Stop Glorifying Football Players and Start Glorifying Soldiers


September 19, 2014

TIME: No football player is a hero in the way that a man or woman who risks his or her life in a just cause is a hero

And yet one still wonders what this misbehavior is all about.

When I posed the question to a friend of mine, he responded directly. What do you expect? They’ve been worshipped like gods ever since they were kids, he told me. And that’s true enough. Adults have melted in awe at their ability to fling a ball down a field, dodge a tackler, or knock another player on his can. Of course some have outsized egos and a royal sense of entitlement. Of course some think they can get away with more than the rest of us. If someone had treated you like a monarch from the time you could wear shoulder pads, so would you. If people took you for a hero because you could create first downs or stop them, what would you be like?

I thought about what my friend said (and what I heaped on to his observation myself) and after a while I suspected that he was on to something. The operative word here was a common enough one. The operative word was “hero.”


In our culture we treat sports players as heroes. Of course we do: because what they achieve on the playing field is amazing. Baseball players and hoop stars and of course gridiron greats perform spectacular feats all the time. And so we worship them—of course we do.

But is a football player (or an ace b-baller or a twenty game winning pitcher) really a hero? If you think so, you are parting company with tradition.

In the Western tradition a hero is, in the earliest manifestation, a warrior. It’s someone like Homer’s Hector, or Virgil’s Aeneas, who is willing to fight and if necessary to die to defend his people. Hector has to face the amazing Achilles in defense of Troy—and of course Hector loses. Aeneas fights all enemies, including the formidable Turnus, to secure the founding of Rome. In the Hebrew tradition, David steps up to Goliath to save his nation.

Other heroic archetypes come along over time. People learn to stand in awe not only of warriors, but of saintly individuals like Jesus and Buddha and Confucius. People learn to salute great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and later major scientists like Einstein. Human beings first find their heroes among warriors and spiritual leaders and men and women of imposing intellect. The saint, the warrior, the true thinker: these were the original heroes.

We still need heroes. Everyone at every time has. But we cannot find our martial heroes on the battlefield anymore. We do not know if our recent wars are just. We do not know if our causes are true. Were we right to invade Afghanistan? Were we ultimately justified in going into Iraq? Most people are not sure.

The newspapers don’t tell us many stories of the men and women who fight under our colors in the Middle East. We usually do not know who they are and what they are doing. Right now we do not have bona fide martial heroes to praise.

So we worship football players instead. We worship athletes: we swoon at the feet of simulation heroes. The average NFL fan can probably name 20 football heroes. How many heroes from the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan can the fan name?

Football players can be brave: it’s true. What they do on Saturday and Sunday afternoons is graceful, beautiful and dangerous. But no football player who ever lived or ever will live is a hero in the way that a man or woman who risks his or her life in a just cause is a hero. Those are real heroes. The Greeks were devoted to sports: they were, of course, the inventors of the Olympic games. But no Greek would tell you that an athlete was more important than Leonidas and the three hundred Spartans who stopped the Persians at Thermopylae. No Greek could imagine that an athlete was more to be praised than Themistocles and his sailors, who won the victory at Salamis.

Sports heroes are simulation heroes. I love sports—don’t get me wrong. But we’ve blown the games and the players all out of proportion.

The players: we treat them like Hector and Achilles and Aeneas and Ajax. We look at them as though they were man-gods. And after a decade and a half of being worshipped, is it surprising if pro athletes turn out to be willful, spoiled, bullying and selfish? Remember how the gods in the Greek myths were prone to act? They were willful and selfish and all the rest.

If we could start worshipping real heroes—true thinkers and just warriors and lovers of humanity—we could take back a little bit of our investment in football idols. That would be a fine change for us all—and I’ll bet it wouldn’t be a half bad thing for the players, either.

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By Lorra B. Chief writer for SilentSoldier



Part 2 – Obama’s Bite Is Bigger than His Bark – – How Has He Done This Term?

Obama, Who has your backPresident Obama’s second term in office is deemed not all it was cracked up to be.

