“They Fought for Our Freedom”

By Doug Newman
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Posted at Liberty Calling and Daily Paul.
I update this periodically, as I become aware of new stories. Therefore, if you want to post this elsewhere, please just link to this URL instead. Thanks!
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It is easy to stand up and cheer for your favorite government activity. It is quite another to acknowledge what happens in the real world.

There I was. Ricky Recruit. 1983.

Me. Ricky Recruit. 1983.

I almost never try to speak for other people. However, I think it is fairly safe to say that the average military recruit firmly believes that he joins the military so that you and I can live and breathe in freedom. To be sure, he had other reasons for joining, but I think the defense of liberty is a fairly common denominator.

That is certainly what I thought when I was in Navy boot camp in Orlando, Florida 30 years ago. After all, this is what I had been told all my life: sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines defend freedom.

But is this actually what they do?

Consider the following:

The Norfolk Four.

The Norfolk Four.

  • In 1997, four sailors from the USS Saipan (LHA-2) were falsely accused of the rape and murder of a Norfolk, Virginia, woman. One spent eight-and-one-half years in prison while the other three were sentenced to life in prison. These three were pardoned in 2009. Even though the actual killer is serving a life sentence, four innocent men are still required to register as sex offenders and are still fighting to clear their names.
  • Charles Loeks was 18 and fresh out of Marine boot camp in 1994. On a trip home to Covina, California, he was hanging out with a few friends when he was arrested for resisting arrest, and nothing else. He spent 21 days in Los Angeles County jail, even though he had harmed no one.
  • Carlos Jaramillo is a former Marine combat instructor who lives in Onslow County, North Carolina. Watch what happened when he recorded a sheriff’s deputy who arrested him for no apparent reason.
  • Noel Polanco was an unarmed 22-year-old National Guardsman who was shot and killed by New York City police at a traffic stop near LaGuardia Airport.
  • John Laigaie, a retired Army master sergeant, was threatened at gunpoint by police while legally carrying a gun in a park in Bellingham, Washington.
  • Homer Wright is an 80-year-old Army veteran who was charged with felony gun use after he shot a burglar who entered his home in Englewood, Illinois.
mark schmidter

This landed a Vietnam vet in jail.

  • Mark Schmidter, a Vietnam veteran who lives in Orlando, is currently serving 145 days in a cage for passing out jurors’ rights information on the steps of a local courthouse.
  • Justin Ross of Ankeny, Iowa was recently discharged from the Army. Police used a battering ram to enter his home executing a warrant for some items purchased with stolen credit cards. They did not find any of the stolen items.
  • Saadiq Long is an Air Force veteran who was placed on a TSA no-fly list. He had to battle for months to be removed from this list just so he could fly home from Qatar to visit his ailing mother.
  • Chuck Benton of Long Grove, Iowa, served 22 years in the Army. He was arrested and charged simply for living in the same house with his son who was growing medical marijuana.
  • Cody Donovan is a former Marine MP who lives in New Milford, N.J. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon after carrying a loaded gun into the Garden State Plaza mall when he attempted to help police apprehend the shooter there recently.
  • In 1932, 17,000 veterans marched on Washington to demand payment of bonuses they had been promised as a result of their service in World War I. Two were shot and killed by police. 55 were arrested and 135 were injured when the United States Army became an instrument of domestic law enforcement. Two of the chief enforcers were named MacArthur and Patton. Yes, those two.
  • bonus marchMark England, a combat medic who saw action in Iraq and Kosovo was beaten and tasered by police at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.
  • Air Force Staff Sergeant Matt Pinkerton of Glen Burnie, Maryland, faces second degree murder charges after fatally shooting a home intruder in September.
  • Leo Hendrick, an army veteran who lives in Northwood, Iowa, faces up to 30 days in jail and a $600 fine for raising chickens in his yard.
  • Yes, the cops had a search warrant. However that in no way excuses their vandalizing the home of Army veteran Dan Neary of Lakewood, Washington.
  • These World War II veterans were threatened with arrest for visiting a closed war memorial in Washington, D.C. during the October “shutdown.”
  • These Vietnam veterans actually were arrested for visiting a New York City war memorial after curfew.
  • vets arrested nycDenis Reynoso was a disabled veteran who saw action with the Marines in Iraq. He was shot dead by police in his Lynn, Massachusetts apartment.
  • Nick Morgan, an Iraq veteran, was pulled out of a crowd by police in Hempstead, New York, and trampled by their horses.
  • Gary Shepherd of Broadhead, Kentucky was a Vietnam veteran. He used medical cannabis to relieve the pain in his left arm, which was crippled during the war. Shepherd was shot dead by a SWAT team, after they had threatened to cut down his cannabis plants.
  • Valente and Manuel Valenzuela of San Antonio produced sufficient documentation to enlist, respectively, in the Army and Marine Corps. Both fought in Vietnam, where Valente won a Bronze Star. Now they are facing deportation to Mexico because of erroneous entries on their birth certificates.
  • Jerome Murdough, a homeless Marine Corps veteran, died in a jail cell on New York’s Rikers Island after being arrested for trespassing. A heating malfunction caused the temperature in the cell to soar to 100 degrees.
  • Kenneth Chamberlain was a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran living in White Plains, New York. Early one morning he set off his medical alert device. The first responders in this case were not medics, but rather police, who proceeded to kill Mr. Chamberlain.
veterans for 64

