AMAC Exclusive – By – David P. Deavel
Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer and a time for patriotic remembrance of our fallen war dead and, for many of us, fallen family members, many of whom were veterans. I have been thinking of the five sons of Victor Sowers, Sr., my mother’s brothers, all of whom served in World War II and returned, while pondering the parlous state of the military today.
The Sowers brothers would, no doubt, have joined a group of veterans and Republicans in Congress who are banding together to fight the imposition of left-wing ideology on the U. S. Armed Forces. Air Force Lt. General Rod Bishop (retired) began Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS) last year when the Air Force Academy football team released a video endorsing both Black Lives Matter and “antiracist” education, reports the Washington Free Beacon. After complaining to no avail, the retired general heard from many other veterans and active duty members of the various branches who were experiencing the same kinds of indoctrination in Critical Race Theory and other progressive doctrines. After U. S. Space Force Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier was fired for self-publishing Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military, a book detailing what he calls the “Neo-Marxist agenda” (and currently #4 among all books on Amazon), thirty members of STARRS sent an open letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asking him to “take action to fight back against the creeping left-wing extremism in the U.S. military.”
The Free Beacon reports that there is no response to the STARRS letter from the Pentagon, but the signs are not good given Secretary Austin’s own confirmation testimony that he would work to rid the military of “racists and extremists,” a statement that is ominous given the recent history of reports and statements from various branches of the military, as well as comments such as that of retired Army General Thomas Kolditz, who said that the goal should be to purge “Trump loyalists.” Mike Gonzalez and Dakota Wood of the Heritage Foundation reported that the Defense Department is “reportedly considering hiring a private company to monitor the free speech of military personal on social media, using key words or algorithms that by their very nature reflect the perspective of those who select the words and write the algorithms.”
While my Sowers uncles made all the jokes about the foolishness of those running the Army and Navy in the 1940s and laughed about the military censors’ sometimes senseless clipping of passages from their letters, they would not have thought what was happening now is at all funny. They fought for a country they did not believe inherently racist or unjust. They fought for a country where the perfection of freedom was sought.
Blaine, the fourth son and a paper carrier, told a reporter more than fifty years later that he remembered hearing a dull thump on the porch the evening of December 7, 1941. It was 135 copies of an “extra edition” of the South Bend Tribune (the paper that interviewed him in the 1990s) detailing the attack on Pearl Harbor earlier that day. Victor, Jr., the second son, was already serving in the Army Air Corps (which became the Air Force in 1947), and the other boys would all eventually enlist as well—no waiting to be drafted—including my youngest uncle, Lowell, who lied about his age to get in the Army Air Corps and served in Japan.
Victor served in what even he considered was a “cushy” job, crew chief on board a plane used by the part of the Army making training movies. He ended up meeting a pilot named Jimmy Stewart and another officer named Ronald Reagan in his work. Oldest brother Bud was also in California with the Army, but he was testing “barrage balloons,” which were balloons with dangling cables meant for the interception of planes in case there was an invasion of the west coast à la Pearl Harbor.
I heard most about the war from Uncle Blaine. I remember him telling stories especially when he and Aunt Esther hosted the annual family reunion, stories made vivid because he would take us for rides in the vintage World War II jeep he had bought and mounted with a (non-functioning) machine gun. My son Vincent loved that jeep as a little boy. Blaine had been stationed in the Pacific on board a minesweeper and monitored the radar. He recalled the time his radar screen “snowed” kamikaze pilots.
To me, Blaine’s best story involved his brother. Uncle Everett, the third son, was also in the Navy but spent most of his time in the Mediterranean. A sonar man on board the U. S. S. Ludlow, he received a commendation for finding a German submarine that the Ludlow was then able to sink. At one point during the war, however, Everett was out of contact with the entire family for more than a year. My grandmother, who had an American flag hanging out front with five gold stars—one for each son in the war—prayed on her knees every night for her boys, terrified as the time went on with no word if Everett was alive or dead. The suspense was broken, however, when, walking into a barbershop in Tokyo, Blaine spotted Everett sitting in a chair. That was a sweet reunion.
