeks, I faced fear, exhaustion, and uncertainty. I was forced to push myself beyond all logical limits. Boot camp broke me down then built me back up better and stronger. The drill instructors had done their job. When I left, I was a Marine, indoctrinated in love of Corps and country.

After 4 years and a deployment to Iraq, I returned to civilian life, but like those before me, dedication to service and my commitment to our country didn’t end. Gen. John Kelly explains, “One day, you’ll get out of the Marine Corps; you’ll put your uniform up, but you’ll never not be a Marine.”

That’s why I joined Concerned Veterans for America. Our group is made up of veterans from all branches. We’ve served in conflicts spanning from World War II to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and now we have rallied to serve again as active citizens. We fight to preserve the freedom and prosperity we sacrificed to defend.

As veterans, we bring a unique voice to the public square. We know the price of freedom, and around the world, we’ve seen what happens to societies when it is absent. We understand how truly fragile freedom is.

I am grateful to all veterans who, through public service, activism, and volunteer efforts, make their voices heard and help the country they fought for to become even better and worthier of their sacrifices. During these divisive times, it’s comforting to know our country can depend on those who have proven themselves capable of selfless service.

So, this Veterans Day, let’s pause to thank veterans for their service to our nation both in and out of uniform.

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Dan Caldwell is the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America. Caldwell served in the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Iraq War.


hedgeless_horseman BLOTTO Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:28 Permalink


“Thank you for your service,” that’s the purpose of Veterans Day, to tell those who wore the uniform that we appreciate them. Of course, the focus is on military service. But what often goes overlooked are veterans’ valuable contributions and service to the nation in civilian life.

The $100k per year isn't an adequate fee for service?

I suspect that the term, service, is merely a remnant from a time when troops were drafted, known in the USA as Selective Service, and paid very little to risk their lives, ostensibly in defense of the nation, but quite often merely to enrich a few very wealthy people and expand The Empire.  Today, our troops are highly-trained and well-paid government workers with health benefits and retirement packages that exceed those of most tax payers working in the private sector. As of 2010, a Congressional Budget Office report estimated that the average active duty soldier receives an average $99,000 per year in compensation that includes pay and benefits, with 60 percent of the total being non-cash compensation. As an example, the Army website broke down the annual $29,380 compensation of a military police sergeant into $29,380 for salary, $16,164 for housing, $3,900 for food allowances, $1,800 for special pay, and tax advantages of $2,716. An example of tax savings are the allowances for food and housing, which are typically exempt from both federal and states taxes

In reply to by BLOTTO

Dabooda The Alarmist Fri, 11/10/2017 - 14:27 Permalink

Exactly what sort of character does military service develop?  Caldwell, you have no fucking clue what character is.  "Character" means you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, and you do what you believe is right, no matter what the "authorities" say.  Military service teaches the precise opposite: follow orders, switch off your personal judgment, and become a murderous robot, programmed by politicians and all the psychopaths in your "chain of command."  And you can absolve yourself of personal responsibility for all the murders, injuries and property damage you inflict on others, because you were just following orders, huh?  You have the character of a slave who murders anyone your master commands. Most of the evil in the world isn't done by vicious sociopaths like Stalin, Mao and Hitler.  Politicians are mostly cowards who never touch a gun or drop a bomb personally.  All the murdering and destrucion is done by folks like you, loyal "patriots" who just follow orders.Fuck you for your "service."

In reply to by The Alarmist

Dadburnitpa Dabooda Fri, 11/10/2017 - 15:28 Permalink

How is it that you are an expert on what "military service teaches"? If you were not in the military, how can you know that your statement is a fact without any first-hand knowledge? If you did serve, maybe your experience was a bad one.  My experience was that I was taught and encouraged to make independent decisions based upon what was legal, moral and ethical.

In reply to by Dabooda

Dabooda Dadburnitpa Fri, 11/10/2017 - 16:18 Permalink

How can you understand mass murderers, unless you're a mass murderer yourself, is that the argument?  As for what you were taught, if your ethics and morality allow for dropping bombs on civilian targets, enforcement of blockades, or any action whatsoever which is likely to result in "collateral damage" to innocent parties, then you're not somebody who should be running loose in civilized society.  You're a politician's hired thug, end of story.

In reply to by Dadburnitpa

Dadburnitpa Dabooda Fri, 11/10/2017 - 20:56 Permalink

You set up a patently false narrative to support your argument. Then suggested "facts" that are lacking any first-hand knowledge.  It's clear that you are arguing your point from an emotional or purely political standpoint. If you also simply dismiss another's extensive real-life experience and conclude that the person is just a "politician's hired thug", then you have a closed mind from the perspective of logical argument. Terminating any discussion with "end of story" does expose immaturity and implies that you feel that you should be the only arbitrator of truth, or that you hope to bully/bluff your discussion opponent into retreating. That won't win you any debates in any meaningful forum. If you only spend your time talking with those who are like-minded and don't investigate issues with logic and become humble when exploring abstractions, you'll never grow intellectually. BTW I do like your Avi, but find it ironic because based on your writings I don't think you would be someone who would be a fan of Guy Fawkes. You know, since he was a military man.

