Veterans Day 2014

by on November 11, 2014 · 33 comments

in American Empire, Military, Peace Movement, Veterans, War and Peace

Fundraiser for the Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza – Today, 2pm

At 2 p.m., a fundraiser will be held for the Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza at the foot of Newport Avenue. The Ocean Beach Community Development Corp. will display 3-D artwork of the final design for a new plaza to be built just south of the main lifeguard tower.  Organizers said the memorial honoring area residents killed in battle is in disrepair.

“The inscriptions on the original medallions are so worn down you can’t even read the names of my veteran brothers and sisters,” said veteran Dave Martin. “These are men and women who fought and, for some, paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. This new Veterans Plaza will show them the respect they deserve.”

In observance of Veterans Day

In observance of Veterans Day 2014, we turn to a series of posts that our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, has been running this week, “War and Peace Week”.

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press by Anna Daniels

Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine) by Jay Powell

Remembering the Looks in their Eyes by Dana Levy

Reclaim Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes

Please Don’t Thank Me For My Service

 Baghdad Tattoo

Game of Drones: What Are the Rules of the Game for Civilian Drone Use?

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

unwashedwallmartTHONG November 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm

There’s a fundraiser I won’t attend. I’m all “warred out.” Another ugly design anyway.


Geoff Page November 12, 2014 at 8:20 am

Please do not donate to this monstrosity that we will have to live with at our beach forever. This is absolutely the wrong thing to do to our oceanfront of which we only have a small piece downtown. Put it somewhere else.


Debbie November 12, 2014 at 8:36 am

Put benches on Newport with names of Vets that were/are in our community and spend money cleaning up with streets and sidewalks.


Duke Kahanamoku November 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

More war memorials… the beach, where we go to get away from things? Seems much more appropriate at military installations/museums along SD Bay, where people may properly reflect on occasions they choose.


Goatskull November 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Complain much? OB has a very high veteran population. They deserve this. Get over yourself.


Frank Gormlie November 12, 2014 at 9:20 am

This is a done deal, please understand. The OBCDC held 2 community workshops and received mucho input into the design. You may disagree but they’ve already raised $100K. (see my report today).


Geoff Page November 12, 2014 at 9:33 am

With great respect, Frank, it appears some of us disagree.


Frank Gormlie November 12, 2014 at 9:41 am

I feel we can honor the veterans without glorifying America’s military might. I attended the event yesterday to cover it and to see the 3D models. My point is that the time to complain is over – and the organizers / OBCDC can rightly say ‘where were you guys when we held our workshops?’ My emphasis in the future will be to organize a “Peace Memorial” for Ocean Beach – as OB was the center of two anti-war movements, both during the Vietnam war and during the Iraq war.


UNWASHEDwallmartTHONG November 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

We’re f***********k’d. Warmongers win again. I goosestep & salute them.
You cannot separate the soldiers from the warring; they are integrated, inseparable in perpetuity.


Frank Gormlie November 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Are you a pacifist against all wars? Against all violence? Are there any just wars? Or is war in and of itself evil? Or is war – armed resistance – justified when the aggressors are armed and merciless?


Goatskull November 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I’m kinda thinking he’s just a troll. That being said I took the bait.


UNWASHEDwallmartTHONG November 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

Slowly & surely I turn my head to view the past & remember the wars in my lifetime.
All I see are atrocities. Even on NPR last Friday they commemorated the savage bombing of Fallujah as if the battle were commendable. The valor, the honor, prestige of war runs deep in the psyche of mankind, even though the intangible definitions of those words are evasive. The war wagon rolls on like a steamroller over the logic & thinking of people. You cannot separate the soldier from the war; you cannot separate the soldier from the battle; you cannot separate the soldier & the battle & the death & the profits; they are all interwoven into the very fabric of this society.
Don’t even think of a peace memorial until you locate a time of peace.


Goatskull November 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

“You cannot separate the soldier from the war; you cannot separate the soldier from the battle; you cannot separate the soldier & the battle & the death & the profits; ”

Yeah you actually can. If you personally can’t then you are not the person of “conscious” you claim to be.


unwashedwallmartThong November 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Sophomoric at best.


Goatskull November 14, 2014 at 6:32 am

Whatever. I question whether you really give a shit war and just simply have disdain for anyone who serves or has served in the military. Your broad brush you paint on them seems pretty sophomoric.