The Sowers boys were survivors. As part of the “greatest generation,” they went on to careers in all sorts of fields, raised children, and served their communities and churches in myriad ways. They knew they were not heroes—“They’re all buried at sea or in some cemetery,” Blaine told a reporter a half-century later. “We’re five of the luckiest guys in the world.”
As we remember the heroes and the brave men who survived this weekend, let us remember that their sacrifices, great and small, were noble ones done on behalf of a country that they knew was imperfect—which one isn’t?—but is also worth fighting for. They knew racism existed but also that it is not part of our Constitutional DNA. A woke military that considers the country racist and conservatives no better than Nazis stands little chance of being willing or able to defend us.
David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas (MN). He is the co-host of the Deep Down Things podcast.
To compare conservative to natzis is just disgusting this author lost all credibility with that line.
Maybe your grandmother flew a flag with five WHITE stars? A GOLD star represented one who was lost in war, as in “Gold Star Mothers”.
“They fought for a country they did not believe inherently racist or unjust. They fought for a country where the perfection of freedom was sought.”
They fought for a country that still had Jim Crow in full swing in the South, in a military that was still segregated at the time. Yes, we’ve made progress since then, but let’s be honest here.
Let’s be rational here and look at what the Sower brothers were fighting AGAINST. Jim Crow laws were pretty tame when stacked up against what Italy did in Abyssinia, Hitler’s holocaust and Japan’s Co-Prosperity sphere, wouldn’t you HAVE to agree?
Critical Race Theory wants to have a “reverse” of jim crow now and all the “woke” universities and corporations all buy into it. They’re demanding reparations. What about reparations for all the Union
Soldiers families’ decendants, who lost their lives in the Civil War fighting against the evils of slavery?
Let’s be fair here.
Could the Woke turn against the countru?
Unfortunately the United States has been very frustrated militarily since 1945. The United States has been unable to bring armed combat to a successful conclusion. This includes Korea, Vietnam, the First Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terror. The United States has been at war for nearly 30 years fighting over former Communist Bloc countries in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, and other places and continues to seek elusive goals.
These are indicators that the United States is in permanent and irrevocable decline.
Wow…where do you live? We won’t go into the tired “win the battles, lose the war” Vietnam ground except to say we got a Treaty with the North that ended the war and required us to defend the South if the North violated the Treaty. The North did, three years later, and Congress betrayed the South. Lost? Given up by politicians and the press cheerleading for the poor oppressed Communists who then set to reeducate or kill any opposition. In Korea, Truman changed the goals from kicking out the communists in the North to status quo ante because he was afraid of domestic politics if he did what was necessary re troop levels so closely after WWII. That is, again, a political decision not a military failure.
First Gulf War? Ended in Saddam’s surrender and sanctions (Oil for Food et al) and 17 UN Resolutions. Saddam violated those agreements and sanctions, conspiring with Germany/Russia/France to violate the Oil for Food program for technology, and did not allow inspection/verification of his WMD programs and stockpiles. So we had OIF which was over in weeks. We then screwed up by firing the military (thanks to Paul Bremer) and turning them into unemployed insurgents fighting for pay. We eventually remedied the situation after many meanderings of policy and effort. Iraq is relatively settled today and will be left largely to its own devices in future to make what they will of themselves. So, no, we brought armed combat to a successful conclusion.
By the “GWT” I am going to assume you mean Afghanistan, because the other successful actions around the world (such as killing bin Laden) are almost universally successful small unit actions which are not “wars”. So we kicked out the Taliban with some SOF in a few weeks. Dislodged them and made them flee to Pakistan and we have had to go after them hiding in the mountains or populace ever since…but they never had the power to cause us to alter what we wanted to do as we could amass combat power and take the initiative. However, to truly end it, we needed to take out the autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan and get the Pakistani ISI out of Afghanistan…which we didn’t do. So, again, we will leave and they will be left to their own devices. As long as they don’t represent a threat, that is a win. If they do, we bomb them to hell without risking our guys to clear compounds when they take fire rather than calling in indirect fires.