Colorado veterans say LEGALIZE!

brandon raub marine

Raub: forced into a mental hospital for some harmless Facebook remarks.

  • Brandon Raub, a Marine who was decorated for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, was forced to spend a week in a Virginia mental hospital over some “anti-government” Facebook posts. (His interviewer here, John Whitehead, is a constitutional attorney, Vietnam infantry veteran and superlative anti-police state blogger.)
  • Operation Vigilant Eagle is a project of the Department of Homeland Security that has led to numerous Iraq and Afghanistan veterans “finding themselves under surveillance, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, or arrested, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.” Indeed, merely being a “returning veteran” can have you designated as a potential terrorist.
  • We will never know the whole truth about Navy veteran and former Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner, who was the subject of a police manhunt and media witch hunt earlier this year. He never got the chance to tell his story in court.
  • Matthew Corrigan of Washington, D.C. was a first sergeant in the Army Reserve and a veteran in Iraq. His home was destroyed in a SWAT rampage because it was reported to the police that Corrigan had a gun.
  • Jamie Dean was an Army veteran of Afghanistan was diagnosed with PTSD. Upset about his impending deployment to Iraq, Dean had an intense emotional outburst at his Maryland home in December 2006. Even though he neither harmed nor threatened anyone, he was shot and killed by a local SWAT team.

    bennie coleman

    Bennie Coleman, USMC, retired.

  • Bennie Coleman, 76, is a retired Marine who lost his Washington, DC, home because of a $134 tax lien that District authorities had sold to an investor.
  • Jeremy Usher is a former Navy hospital corpsman who lives in Greeley, Colorado. He faces jail time for using medical marijuana to treat his PTSD.
  • Brittany Ball, a 23-year-old soldier at Fort Jackson, S.C., was manhandled by a cop at a local bar, even though she had done nothing wrong.
  • Air Force Airman First Class Michael Davidson was shot in the stomach by police in Opelika, Alabama at the scene of a traffic accident.
  • Benjamin Wassell sustained traumatic brain injuries while with the Marines in Iraq. The Buffalo-area resident was the first person charged with illegal gun sales under New York’s new SAFE Act.
  • erik scott murderedErik Scott graduated from West Point in 1994 and served as a tank platoon leader. In 2010, he was gunned down and killed by police as he peacefully walked out of a Las Vegas Costco.
  • Scott Olsen saw action with the Marines in Iraq. Later, he would join the Occupy Oakland movement. In October, 2011, he was hit in the head with a projectile shot at him by law enforcement officers and suffered a fractured skull.
  • Derek Hale served honorably with the Marines in Iraq. Although, he had committed no crime, he died after being tasered three times and then shot three times by police in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Roderick King, an Iraq war veteran, was arrested in Philadelphia after he and his friends had criticized a cop’s driving.
  • Howard Dean Bailey, a Navy veteran, was deported to his native Jamaica when immigration authorities discovered he had taken a plea bargain in a marijuana case in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • To be sure, the recently deceased folk singer Pete Seeger could not have been more leftist in his politics. However, Seeger served three years in the Army after he was drafted during World War II. He was sentenced to one year in jail after refusing to reveal his political connections to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956. He appealed this sentence, citing the First Amendment, and ultimately spent only four hours behind bars.
  • treehouse veteranEileen Erickson, whose husband Sid served in Vietnam and died of Agent Orange exposure, is in the crosshairs of authorities in Venice, California, who want to tear down the tree house her husband built before he died.
  • Larry Kirschenman of Nogales, Arizona, served 22 years in the Army and was decorated for bravery in Vietnam. Learn how he was brutalized by Border Patrol agents when asking why he was subjected to a warrantless search.
  • We will never know for sure what happened in Army veteran Matthew Stewart’s Ogden, Utah, apartment one night in January 2012, as he will never have his day in court. He was in prison awaiting trial on charges of shooting and killing one of the police officers who raided his apartment searching for marijuana. Stewart, whose guilt was never proven, committed suicide in his cell.
  • Sergio Arreola is a cop in Los Angeles who served with the Marines in Iraq. He was beaten by the police in suburban Pomona for no good reason whatsoever.
  • This former Army paratrooper is appealing to the New York state legislature to legalize medical marijuana. He has severe multiple sclerosis and is “forced to break the law to have some semblance of a bearable existence.”
jose guerena

Guerena, killed in a SWAT raid.