Goatskull November 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

I’ll tell you what Thong. I will give you the courtesy of a more thought out response even though I said I don’t want to come to an understanding with you or others likeminded. Myself, and just about every service member I know, especially those who actually saw combat are the first to admit we the U.S. fucked things up over there and made them worse. We are the first to admit that ISIS probably came into being because of us. If you think all Soldiers and Marines (they make of the majority of boots on the ground forces) are just a bunch of mindless killers with no conscious you are wrong. Oh sure there are thugs amongst them (Bravo Company Operation Kill as documented in Rolling Stone, Hamdania, Haditha, and going father back Mai Lai), but they do not represent the overwhelming majority. Trust me, nearly everyone who’s experienced actual fighting are traumatized to some degree or another. Yes in the chaos of things innocent people were shot, maimed, permanent injuries and body disfigurement, homeless with a ski resort’s chance in Hell to recover what their losses. Everything you’ve ever describe in your posts over the years and more. In retrospect no one is probably more antiwar than those who’ve experienced it. If they were lucky enough to come back in one piece they are going to spend the rest of their lives in mental anguish and basically will just have to cope. So when you say things like “You cannot separate the soldier from the war; you cannot separate the soldier from the battle; you cannot separate the soldier & the battle & the death & the profits;” it infuriates me. If you can look into the eye of a service member with half his/her limbs missing, facial disfigurement, the service member who is likely permanently traumatized mentally, the spouse who lost a husband or wife, the kids who lost a parent, the parent to lost a son or daughter, the family who is permanently affected and may spend the rest of their lives in financial despair, the service member begging on intersections because our own government who sent them there can’t get its shit together to help them, the service member trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the VA (my job is assisting them to do just that) which is staffed by people who admit off the clock they don’t know what they’re doing with no fear of reprisal.
I’ve never really experienced war. 20 year and retired from the Navy and the closest I ever was to it was a good 900 miles away from Afghanistan and about 10 miles off the coast of Pakistan. My last duty station before retiring was Balboa and that was an eye opener. Seeing these people close up and talking to them really puts a perspective on things. Challenges they may never be able to overcome, guilt for the fact that they are still alive but their colleagues aren’t. And yes guilt for the fact that innocent people were killed including women and children and guilt for the fact that their very presence made things worse than before. Don’t let people like Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who authored American Sniper (who was murdered by a fellow vet) boasting about the # of kills he made influence the way you think about most service people. If you really hold the opinion you stated about not separating the warrior from the war then again I say you are not better of a human being than the very people you criticize.


unwashedWallmartTHONG November 17, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I certainly do appreciate the paragraphs, the perspective, & the thinking. I will re-read the entry & ponder your opinion; that I will promise. I’ve been thinking about how to separate aspects of war & those who suffer during conflicts.
(Reply may not post. Trouble in Kansas?)


Goatskull November 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

Thank you for at least reading and taking what I say into consideration. I admit I can be a bit of hothead in these kinds of situations.


unwashedWallmartTHONG November 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Aye! And sometimes I shoot from the hip.


Goatskull November 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Boo hoo for you if this memorial upsets you. Why don’t yku go to Chezwicks and say this to a vet after a couple bourbon shots? I’ve seen it before there and the results were kinda ugly for the guy who mouthed off but pretty funny to watch. I’m suremy saying this only confirms your analogy but people like you I don’t want to come to an understanding with.


Geoff Page November 13, 2014 at 8:26 am

Yea, all you did was confirm what he said. So the answer to a differing opinion is violence that you find “pretty funny to watch.” Why don’t you enlighten us Skull, are you a veteran?


Goatskull November 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

Answer to your first question, yes in this case. I’m not suggesting that vets should go around inflicting violence on anyone. It won’t prove anything and only make their own problems worse. I know I don’t want to be whisked off to jail and deal with the legal matters following. That being said, I DO find it amusing if some punk like Thong here mouths off to the wrong person and suffers the consequences. Answer to your second question, yes I am a vet. While I am on paper a veteran of the Afghan war at the very beginning of it, I was a good 900 miles away from actual fighting. I’m in more danger just getting into my car and driving down Rosecrans to get to work than I was when I was “at war”. That being said I know many people who were not so lucky. Mast last duty station before retiring was Balboa Hospital (tho I was not a Corpsman, doctor or nurse). From the stories I heard from people returning and the injuries they had, along with life after returning home I am appalled by people like Thong. Yeah we did do some insurmountable shit to others being in conflicts we should have never been, but that doesn’t change my opinion.