The Arizona Daily Independent wrote, “Obama has been arrogant, dismissive and derisive toward our allies and conciliatory toward our adversaries.” They went on to blast Obama for “handing back a bust of Churchill to the British:”… the “failure to send a single American representative to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral; insulting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on multiple occasions;” and for “failing to attend the funeral of former Polish President Lech Walesa (he was playing golf).

As for our military, it will be shrinking and shrinking fast, if Obama gets his way. The Navy will be cut back like in the times of World War I and the Air Force will shrivel to an all time low in history, according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Generals and Colonels have been fired or “retired.”

“Some 197 Officers, who were suspected of `disloyalty` to Obama or disagreed with the administration on policy, have been purged…Is Obama’s narcissist paranoia finally coming to the surface?”

These moves leave many Americans worried about the security of our nation, and rightfully so.

“The United States won in Iraq, then Obama lost Iraq. The United States turned the tide in Afghanistan, then Obama lost the country. Obama lost Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria…in effect, he agreed to let Iran have nuclear weapons by doing nothing to stop Iran.”

“Not only will America be unable to defend its allies but also it will be severely stretched to defend its basic national security. All this as Russia slowly swallows up parts of Eastern Europe in order to rebuild a geographical Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China menaces Japan, Taiwan and the South Pacific nations.”

Obama is making the U.S. vulnerable and is also opening us up for attacks by trading the worst of the worst Taliban extremists for one soldier. Time magazine spoke to a Taliban commander who insisted Obama has given his group an incentive to kidnap more American troops saying the trade “has encouraged our people.”

How is immigration reform going? The president needs the cooperation of the other branches of office to get things done. This is true. However, you can’t make promises that you cannot keep to the American public and not expect a backlash. Everyone has agreed for years that immigration reform was needed yet the boarders remain unsecured and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens continue to cross into our country. In fact, many are herded like cattle and placed into “holding areas” until “we” know what to do with them.

Americans contest that if they are here illegally, then, please, take them back across the boarder to where they belong. Instead, our country is spending an astronomical amount of money on immigrants who don’t belong here while many of our own citizens go without basic needs.

“Conservatives thought that the border between the United States and Mexico was too porous, undercutting American workers and threatening American jobs. Business leaders, particularly those in agriculture, needed seasonal workers that could be reliably and legally employed. Religious groups and progressives bemoaned the inhumanity in a system that deported over 204,000 non-criminal, yet unrecognized immigrants per year, even in cases where the migrant had established deep roots in the communities. And of course Latino Americans were furious at the way that sections of their community were marginalized. Nearly everyone agreed change reform was required, President Obama included.

But since 2012, nothing,” reports The Amerigo. It seems the president has handed the reigns over to the Senate and washed his hands of it.

This takes us back to our last point; our boarders remain unsecured. But, there may be new administration hope.

American’s who where disenchanted with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are singing songs of joy this morning as he was beaten badly in his primary race to Tea Party’s David Brat in the Virginia Primary.

Brat stated to Breitbart News, “Once you announced that kids are welcome (illegals), they’re going to head in,” and he stated that, Cantor, is “the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty.” But, we have a long way to go until election time and nothing is written in stone until it is done.

How is health care reform going? House Republicans confirmed that half of all Obamacare applications are flawed. That means that at least 4 million Obamacare sign ups have flawed applications. The report released last week by the Energy and Commerce Committee found 2.1 million applications had “inconsistencies” in income, immigration and citizenship. Coverage is jeopardized for 1 in 4 sign-ups.

“While over 1.6 million annual and current income inconsistencies were identified, according to documents, none had been resolved by May 27. Another 1.4 million concerned citizenship and immigration problems, but only 62,000 had been resolved by that point. Just 97,000 of the 4,098,000 discrepancies had been addressed by the end of May,” according to The Daily Caller.

The Obama administration had failed to create the verification system and is blamed for causing customers problems by Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to reduce the national dept by $120 billion but the Congressional Budget now has no way to estimate the cost of Obamacare. How could they possibly know the cost when Obama has already made 41 changes to it so far, stated the Galen Institute.