So your definition of “loss” is “nobody anywhere” shouting Allahu Akbar and shooting at us. Well, that isn’t going to happen. They shout Allahu Akbar and shoot at each other and will after we leave. They are a tribal society with an economy built on the trade in opiates. Did we achieve our military objectives? About 95% yes. Did we succeed in making them into American style democratic republics? NOPE. But then, that is politics.
Decline? Nope. A defeatist, pessimistic, cynical, skewed vision of history and the culture of this country on the left. Yep. But leave the rest of us out of YOUR decline, thanks.
Again, the United States has been unable to bring a conflict to a successful conclusion since 1945. Vietnam was an outright loss. Failure to bring the First Gulf War to a successful conclusion led directly to the Second Gulf War and the Global War on Terror. As you know, the United States has been conducting combat operations in a number countries in the Middle East. The fact that we are still engaged, is evidence that we have not brought the various conflicts to successful conclusions.
The Four Pillars of National Power include Diplomacy (Politics); Information (Media); the Military; and the Economy. The data is available for each of these areas. The trend lines are down. There seem to be no political will to reverse the trends.
Sorry, but there it is.
I’ll stick with the United States, you go pick who you think will take our place.
Or that we keep getting drawn into stupid conflicts in which there are no possible outcomes that would constitute victory for the US.
You make an interesting point. I guess I would ask why we would want to expend blood and treasure on conflicts where there was no criteria to describe a successful outcome? I suppose it is possible that our political leadership is simply “reactionary” to the actions of others.
Our enemies WANT us to bomb them. Why? Because with our generous culture we will rebuild them with our tax money. Compare any Japanese or German city we bombed with
Detroit, Baltimore, ect… and marvel at the difference. We rebuild everything we bomb far better than any of our own cities. The world laughs at us.
Saddam and Osama Bin Ladin might disagree with you if they were still around.
My thoughts are directed toward everyone that has been a part of this comment section. The military arm of the USA is not independent, we follow the directives issued by our government. When the politicians say the war is over, it is over. The military may not like it but we have to follow orders despite the conclusion. The politicians also get pressured from surrounding countries in the conflict zone to end it such as what happened during the Gulf wars. Look at our history, the American people do not like long lasting conflicts: during the Civil War in 1864, the people were tired, World War II, the people tired and complaining in 1944 i.e. the people want the easy way out with minimal bloodshed. I don’t like conflict any more than anyone else but the problem that caused the issue in the first place, needs to be gotten rid of quickly and efficiently.
That’s because the military is promoting “woke” MBAs (master of business administration) instead
of warriors, to run our military.
He may be right that it’s inconsistent with military success. However, it is historically incorrect to say the US won WW2. That attitude will weaken our military too.
Who won it then? The Germans and Japanese and Italians? The UK who had retreated to Britain and were certain to lose without our supplies and manpower? The Soviets who likewise, despite their trading land and time were going to eventually run out of supplies without our convoys of supplies, trucks, munitions?
We won…we did it with great allies in the West and reluctant temporary allies (Russia), but don’t delude yourself that they would have won without the US in the war.
Without the United States in WWII, half the world would be speaking German and the other
half would be speaking Japanese. We would be enslaved to our conquering masters. How is that the majority of people today do not understand this? Do we think the world is full of “nice guys” who want to negotiate? Get real.
Yo, Dave –
Google the 1943 race riots in Detroit and get back to me.
“Woke,” “asleep,” it doesn’t really seem to matter. Our military hasn’t won a war in 75 years. We tied in Korea, lost in Vietnam, beat 90 construction workers in Granada, lost in Syria. LOST BIG TIME in Mogadishu, lost in Desert Storm, lost in Iraq and lost in Afghanistan. We spend > $700 billion a year on feckless and effete chains of command and the only ones who suffer are the enlisted ranks, the NCOs and the company grade officers. No one on active duty today has ever seen a victory. But look at any general officer’s chest, he/she looks like Idi Amin.
