opinion web
Conservative Opinion General Opinion
Marc Dion
Marc Dion
12 Feb 2016
The Opioid Crisis Is Crap

I live in a poverty-stricken former factory town of about 85,000 people. We are, they tell us, in the middle … Read More.

8 Feb 2016
Shot Below the Belt

A couple of people described glancingly in news stories as "top Army and Marine Corps generals" just told the … Read More.

29 Jan 2016
Dry Eye

I had to go buy a little bottle of artificial tears for my mother tonight. That's an odd thing to be buying … Read More.

The Reluctant Veteran


My father was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, in for the duration and stationed in the Marianas Islands. He was in the planes that dropped bombs on Japan.

When he got out, he came home with nothing but the uniform he was wearing, which he threw away as soon as he got some civilian clothes.

"I left two duffel bags full of uniforms in San Francisco when they checked us in," he used to say. "I started to walk away and this guy said to me, 'Hey, you forgot your stuff.'"

"I told him I didn't want any of it," my father said.

He lived a pretty normal life after that, tending bar, working in a men's store, finally settling into corporate America as a middle-level manager.

He would not accept any veteran's benefits: no insurance, no mortgage, no G.I. Bill for school, nothing.

They should give that stuff to the guys who enlisted," he said. "They had to come get me."

He saw combat.

"I was scared all the time," he said. "I thought I was gonna die every day."

He never joined a single veteran's organization.

"You ever been to the VFW?" he used to say. "You go down here and this one's the commander and this guy's the sergeant at arms and they're all wearing their medals and they're all saluting each other.

"Didn't they get enough of that shit when they were in the service?" he'd say. "I got enough of that shit."

He hated parades, too, and war movies.

The war story he told most often involved him sitting in a bar in Arizona, watching a strip show.

"The stripper was married to the comedian," he said.

"He was cheating on her. While he was doing his monologue, she came out with a gun and shot him dead. I went out through the bathroom window."

And he'd laugh like hell.

He was unsentimental.

"The food was crap," he'd say. "The uniforms were ugly, and they were dropping bombs on you."

When his kid brother wanted to drop out of high school and join the army in 1943, my father wrote him a letter.

"I told him, 'What are you, stupid?'" my father said. "'Finish school, go out with a few more girls. Maybe it'll be over before you graduate. What are you, in a hurry to get killed?'"

His kid brother enlisted anyway and was in Europe with Gen. Patton.

"You idiot," my father used to say to him 30 years later.

In 30 years as a reporter, I've covered Memorial Day parades, Veterans Day parades and military funerals. I've taken down the words of politicians as they dedicate a bridge or a stretch of highway to "the brave fallen," to "the heroes."

They shove that "hero" stuff down your throat with a toilet plunger these days, days when you can't get a good job in this country.

So, when the flag flutters up the pole and "Taps" sounds in the bright sunlight, I think of Pop, who hated it all and told me his truth, unashamed.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



8 Comments | Post Comment
Sir; in the battle of forms, informality against formality always has the edge.. If you have ever had to relate informally you see what dynamics relationships can be... Many people can't handle it... Do you want a relationship free for all, no rules unless rules of a moment??? I can easier imagine spending an hour in a class room full of kindergartners... Mr. shweeney, Mr. Shweeney; Mr. SHWEENEY!!! Until I am ready to plead: Get out of my head you little maniacs... Don't you know any rules??? This ain't the Big Horn and I ain't Custer so why do I feel outnumberd, and surrounded??? Its because there is no form children recognize... If you want a chain of comand you need a form... Every form is a form of relationship, but you father's willingness to think objectively about the form of which he was member is unusual... You see that dying societies lose their relationships, and their relationships become excessively formal and unrewarding... To see a form like the military formally tells that the place for such a form is where people are supposed to act as one; and where people are supposed to act and think as individuals, informality is more desired...
Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sat May 24, 2014 8:43 PM
Good thing Obama is there to catch all the fallen vets.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Tom
Sun May 25, 2014 9:20 AM
Bush start wars and cut taxes he no there to catch fallen vets. Republican never there to catch fallen vets. Tom need to read Joe Conason column show how they stop funding for help all vets..
Comment: #3
Posted by: steveM
Sun May 25, 2014 9:11 PM
Steve M, the administrative branch of our government has been under the control of Barack Obama for 6 years. There has been cash for banks bailouts, auto company bailouts, green energy bailouts, phones and EBT for anybody, and an incredible rise in our national debt during THIS Presidents term of office. Obama promised to take care of the vets, but HE DID NOT. Don't bring up Bush, Nixon, Cheney, Herbert Hoover or stupid Joe Conason. Defend your position, tell me what PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has done in the past 6 years to insure that Vets were well taken care of during the only term that should matter to you and to Barack Obama; His term. He's got a pen. He's got a phone. What actions did this President, the one in office this moment, take? Fobbing this off on others is dishonest. Barrack raised taxes, and he did not take care of the Vets. This is on the administrative branch and no other. Whether you want to admit it or not, the Democrats were not there the catch these fallen Vets. And you know it.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Tom
Tue May 27, 2014 7:18 AM
"The food was crap," he'd say. "The uniforms were ugly, and they were dropping bombs on you." Dion

And when you called the VA during Barack Obama's term, they told you to be patient for 7 months and you MIGHT get an appointment.