Geoff Page November 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

“I DO find it amusing if some punk like Thong here mouths off to the wrong person and suffers the consequences.” Amazing admission. I thought we fought all these wars to defend our freedoms, one of which is freedom of speech. So if a person voices an opinion that differs from yours, you feel violence is justified. That’s exactly the point, we are a violent society because we glorify war and violence and it is the answer to anything we disagree with. You proved the point.

Instead of being appalled by “Thong,” you should be appalled by the completely unnecessary, life-altering injuries all those unfortunate people in the hospital suffered. You should be appalled by an idiot President who lied to the country and got us into Iraq where these people lost limbs and minds. Rethink this one, your anger is misdirected.

Finally, your veteran status and experience highlight another problem. If we want to honor veterans, let’s honor those who were in actual combat and risked their lives. The “veteran” title is too broadly applied. I know guys from my generation who claim to be Viet Nam vets but whom never experienced a moment of fear or entered actual combat. I think some people improperly wear the sacred aura of “veteran” just because they were in the military. I think too many people falsely say they joined to protect and serve their country when they really only joined because it was a good job. Anyone who was brave enough to face combat deserves our complete respect, even if the combat they were sent into was a complete folly.


Goatskull November 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

I am appalled by everything you stated, which is why I’m also appalled by people like Thong. Based on his/her words, one gets the impression he has no compassion or sympathy for those very service people. Hey they signed up and therefor deserve their fate seems to be his frame of mind. He has a right a differing opinion but I have the right to hold no respect or regard for him. My opinion stands.


Goatskull November 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

And I agree about honoring only those who actually fought. I don’t know any non-combatant vets who think otherwise. I was under the impression that is exactly what this memorial is for.


Geoff Page November 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

My answer to where I was when they held workshops probably is that I was working at LAX from April 2012 to February 2014 and was only home on the weekends. I never saw anything about this until recently. I have to disagree that the time to complain is over, I started complaining as soon as I saw what was planned. I’d like to hear from other people as to how widely these workshops were publicized and how well attended they were. So far, the few comments here seem to agree that they don’t like it.

I appreciate the idea for a Peace Memorial, Frank, but where will it be? All the room at the beach appears to be devoted to a war memorial or veterans memorial, whatever name fits best.


Frank Gormlie November 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Please, Geoff, don’t take this too personal. Heaven knows how much you do for the Peninsula and OB and have done over the years.

And if you truly disagree with the direction that this project has taken to an extent that empowers you, we’re always open for discussion, as you know.

As for as a peace memorial, I’m still stewing about it.


Geoff Page November 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Not at all Frank, no worries. Even folks who agree on many things will have differences of opinions on some things. Such differences are very healthy I think. I respect your opinions because you are consistent in your beliefs and you base what you have to say on an honest evaluation of the facts at hand. I’ve been educated by people I respect, hard to believe but I’ve been wrong on a rare occasion. This is just something that hits me in a visceral way. I’m not sure what, if anything, I could do to influence this outcome but I plan to give it a go.


unwashedWallmartTHONG November 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

How about including some addition history lessons within the “rocks memorializing veterans.” Perhaps mention can be made about people who worked toward peaceful resolutions w/out going to war. Most history books omit anyone who didn’t jump onto the war wagon, but there are people who tried unsuccessfully to divert governments from the march to war.
Here’s bit of poetry for OBRag’s readers.
The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.


nostalgic November 12, 2014 at 12:57 pm

The OB CDC needs to raise $1,000,000 for this Veterans wall. In case you haven’t contributed yet, exactly how is this going to work, and who gets what when all is said and done?


Goatskull November 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I really can’t believe anyone is complaining about this. Get over yourselves.


Geoff Page November 13, 2014 at 8:23 am

If that is all you have to say, remember, just because you think something, the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily have to hear it.


Goatskull November 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

“We’re f***********k’d. Warmongers win again. I goosestep & salute them.
You cannot separate the soldiers from the warring; they are integrated, inseparable in perpetuity.”

Differing opinions is one thing, but no I have no respect for this one.


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