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“It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief"... “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”

Posted by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM
  • 183 Replies
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A D-Day Veteran Politely Declines Obama Invitation

Brix, France — Some of the veterans attending the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings here in France have fascinating stories.

Take George Ciampa, the most vibrant and spry 89-year-old I have ever met. In 1944, he landed in Normandy as a soldier assigned to the 84th Graves Registration Unit. “I spent the next few years going from France to Germany helping to bury people,” he told me. He was involved in setting up the temporary military cemeteries in Normandy that have now become stirring memorials to our fallen dead. 

The experience transformed George, and he eventually became a filmmaker celebrating America’s heroes. His website tells the story of the four documentaries he has done on military valor. He is still making films today.

This week, George received a call from the White House, who said they knew he would be over in France during D-Day, and wondered if he would attend a private meeting the White House was arranging for veterans with President Obama.

George thought about it for awhile and concluded he just couldn’t. “I have so many issues with the president’s policies, including the most recent ones,” he told me ruefully.  “I just couldn’t convince myself to do it.”

He is not alone. The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way.  “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”




Opinions on his point of view? 

by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:41 PM
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He's more than welcome to his own opinion. He's 89 years old. He can pretty much do and say whatever the hell he wants.
Peaceful.chaos
by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM
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As a retired veteran, I share his sentiment, as does most of the military community.
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4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM
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That's his choice, there are certainly Presidents from our past that I wouldn't have wanted to meet.  

jcrew6
by Gold Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM
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Most of the military (AD and Ret) in our immediate circle are beyond outraged with the President.  

To say the CiC has lost the trust of many of his troops, is an understatement


Quoting Peaceful.chaos: As a retired veteran, I share his sentiment, as does most of the military community.


bellawomen
by Bronze Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:56 PM
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I think he has the right to his opinion. I wish he would have expressed it to Obama's face.

We should have let the Taliban keep the deserter. Too many lives lost to save a coward.
snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 8:07 PM
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At 89, you can be as cantankerous as you like

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 8:14 PM
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you do realize he was not a deserter.  He may have been AWOL, but even if he was we don't punish people that go AWOL with life in prison.  

Quoting bellawomen: I think he has the right to his opinion. I wish he would have expressed it to Obama's face. We should have let the Taliban keep the deserter. Too many lives lost to save a coward.


4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM
4 moms liked this

unless your circle includes thousands it's really not all that telling.  

Quoting jcrew6:

Most of the military (AD and Ret) in our immediate circle are beyond outraged with the President.  

To say the CiC has lost the trust of many of his troops, is an understatement


Quoting Peaceful.chaos: As a retired veteran, I share his sentiment, as does most of the military community.


msharleyjr
by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 8:23 PM
So you think it's okay that he had abandoned his post?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/world/asia/bowe-bergdahl-walked-away-before-military-report-says.html?referrer=


Quoting 4evrinbluejeans:

you do realize he was not a deserter.  He may have been AWOL, but even if he was we don't punish people that go AWOL with life in prison.  

Quoting bellawomen: I think he has the right to his opinion. I wish he would have expressed it to Obama's face.

We should have let the Taliban keep the deserter. Too many lives lost to save a coward.

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 8:27 PM

I don't know why he walked off that night, I don't know what he was going through clearly the choice resulted in a horrible situation for him.  Regardless of whether it was a wrong choice, the punishment for such an action goes well beyond what would have happened to him had he been caught by US commanders.  Also when you look at the numbers (1717 soldiers were classified as deserters) you realize he wasn't isolated in his decision, but he was the only one in Afghanistan that was captured by the enemy as a result of it.  

We as a country have gone to great lengths to obtain the release of our POWs.  We went so far as to agree to leave Viet Nam in order to get our POWs returned.  

Quoting msharleyjr: So you think it's okay that he had abandoned his post? http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/world/asia/bowe-bergdahl-walked-away-before-military-report-says.html?referrer=
Quoting 4evrinbluejeans:

you do realize he was not a deserter.  He may have been AWOL, but even if he was we don't punish people that go AWOL with life in prison.  

Quoting bellawomen: I think he has the right to his opinion. I wish he would have expressed it to Obama's face. We should have let the Taliban keep the deserter. Too many lives lost to save a coward.


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