In reply to by Dabooda

hedgeless_horseman Last1Out Fri, 11/10/2017 - 16:04 Permalink


No, I'm pretty sure I want to beat you to a vegetative state having decided all on my own.

Why?Do you really believe that might makes right?Please, consider a more thoughtful response to his comment...

"Character" means you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, and you do what you believe is right, no matter what the "authorities" say.  Military service teaches the precise opposite: follow orders, switch off your personal judgment, and become a murderous robot, programmed by politicians and all the psychopaths in your "chain of command."  And you can absolve yourself of personal responsibility for all the murders, injuries and property damage you inflict on others, because you were just following orders

Do you disagree?  If so, then how and why?I, for one, would be very interested to learn what you have to say.   Peace!

In reply to by Last1Out

Last1Out hedgeless_horseman Fri, 11/10/2017 - 16:05 Permalink

Finally!I have long pondered the question. And I do not believe that it does despite the appearance in the world.What I have observed to be True is the opposite, that Right makes Might. But anger/hate has no part in it. The issue I have with some of the commenters here on fight club is their blind hatred which makes them full party to the very thing they profess to oppose. They have become what has corrupted them. Courage is not a quality of evil. The larger lie is that good is weaker than evil and that is not the case. In any struggle, the least corrupt, the leat noble, the least good of the contenders will lose. The moral qualities of the opponents is the determining factor althogh when both are somewhat compromised it will simply be the least worst that wins.The innocent cannot be oversome, by any force, and are not afraid. No guilt, no shame equals no fear. The most fearsome soldiers I have ever met are the gurkas. They strike terror into all they have fought since they were formed. Yet if you meet them you have to wonder why. They are not physically imposing, smalll in stature, unfailingly polite and gentle people as a culture. Yet they are terrible in conflict. There is the paradox.Many in the world these days are beyond reason beyond kindness or understanding or love and they are not exclusive to any "side". I poked some here in the eye today.I served. Don't get a retirement. Have never drawn a dime in veteran's benefitrs. Never will. Paid for my own education out of my Army College Fund that I paid $100 a month into as a private.  Didn't kill a lot of people overseas, found lots of ways not to. Build roads bridges, water wells, sewage treatment plants, housing made friends and brothers, even among the "enemy". And,  I left the armed forces when it was clear that we were about to embark on foolishness in the furtherance of evil. (Thats why no retirement). To the bitter and hateful voices I would say that the world is a little more complex than what you have reduced it to, and you are not helping. There are quite e few of us particularly in the places that you are considering living if the world changes and those I know are generally down with the ZH, except for the shrill voiices who insist on calling "murderer!".  But if you continue to insist that I am, well then, I'm your huckelberry!For those that want to contend, I say Joy! lets put to the test!  Then there will be stories for the council fire, hair to decorate my lodge, and lessons for the children so that they will grow noble and strong.  

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

hedgeless_horseman Last1Out Fri, 11/10/2017 - 16:48 Permalink


What I have observed to be True is the opposite, that Right makes Might....   ...In any struggle, the least corrupt, the leat noble, the least good of the contenders will lose.

 I have held similiar views in the past, but more recently am considering the possibility that technology has caused this to be no longer the case, at least in many circumstances.In the past, and maybe still today with the infantry, what often carried the day was the fight in the dog, not the dog in the fight.  Call it what you will: heart; God's will; company morale. Now, with standoff weapons like drones and Apaches, it is technology that makes might, sadly, not right that makes might.  Like Napolean said, "God fights on the side with the most artillary."This becomes even more worrisone with the rise of AI.   

In reply to by Last1Out

hedgeless_horseman Last1Out Fri, 11/10/2017 - 16:41 Permalink


Those that are, such as myself, would appreciate a brush that isn't quite so broad or so black.

I hear you.  It is nearly impossible for men to not take these things personally.  But it is healthier, so we can try.To that exact end, I believe mrs_horseman would recommend the following:

I did not enjoy reading it, and I doubt you will. is helpful.  