The Affordable Care Act is far from Affordable.

How is our economy going? By 2021, America will lose 2.3 million jobs, predicts the Congressional Budget Office, due exclusively to Obamacare. They went on to say that, “Even without Obamacare, millions of Americans cannot find full-time work because of the uncertainty of Obama policies in the marketplace.”

Our government said that our economy had grown during the last three months of 2013, finally recovering from its “chronic lethargy,” stated The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis begs to differ and stated that the figure of 3.2 percent improvement was a “wild exaggeration.”

“The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of our country’s entire economic output, grew no more than 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter – a pitifully low growth rate for the largest economy in the world.”

Forbes web site stated that, “Average across the four quarters of last year, real GDP added 1.9 percent in 2013 from 2012.” 1.9 percent growth in an entire year is pitiful at best and not the “4 to 5 percent (growth rate) needed to provide enough jobs and restore housing prices to pre-recession levels,” stated an economist at the University of Maryland’s School of Business, Peter Morici.

According to Morici, that’s exactly what is needed to create a pre-recession level which would produce about 350,000 jobs a month. We are far from this and producing only about 200,000 a month.

January saw job increases of a little over 100,000 and only 175,000 in February. March was a low 191,000 and April showed increases of 288,000 jobs. May saw increases of 217,000 but still far below what is needed in this country to bounce back from our recession.

In a different Bureau of Economic Analysis report, a principal cause for the economic growth slowing is that, “personal income hasn’t grown in several months, making it unlikely consumer demand will pick up in the months ahead.

Capital gains tax has risen, reducing risk taking and shrinking job growth which, in turn, affects the stock market.

“This economy stinks. And even though it’s not getting reported on the evening new, the American knows that our country has been moving in the wrong direction ever since 2009,” reports

With just a few brief examples I can assure you the American people want answers…The American people want the change they were promised. What the American people did not realize when they re-elected President Obama was that his bite was bigger than his bark and he made promises he could not possibly keep.


By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

Betrayal in Benghazi

Bengahzi, request for help denied.

The combat code of the U.S. Military is that we don’t abandon our dead or wounded on the battlefield. In U.S. Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don’t run off and leave their wing-men. If one of our own is shot down, still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or die trying.  Among America’s fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such an irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith and personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope in the face of terribly long odds.

The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave ex-Seals who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is nothing short of dereliction-of-duty.  Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was fabricated in the aftermath was an outright lie in attempt to shield the President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.

It has been over eight months since the attack on our compound in Benghazi. The White House strategy, with the aid of a “lap dog press” has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.  The recent testimonies of the three “whistle blowers” have reopened the subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those responsible for this embarrassing debacle.

It would appear that the most recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the contention that there were simply no military assets that could be brought to bear in time to make a difference… mainly due to the unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft.  This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed “experts” the Administration trot out to make such an assertion. The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of response was half-way around the world, you don’t just sit on your penguin *** and do nothing. The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the world, but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs are based.

Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local):

When Hicks in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens informing him “Greg, we are under attack!” (his last words), he immediately notifies all agencies and prepares for the immediate initiation of an existing “Emergency Response Plan.”  At AFR ICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort, but is told to “stand down.”  By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead the compound and streaming live feed to various Command and Control Agencies… and everyone watching that feed knew damn well what was going on. At 11:30 PM Woods, Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving in Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.

So nothing could have been done, eh?  Nonsense.  If one assumes that tanker support really was not available… what about this:

·     When at 10:00 PM AFR ICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation for the launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS Sigonella to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.

·     By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover the 522 nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours.

·     While in-route, the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules of engagement, and radio frequencies to use.

·     The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover the 377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 AM… which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty and their team.

·     Providing that  the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its tracks, only a few well placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity would assuredly do the trick.

·     Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to recover at Sigonelli after jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so at Tripoli International Airport, only one-half hour away.

·     As for those hand-wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing rights, political correctness and dozens of other reasons not to act… screw them.  It is high time that our “leadership” get their priorities straight and put America’s interests first.

