Anyone who has read this should be able to tell by now how much of a spots fan I am. A huge one. And while I think baseball is the greatest of them, I have played/coached/officiated in football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, golf, and tennis. I'm a huge sports guy.
For those of you who might be reading this and haven't read many of my posts or my profile, I also spent 20 years in the Army, am retired, am a combat veteran of Desert Storm, and have done and seen shit that most people can't even begin to imagine.
My father is retired Air Force. My older brother spent some time in the Army. My sister tried to join the Air Force but was medically disqualified. My younger brother spent 4 years in the Air Force. My father had a uncle killed in World War I, and a cousin who jumped into St. Mere Eglise and was wounded. I have an uncle who spent a year as an Infantryman in Vietnam. And many other family members who have served.
I am proud of my service, but I don't put it in peoples faces. A lot of people I know (especially here) don't have any clue. I don't shy away from it, but I don't volunteer it either. I have immense respect for anyone who has ever served. And I have very strong opinions about the subject. So a lot of people won't like my opinion on this. I don't care.
I found this posting at Spolitical's site. And I have a problem with what I read.
Because it seems this guy is exempt, and doesn't need to do his duty because he has 'unique skills' that other soldiers don't have. How's that again, I missed something? Its funny that a flute player for the West Point band won't ever get released to play for the New York Philharmonic, but someone with 4.3 speed in the '40 gets out? A nuclear physics major at the Point won't ever get released from doing their duty to be able to take a job for the Department of Energy. But a sweet jumper from 15' gets you an exemption? A singer in the Academy chorus won't get released for a chance at American Idol. But a 12 - 6 curve ball gets you out of harms way?
What's more, this guy is commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. A leader of solders? A future general? I don't think so. This guy went to a service academy to learn how to be a leader and he's running away while normal grunts are doing their 5th tour in Iraq or Afghanistan? I'm glad this guy won't actually be leading troops, because he doesn't deserve the privilege. Make him a supply guy, or let him run the mess hall. But he doesn't deserve to lead real soldiers.
I knew a lot of guys in the Army that had a lot of athletic ability. Guys, and some women, who were offered college scholarships to play basketball, or football, or the chance to box professionally. They were all allowed to do so. After they finished their current enlistment and were discharged from the Army. But 'officers' have 'unique skills' that other soldiers don't have?
Seriously, I'm missing something here. This isn't the British Army. Officers are supposed to set the example and lead from the front, not run away and hide. Considering the number of soldiers who are under Stop-Loss and can't get out, and this guy gets to play sports instead heading into a combat zone. Its ridiculous. Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating he go into harm's way and be killed or injured. But I know a bunch of 19-year old soldiers (on food stamps) with 18-year old wives and 6-month old babies who would like the same opportunity.
This is wrong. And the fact that more people will support this 'right' to play football than will agree that he needs to do his duty is exactly why its wrong. And why its allowed to happen.
I don't know Caleb Campbell. I don't know if he's a good person or a bad person. It doesn't matter. I hope he has a great career and goes to the Hall of Fame. I also hope in his induction speech he remembers to mention those that fell so he could play a game.
Because when you get right down to it, it is still just a game.
Being a soldier isn't.
Pat Tillman understood that.