Believe me, you don’t get to be a flag rank officer without being a superb politician. Generals/admirals sniff the political winds like dogs sniff each others hindquarters.
America’s military became “woke” in a manner of speaking because of World War II. Little inconsistencies like fighting a war against Nazi racial ideology while maintaining Jim Crow at home were getting hard to miss. Within the Black American communities this became the “Double V Campaign”; Victory over fascism in Europe and victory over racism at home. Even white Americans became aware that America needed to work to remain the “City on a Hill.” Truman desegregated the US Army in 1948. Recognizing the need to make this change represented a moment where Americans were “waking up.” To the extent that being “woke” means something in 2021 it’s simply having an awareness that that the process of addressing race/racism in American society is not over.
Sorry, that is not what “woke” means in 2021. Classical Liberalism in Western Civilization and philosophy goes all the way back to the Greeks, through Rome and Europe, the Enlightenment and Renaissance, through the Founding of the US and its principles – which we eventually fought a Civil War to clarify the terms of “all Men are created equal”. That classical Liberalism is the exact OPPOSITE of the “woke” movement and its antipathy for free speech, facts, evidence, and free governance in a Federal Republic. Their “Progressivism” is about nanny state control of everything, a creeping economic and cultural socialism that puts the “state” in the place of the monarchs of old in the same tyrannical system of governance that this nation got rid of through the Revolutionary War.
Europe and Russia and China and the like don’t see the problem because they WERE ruled by monarchs and aristocratic “betters” for most of their history. They are used to “top down” government control and it is in their genes. We founded something better here. This should be somewhat clarified for you when even THEY are pushing back against this “woke” BS.
I don’t mean to nitpick, but in the very first paragraph the author mentions that all five of his grandmother’s sons returned home at the end of WWII. Towards the end of the article, he states that she had a flag with five gold stars on it. I believe that is incorrect – those stars would have been blue. I know, because my own great-grandmother sent seven sons to that war. Her flag had six blue stars – and one gold.
My great uncle Roland is buried at Nettuno.
My mother lost her brother at Anzio. He was in the First Special Service Force.
I’ve been to the cemetery there. If your uncle is buried at Nettuno, it’s a beautiful, peaceful place, befitting our heroes.
I still do not see any description of what “woke” is and then to extrapolate an undefined term into infecting the military in a way that makes it dysfunctional makes no logical argument. I think everyone can agree our people showed great courage in WWII and sacrificed much, so to inject an unsubstantiated declaration about their understanding of racism as it relates to the constitution does them a great disservice.
Hold on…..we’re in for a bumpy ride!
“Woke” anything and all the associated “Critical Race Theory” crap will only lead to dystopian results for America. These sorts of dysfunctional ideological thrusts into our mainstream American values cannot, and never will, produce any positive outcomes for America or Americans. You just can’t make poop smell like a rose garden, no matter how hard you try!
I was born 5 June 1944, my father walked ashore 8 June 1944, (not knowing if I was a boy or girl just that my mother had given birth), he went all the way to Paris. Was in the battle of the budge, and more. His next younger brother was killed in July 1944, (still rest in Europe).
I joined the United States Marine Corps 1 August 1961, retired as a Gunnery Sargent 1 September 1981, was a Helicopter Mechanic, and Crew Chief, served three tours in Viet Nam, as my father the only wounds, I bare is mental, neither of us was in the rear with the gear. Not hero’s just doing what need to be done. Other uncles served, during WWII and Korea.
I attended, at command direction race relations, during the late 60′, early 70’s. I then saw the relationship of Marines become a stronger one, not white not black, or any other race just Marines. I do not believe what is being pushed today is doing that. IMHO it is dividing not only the races but the nation. Todays actions again IMHO will destroy our Nation and its people, Black, White and others if the current trend is continued.