And then the Democrats tried to weasel out of bearing responsibility for this shameful mess. At least the soldiers showed some courage while Democrats run and hide and then point the finger at someone else. Your administration, your fault. For once get angry at your team. They let us all down.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Tom
Tue May 27, 2014 7:36 AM
"One of the scariest aspects of our times is how seldom either people or policies are judged by their track record." - Thomas Sowell in another section of today's Creators.

This thought becomes axiomatic when placed near the comment section of Dion's article. What an ugly lie, to blame this on anybody else but the chief executive of our nation.

You have no shame.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Tom
Tue May 27, 2014 7:52 AM
Tom, why I need feel shame for my opinion? Why I need get angry at team? Sorry you let down, maybe you like McCain Palin better? Romney Ryan? Maybe if they get in we still be in war war and more wars. You not no difference between fact and opinion?

Here my opinion- I bring up history I bring up fact and no fiction even like youself can find fact online.Who you are tell anyone feel shame for opinion? You same say he teacher and we need learn from history then no want history bought up if it no serve you no fit you opinion.
Shame belong to Republican create obstructions for Obama and Obama administration when he try to keep word for vet is when Republican obstruction for VA funding begun.

Here truth-
Republican only votes to fund sending guys to war, not for to care for them when they return.
When the Republican is in power as the majority, it cuts VA funding. When the Republican Party is in the minority, it blocks bills that will help veterans, just as the Senate Republicans did in February of this year when they blocked a bill that would have provided the VA with $21 billion to build 27 new VA hospitals. Their two needless wars caused 2 million needless casualties for which they refused to provide for.

Problem with Tom he no like history hold too much truth now internet available anyone able learn history.. Here your history lesson Tom-
In 2003, President Bush cut VA funding, forcing 200,000 veterans to wait as long for as 6 months before they received medical care.
When President Obama take office budget for 2009 Bush budget no Obama's budget. Bush no ask for funding wars Iran and Afghanistan he leave that to Obama and Republican blame Obama for it.

During the Bush Administration, I constantly read tragic stories about GI and Vet suicides from post-traumatic stress syndrome. At the same time Bush, cut funding for the VA to give tax cuts for the rich.
In 2011, Republican Michelle Bachmann called for capping VA health benefits. Paul Ryan slashed $ 6 billion from the VA budget.
This year, the Republicans filibustered an attempt to add $ 21 billion to the VA.
the homeless Vetern bill
the Veterans re-intergration bll.
the Veterans affairs bill.
the disabled Veterans bill.
the Tricare Health bill
the Veterans program
jobs bills for Veterans.
the hiring tax credit or Veterans.
loans programs for Veterans.
And it not like Republicans unaware that there was a problem when they blocked funding for Vets. In March of 2013, some vets were waiting up to 506 days for benefits. It was found then that As the population of new veterans has swelled in recent years, the annual number of claims received by VBA has gone up. Compared to the past, these claims have a higher number of disabling conditions, and some of these conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, make their assessment complex. Knowing that and they still blocked bill that would fund VA.

Only military Republican support is Military Industrial Complex no support soldiers.

Tom you joke same as GOP is joke. want everyone forget Republican obstruction and want to tell another what to think what to do and blame Obama when get caught.
You think you smart? I no think so. Think you just in love with smell of own opinion get mad when face truth and fact.
Comment: #7
Posted by: steveM
Tue May 27, 2014 11:18 AM
Six years into Obama's term, Steve.

"This year, the Republicans filibustered an attempt to add $ 21 billion to the VA."

So it's not a lack of oversight, or caring, it's a lack of money. The VA had no money to treat those soldiers. Let's see. From OMB, "...for 2014, VA spending of $151 billion comes in behind the Department of Health and Human Services at $958 billion, the Social Security Administration at $914 billion, the Department of Defense at $593 billion, and the Department of Treasury (mainly interest costs) at $469 billion."

151 Billion couldn't get the job done? Really. I'm not mad at anyone, you are allowed you opinion. But if 151 BILLION won't do for the vets, tell me what figure will cut it with you. How many BILLIONS do you think we got before we run out of BILLIONS.

Obama failed, you're just too angry too admit it. 151 billion shames, and I don't care if you don't like it. I bet the vets really didn't like it. Anyone who doesn't think 151 BILLION couldn't get the job done is mad.

Comment: #8
Posted by: Tom
Mon Jun 2, 2014 12:46 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Marc Dion
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 13 Feb 2016
Susan EstrichUpdated 12 Feb 2016
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 12 Feb 2016

11 Nov 2011 Pieces of the War

27 May 2011 Goodbye to the Boys

30 May 2014 The White House Needs a Jew