The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive.

Dozens in the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with “72 virgins”… and a clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS terrorist contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a good idea to “tug on Superman’s cape.”

Of course all this would depend upon a Commander In Chief who was more concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm’s way than getting his crew rest for a campaign fund-raising event in Las Vegas the next day.  As well as a Secretary of State that actually understood “What difference did it make?”, or a Secretary of Defense whose immediate response was not to the effect that “One of the military tenants is that you don’t commit assets until you fully understand the tactical situation.” Was he not watching a live feed from the unarmed drone… and he didn’t understand the tactical situation?  YGBSM!

Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to “stand down?” Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed, removed from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty.  The combat forces of the United States of America deserve leadership that really does “have their back” when the chips are down.

Colonel Phil “Hands” Handley, USAF (Ret.) is credited with the highest speed air-to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F-4D and F-4E. His awards include 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Silver Star. 

This article was originally posted in “Front Page Mag” and written by, Colonel Phil Handley.

Col. Phil Hendley

Col. Phil Hendley

If you put the federal government in change of the Sahara Desert, in five years, there’d be a shortage of sand.” 

-Milton Friedman


By, Lorra B. Chief writer for Silent Soldier





Military Reserves Win $6 Million in American Airlines Law Suit!

United Airlines

United Airlines

Reserve component service members will receive $6 million in damages from United Airlines. Reserve members said United was underpaying pension benefits to those who were called for duty in the National Guard and reserves.

The 1994 federal law, the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), prohibits any civilian employer from discriminating against reservists who are called to serve their country.

United Airlines has agreed to pay one of the largest class-actions settlements in USERRA’s history.

According to USERRA, all companies are responsible to continue to give regular payments to a service members 401(k) pension accounts while they are deployed for duty. United fell very short on their end of the bargain and are now paying several thousand dollars to each reservist.

“This settlement sends a strong message that veterans will band together and take collective action when their rights are violated or denied by their employer,” said Peter Romer-Friedman. Mr. Friedman, one of the attorneys who represented the service members, is with the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers Toll.

“These men and women served their country with honor and distinction, so it was an honor for me to serve those veterans in this case,” said Thomas G. Jarrard. Mr. Jarrard, one of the counsel members, served in the U.S. Marine Corp and Reserves for more than 23 years.

“I am thankful that United Airlines had the integrity to do the right thing for its service member pilots, and I truly hope that other American companies will follow United’s example,” added Plaintiffs’ counsel Robert W. Mitchell, a former U.S. Marine.

In the deal that was announced Tuesday, it became clear that United was providing funds but they were far too small. The amount they were giving for union employees was being based on a minimum wage standard, not on the actual wage they were earning directly before deployment.

The class action settlement will be awarded to 1.160 United (mostly) pilots, serving in the military from 2000 to 2010.

Christen David, a United Airlines spokesperson, told Military Times, “Veterans are an important part of our workforce and we thank them for their service. We’re committed to making this right and ensuring that United’s contributions to veteran employees’ retirement plans meet the spirit of USERRA.”

Concerns had been raised inside the Pentagon, according to Military Times, that employers would grow weary of special accommodations for part-time troops and employees who are reservists suddenly being called for duty and “leaving their civilian jobs.”

It seems that worry didn’t pan out because over 10,000 employers surveyed showed very little concern about hiring employees who are reservists.

“It’s absolutely essential to have a strong re-employment rights law to make sure we have people who are willing to serve in the Guard and Reserve, stated Romer-Friedman.

The lawsuit was originally brought by James D. Tuten, an 18-year pilot with United. Tuten served in the U.S. Air Force for three tours of duty.

Attorney Mathew Crotty, taking attention away form their accomplishments, stated the case pivoted on Tuten’s courage to stand up to United. Tuten wasn’t only standing up for himself, he was standing up for all the reservists in his same situation.

Because he had the bravery to stand up for what was right, Tuten has impacted many reservist for generations to come.

By, Lorra B. Chief writer for Silent Soldier