I pray that our Nation as a people shall stop this and unite, I fear only God can bring this Uniting about, it sure will not happen with the current leadership, from the president the lower civilian and some uniformed officers and senior staff nco’s, are following this new but yet old socialist line of dividing all to control all.
I’ve never seen a Presidency so corrupt and dysfunctional as this administration of His Excellency Joey Biden and his Communist sidekick Kamala Harris in seventy-one years. The only way American Citizens will save America is that every Republican, Democrat vote Republican in 2022, no rinos. In 2024 all Independent, Democrat, and Republican vote for Republican. No rinos.
Until the folks vote for a Madisonian Americanist – not a marxist Dem or a go-along-to-get-along Rep – the USA will continue its downward spiral into socialist fascism.
You have been misled-there is little, if any, corruption in this current administration, You may not agree with the policies of JB but refrain from posting deceit concerning his integrity and functionality.
Integrity! Boy have you been drinking the Kool-Aid.
On this Memorial Day, I think we can all agree that the current times call for stronger action. It’s time for AMAC to organize “mature conservative citizens” for street rallies to support our values. We have the time available and a lifetime full of courage. We are conservatives who can’t be cancelled because our careers are in the rear view mirror. It’s up to us. Are we going to allow Biden’s Marxist mob to ruin our country and the Republic for which hundreds of thousands have given their lives to preserve? Thousands of AMAC members marching with their very sturdy walking sticks would gather local/national media coverage, increase AMAC membership and give hope to millions of young conservatives.
Amen to that. I would join the ranks of this group to support our values and encourage our grandchildren to stand for what they believe in
Thanks Caroline. Any ideas on how we can convince AMAC to be the mid-wife for our group? Once the word got out, I’m sure there would be many others who would join. AMAC could boost membership and have support in every city. We seniors have enough energy for one more big fight and the time to organize. AMAC would be our unifying force and also become competitive with AARP….WL
Our military cannot be defeated head on, and our adversaries know that. Therefor the goal is to undermine it from within; the communists started this with the “peace” movements in the ’60’s and has continued since right up to the newest form that we call “wokeism”. The ultimate goal is to make our military ineffectual on the battlefield and one that will fire on American citizens when told to.
So true & same for Korean War but that was a truce
Very early in my military career (20+ years Active Duty Air Force) I was made to attend “Race Relations” classes which, if anything, taught a young white boy from Down South that, indeed, there WAS this thing called “PREJUDICED”, which, over time has morphed into the current shame of our Society, RACISM! But, it was NOT as I was told! I was a naive young airman, forced to sit in a classroom for hours, while older blacks, male and female, of ALL ranks, to include officers and NCOs, literally screamed their hatred and anger at ME! The “Instructor” in charge of the class, a black woman with the rank of Captain, demanded that we handful of young white airmen, sit and be subjected to this abuse! I was accused of being one of the “Massahs” who kept and regularly abused the slaves that my Great Grand parents supposedly owned! They didn’t seem interested in anything “I” had to say, even when I managed to shout over them and say that “MY” Great Grand Parents were “Indentured Servants” from Europe on one side, and recent immigrant German farmers (1800s) on the other! They didn’t CARE that “I” wasn’t responsible, they just wanted to scream HATE, and hurt “Whitey”! This was in 1973, at an Operational Air Force Base in New Mexico, and, it DID teach me that Racism was real, and practiced, with consent of the Government, against white people! This “Reverse Discrimination” was present thruout m career, in the form of denied promotions and “Fast Tracking” that led to promotions! And, after another 17 years as a Civil Service worker for the DOD, I can absolutely attest to the fact that RACISM is ALIVE and being practiced TODAY, against white people…
It’s called “Hate Whiteism”! By “Hate Whiteist”. who you are not allowed to call “Racist’.! .
I joined the USAF after John Kennedy said, “—–Ask what you can do for your country.” After his assassination, I lost faith in the leaders of the American military. At this point in time, all of the good leaders have been removed, to be replaced by subversives or outright traitors. I do not see us being able to overcome this coup. The courts, and audits, are not going to save America.