In late 2009, I wrote the following article for Huff Post under the title, “One Grizzled Veteran’s Dream.” This Memorial Day Weekend, I’d like to remember the dream a veteran shared with me and lots of other high school juniors back in 1980. Sadly, that dream is even more distant today than it was in 1980.
Thirty years ago, I attended Boys State. Run by the American Legion, Boys State introduces high school students to civics and government in a climate that bears a passing resemblance to military basic training. Arranged in “companies,” we students did our share of hurrying up, lining up, and waiting (sound preparation, in fact, for my career in the military). I recall that one morning a “company” of students got to eat first because they launched into a lusty rendition of the Marine Corps hymn. I wasn’t angry at them: I was angry at myself for not thinking of the ruse first.
Today, most of my Boys State experience is a blur, but one event looms large: the remarks made by a grizzled veteran to us assembled boys. Standing humbly before us, he confessed that he hoped organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars would soon wither away. And he said that he hoped none of us would ever become a member of his post.
Private First Class Brian Edward Hutson, in Iraq, put the barrel of his M-4 rifle into his mouth and blew out the back of his skull. He was college-aged but had not gone and would never go to college. Notice appeared in the newspapers a week after his death, listed as “non-combat-related.”
May 30, 2017: Lincoln Memorial • White House Hundreds of Veterans and allies gather at the White House December, 2010 to demand Peace Hundreds of Veterans and allies gather at the White House December, 2010 to demand Peace
In October, 2016, the NSA was forced to admit that it had misused Sec. 702 of the FISA Amendments to spy on far more Americans than it should have. Even the normally very compliant FISA Court condemned the ramped up spying on Americans as raising serious Fourth Amendment issues. The NSA last month told us it would cease using Sec. 702 – which is supposed to be for foreigners – to spy in Americans. Should we trust the NSA to police itself? Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report urges that Section 702 of the FISA Act be allowed to sunset at the end of the year. If the government wants to spy on us, let them get a warrant!