A Vet’s View

Army values matter

by Bruce Becker

 The Soldier’s Creed

 Bruce Military.jpgI am an American Soldier.

I am a warrior and a member of a team.

I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.

I always maintain my arms, my equipment, and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier.

I was an American Soldier for 20 years of my life.  I lived by the principles of the Soldier’s Creed.  Most of the men and women, and soldiers who I served with also lived by the creed, but there were a few who placed their own welfare above the warfighter.  It is those handful of self-serving individuals I wish to address.

After reading the Wesleyan piece on the John Galt Program for Investigative Studies (https://jgpis.org/who-is-john-galt/the-story-of-the-wesleyan-company/constructive-notice-is-hereby-served-on-the-secretary-of-defense/), then reading the mass of evidence in this case, I can say, without hesitation, that a gross miscarriage of justice has occurred to the American soldier and this small company and its owner.  Whenever leaders in the military place their own soldiers’ lives at risk because they want to profit from war, there is something terribly wrong.

Now I must say, I am a person of few words. I speak when I am spoken to.  I do not get offended by humor, swearing, freedom of speech, even if I disagree, or second amendment freedoms.  There is really only one thing that offends me, and that is people who have been placed into a position of power and abuse that power for self-gain.

In this particular case, I am highly offended by high ranking military officials and government contractors who stole the intellectual property of a citizen who recognized a problem with the military’s lack of protective gear, in an NBC environment, and found a solution to protect the lives of soldiers.  I also am highly offended by the U.S. Army for failing to perform the type of objective review of the evidence in order to cover-up their own shortcomings.  Political expedience is not what we expect when the lives of soldiers have been negatively affected.

Since these high ranking military officials and their government contractors put off the deployment of critical NBC protective gear improvements, we now have veterans of the first Gulf War being affected by a medical anomaly called the Gulf War Syndrome.  In war, one must expect casualties, but having those casualties caused by their own government’s lack of caring is an unforgiveable sin, as far as I am concerned.

Pointing out the problem is only the beginning of any argument.  Finding a solution to the problem must be the next logical step.  As a young soldier I had a superior who ingrained in me that for every “what” identified, what is the “so what,” that goes along with it.  The “so what” here is that because of high ranking officials and their contractors not caring about the lives of soldiers, we have sick veterans seeking help for their illness only to find a broken Veterans Administration putting off their care.

Each veteran must make a choice, do nothing or hold those who profited from their unethical conduct accountable.  Will you join me in raising your voice against a miscarriage of justice?  By holding those accountable for trying to profit off the backs of soldiers, perhaps we can prevent those currently serving to protect our country from experiencing the same thing.  Perhaps through sharing these leaders’ monetary gains through war profiteering, we can provide a semblance of care for those affected by Gulf War Syndrome.

About the author

CW2 Becker retired out of Fort Monmouth in 2001.  He worked his way up from private E-1 to retire as a Chief Warrant Officer.