Hounded by the IRS for decades.

Joe Louis did so much for the troops, yet was hounded by the IRS for decades.

Flat lined by the Denver PD.

Moore, flat lined by the Denver PD.

  • James Moore, my brothah from anothah mothah, walked away from a very lucrative engineering position in San Jose to re-enlist in the Army following 9/11. He sustained significant physical injuries as well as PTSD while serving in the Special Forces in Afghanistan. On the afternoon of March 25, 2008, Moore, who had done absolutely nothing wrong, was beaten to the point of flat lining by Denver police.
  • buehler on tv

    Buehler, West Point ’99.

    • One of the coolest people I have never met is Antonio Buehler. Buehler graduated from West Point in 1999, earned his Ranger tab, and saw action in Kosovo and Iraq. (He also sports an MBA from Stanford.) Early in the morning on January 1, 2012, Buehler was arrested for taking a few pictures of Austin police manhandling a young woman outside a 7-11. Buehler has been arrested four times since. He heads the Peaceful Streets Project, whose members work to expose abuse, brutality and overreach both in Austin and across the nation.

There are no doubt numerous other injustices done to veterans that I do not know about. Enough to fill a book. None of these things would have happened if America were a free society. As Kokesh puts it, “The greatest enemies to the Constitution are not to be found in the sands of some far off land but rather right here at home.”

I cannot speak to the specific political beliefs of most of the veterans I have mentioned here. Some may be pacifists, while others may make John McCain look like a hippie in Haight-Ashbury. No matter what their individual views may be, the freedom they risked their lives for was flagrantly violated on the streets of the land they fought to protect.

With the ability to carry 192 nuclear warheads, just one Ohio-class submarine is the world's sixth largest nuclear power.

With a maximum capacity of 192 nuclear warheads, just one Ohio-class submarine is the world’s sixth largest nuclear power.

Society endlessly applauds sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines for “fighting for our freedom”. It is in no way disrespectful to say that this is not what they do. No foreign government or terrorist group poses any threat to our liberty. America accounts for about half of the world’s military spending. We have 300 ships in our Navy, plus thousands of planes, tanks and nuclear warheads as well as 300 million firearms in private hands. Nobody is going to invade us.

In a constitutional country, which America ceased to be 100 years ago, the job of the military – a vital and most noble one – is to defend the borders, shores and airspace. It cannot protect you from being tyrannized domestically. Indeed, all too often, armies have been instruments of domestic tyranny. Our Constitution forbids a standing army for just this reason.

Keeping'em free.

Keeping’em free.

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had enormous military establishments.  How did things work out in these countries?

I am a Christian who believes liberty is a gift from God – Leviticus 25:10; II Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1. To quote Jefferson, liberty is preserved not by military might, but by “eternal vigilance” against one’s own government at all levels. It is the grossest form of disrespect to send young men around the world to “fight for freedom” while relinquishing freedom on the home front.
soldier letter cartoonFor several years, America has had the world’s highest incarceration rate. Since 2001, Americans have gladly accepted previously unthinkable intrusions on their freedom in the name of “safety” and “security”. These include, but are not limited to: warrantless searches and spying, the suspension of habeas corpus, sexual assault as a condition of travel, rampant police brutality, indefinite detention without any semblance of due process, severe restrictions on peaceful protest, massive ammunition purchases by DHS and surveillance drones in our skies watching our every move. Can predator drones be far behind?

And in every election 98 percent of voters put their stamp of approval on this monstrosity.

boston martial law 3

Watertown, Massachusetts, on the 238th anniversary of the “shot heard ’round the world.”

A little over a month ago, Boston and several surrounding towns got a serious taste of martial law. How many military veterans were on the receiving end of this?  Is this what they signed up to fight for?

Stop thinking in clichés. Have a good hard look at everything your media and government tell you. This includes media outlets and parts of the government that you like. Study. Read. Ask questions. And learn that the defense of liberty is not the duty of the military. Rather, it is your duty and mine.
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Special thanks to Radley Balko and William Grigg for providing several of the above stories.

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About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at www.thefot.us And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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One Response to “They Fought for Our Freedom”

  1. Joe says:

    Well said my friend, well said.

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