In reply to by Last1Out

not dead yet Dabooda Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:28 Permalink

Plenty of Nazzzies went to the gallows because they were following orders. The American prosecuters and judges said following orders was no excuse for doing such nasty things. Yet in any military, including American, if you disobey an order no matter despicable it's off to the brig and regular beatings until you either learn to obey or they give you a dishonorable discharge. If you're in a war zone and in the right military they will shoot you on the spot as a lesson to others.Late in the war the Germans were using kids as soldiers. One soldier in an interview claimed when the kids ran out of ammo they surrendered. Rather than take them prisoner their leader said shoot them and they did. There were many instances where American soldiers were assigned to take prisoners to the rear areas and when they got down the road shot them all. Claimed they were all trying to escape. No one believed them but they could have cared less and swept it under the rug. Many thousands of German soldiers died in prison camps after the war under Eisenhower as Ike intentionally withheld food and medicine along with unsanitary conditions and lack of shelter with everyone under Ike following his orders. Ike getting his pound of flesh on soldiers who fought for their country but unfortunately for them lost. Except for rare instances during the war the Germans gave humane treatment to allied prisoners. Unless they were Russian. Many Nazi's rightfully went to the gallows but plenty of Germans were imprisoned, or butchered by mobs in the streets as they were forced to walk back to Germany from countries they lived in while the military looked away, because they didn't work against the Hitler regime even though they commited no crimes. Much has been made of the Marshall Plan to put Germany back on it's feet after the war but what isn't well known is that it was only done because the Germans were about to flip over to the Communists due to the terrible treatment under the Allies and especially the Americans. The war ended in 1945 and the Marshall plan wasn't until 1948. The prevailing wisdom, especially in the higher military and politicial circles was that it would be just fine if every German disappeared from the face of the earth. A lot of this stuff still goes on which is why most of the world dreads the coming of the Americans. The propaganda fed to American citizens says the opposite.

In reply to by Dabooda

Offthebeach tmosley Fri, 11/10/2017 - 14:53 Permalink

How many, not types, but total, awards we given out in the Revolutionary War?6.6 Purple Hearts.  A favorite picture of mine is US Grant holding a tent pole outside his tent.  All wrinkled uniform, tobbacco stain on his tunic.  Went in 4 years from state millitia to 5 star.  Awards and decorations?  None.How'd to todays eyes did they fight?  Because it meant something..  It was the cause itself.Now?Conditioning.   Propaganda.  Cucks, shuffling faceless men desperate for a cause.  And the Deep State, having chlorine bleached all meaning from the masses lives, except base appetite, is always ready to offer  processed, manufactured sensation, on demand.  

In reply to by tmosley

JuliaS NoDecaf Sat, 11/11/2017 - 00:48 Permalink

"You gotta support the troops, right? Wrong! I'm not saying: 'Don't suport the troops'. I'm saying, I support people on individual basis. I got to meet the troop first. If I meet him and he's a cool troop - we drink together without him turning into a dildo? Yeah! I'll support him! I'll support him no matter what he does. I'll write his specific name on the yellow ribbon, so that they know it's just PFC James Campbell or whatever his name is. And then he can do whatever he wants. He can go a-wall, drop bombs on his own guys, Canadians or whatever, and I'll go: 'He's having a bad day. I know that guy! I drank with him. He's cool!'But some troops are assholes, I tell you. I was down in Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood. There was a troop there and he wanted to hammer my head flat, because I accidentally dumped over his piss-warm draft beer. Forearms swinging forward, monkey-redneck - he wanted to kick my ass. So I didn't support that troop during the war. That troop was a shithead and I hope he died first. I wanted to see his little peanut head explode on CNN on a choppy sattelite feed. He's not fighting for your freedom. He's a psychopath, who wants to kill somebody. He found a good outlet and that's good. That's why I'm pro war, as long as it's voluntary... If there is no draft and they aren't yanking kids out of inner city schools, everybody joined the military because they kinda wanted to go kill other people. Right?! And that's good!As long as people who kinda wanna go kill other people are killing other people who kinda wanna go kill other people, we're killing all the right people."- Doug Stanhope

In reply to by NoDecaf

HRClinton hedgeless_horseman Fri, 11/10/2017 - 12:11 Permalink

It's not a "Service". It's a career move.80% who enlist are Economic Refugees & Desperados. 10% are Kool-Aid(DS)(K) drinking Patriots, and 10% are Psychos who are looking for a legal place to do what they love to do: hurt and kill people.  If you consider that many of them become cops, then you realize from where the LEAs recruit psychos, albeit not deliberately.  It's an unintended consequence.   (DE = Deep State.  K = Kosher)The term Patriot itself has been hijacked. It used to mean something different in 1776 than now: It meant that you risked your life and your assets to defend your own - at home. Now it means: Enlist for pay, benefits and future, to fight any place overseas, to maintain and expand the Empire of the Debt-Dollar.Such people are not Patriots. They are MERCENARIES.  When you volunteer for money, you are by its very definition a Merc.  Our Ministry of Truth -- the MSM -- try to convince us that these people are not Merc, but 'Heroes'. "Down is up, War is Peace and... We have always been at war with Eurasia."

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman