'Tard of the Week - The U.S. Air Force

Thursday, May 21, 2009
You know, I'm proud of my service. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Navy, and I'm constantly amazed and humbled by the incredible accomplishments of my brothers and sisters-in-arms.

But there's one thing about the military that really pisses me the hell off, and that's bureaucratic stupidity.

There's an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel named Victor J. Fehrenbach who is a fighter weapons systems officer, and has been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle since 1998. The Air Force has spent $25 million training and equipping him to perform his duties for the Air Force, which he has executed well and with honor. He has received at least 30 awards and decorations including nine air medals, one of them for heroism, as well as campaign medals for Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is now a flight instructor in Idaho, where he has passed on his skills to more than 300 future Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons systems officers.

He's two years from retirement age, and by all accounts he's a credit to his uniform.

Except the Air Force is going to discharge him because he's gay. Obviously his skills with the F-15E are contingent on his sexual preference. Obviously.

Seriously? Seriously? You're going to discharge a decorated combat veteran with years of experience in his field because he prefers men?

I am so sick of this stupidity. Gay men and women have been serving in the Armed Forces for as long as there's been an Armed Forces. Those that serve and aren't willfully blind know that's the case, and for the most part, simply don't care. The Bible-thumping homophobes care, sure, but for the most part, no one gives a rat's ass about this except those with a religious agenda.

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is RETARDED. It costs the military highly trained people every year, and prevents those gay and lesbian citizens who want to serve but are already out of the closet from joining. It's wasteful, and discriminatory, and above all, it's stupid. Lt Col Fehrenbach is the same man he was when he flew all those missions, he's the same man who received commendations for bravery. Why are we wasting his talent, his training, his service? So we can maintain a military that's ideologically "pure?"

U.S. Air Force - you are a 'tard. This guy has served honorably and well. Too bad you're not doing the same.


Salute to Smart Man Vince.

11 comments:

Jim Wright said...

Just like I said on Vince's site about this same subject: DADT is stupid, dishonorable, and ridiculous. And it's costing us money and good people.

To be perfectly candid, I served with a number of folks who I know were gay - and you what? I far prefer their company to the anti-gay ultra-religious conservative dickwads any day.

See? You've managed to piss me off now, Janiece, thanks.

vince said...

The Air Force is a 'tard in that they have an escape clause, as I pointed out in my post on this.

The bigger 'tards, in my opinion, are those in Congress who don't have the balls to stand up to the every-shrinking right wing and get rid of the law. Screw the foot-dragging - stand up for what's right, and what's best for our country.

Geek Goddess said...

Sigh.

My grandfather was in WWI, serving as a balloonist in Italy. My father was a tail gunner on B-52s, 23 years in SAC. My brother was in 101st, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. My ex's father served on a sub in WW2, lost a brother in Italy.

My oldest son is a nuke mechanic on a Los Angeles class fast attack sub, and is literally counting the days until his 6-year hitch is over. He calls me with stories that are so unbelievably stupid I can't fathom why we haven't been successfully invaded by Granada.

In addition to weird stuff at work, his latest is that he has developed a hernia (from pulling his own weight and that of three others...) and is scheduled for surgery, in a MONTH. Until then, he continues working on the boat (they're in dry dock). But, after the hernia repair, he won't be considered fit to stay on the sub!

Cindi in CO said...

I am so. sick. of this crap.

That is all.

Fathergoose said...

I read your blog each day, I find it very entertaining. Living in parker, it is nice to here the commentary of a local resident that is not conservative for the sake of being conservative. However, I have to take to task the comment “Bible-thumping homophobes”. Now I personally thump a Bible each time I crack a walnut with my ball-peen hammer, but that is another story. Blanket statements such as that are what cause me to drink boxed wine. To assume that all bible thumpers are homophobes and all homophobes are Bible thumpers is just wrong. I know some of each and some that are both, I don’t really like either, but that takes us back to the boxed wine.

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, Fathergoose. It's nice to know I have a local reader!

I don't assume that all Bible-thumpers are homophones (or vice versa), although I can see how you might make that assumption.

Most of the regulars around here would not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered "homophobes," but several could reasonably be called "Bible-thumpers."

It seems to me that those who are most adamant about not allowing gay citizens the right to serve openly in the military fall into both categories, which is why I made the comment I did.

Please accept my apology if the comment offended you, as that was not my intent. Unless, of course, you actually are a Bible-thumping homophobe, in which case, yes, I meant to offend you and I'm not sorry at all.

Please note also that I do not intend offense with the phrase "Bible-thumper." I use it in the same way I call myself a "dirty, dirty liberal."

Fathergoose said...

Please never apologize to me either for your comments or if you think you may have offended me. I wish more people were offended in our society, and I have very thick skin. My only hope is that people be accurate. And while I always want tolerance I also appreciate and want good discussions. So if I choose to comment again please understand it’s for the sake of discussion and not argumentative. I would, however, appreciate your help; I love your terminology but I really cannot call my daughter a HC (see I can’t even type it) so it's been Hot Wife and Smart Daughter, not quite the same. Enjoy your graduations.

Janiece Murphy said...

Fathergoose, I was simply trying to be courteous to a regular reader who was also (until today) a lurker. I'm glad you're not offended, and please feel free to comment whenever you wish. We're always up for a good discussion here at HCDSM, and we understand there's an obvious difference between an honest difference of opinion and trolling.

I usually refer to the kids as the Smart Twins when I discuss them both, or the SmartBoy when it's just my son.

I don't really have permission to blog about my daughter (except in the most general of ways), so the whole "Hot Daughter" thing hasn't really come up for me until very recently.

It's whatever you're comfortable with, really.

And thanks for your well-wishes. The Hot Daughter graduated today, and the Smart Boy graduates tomorrow.

Anne C. said...

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Jim Wright said...

Fathergoose?

Say, you wouldn't be a big Cary Grant fan, wold you? Because that's probably one of my favorite Grant movies.

Jim Wright said...

Geek Goddess, your son needs to speak to his Chief, and if that doesn't work he needs to talk to the Command Master Chief, and if that doesn't work he needs to go see the XO.

He also needs to go back to medical, off ship and directly to base medical and talk to the doctors, he needs to describe exactly what he's doing, work wise, and have the doc determine if that's acceptable given his condition. If not, the doc needs to issue a light duty chit. It is absolutely imperative that he does this ASAP.

Yard periods and refurb/overhauls are always periods of intense work and shorthanded personal (at least half the crew will be off at school or training, leaving the rest to pick up the slack, which is what it sounds like your son is dealing with), HOWEVER, this is no excuse to put a Sailor's health at risk. Period. If he is doing heavy lifting with a hernia, he could very well suffer serious consequences - and the command needs to be aware of it immediately. He should NOT assume that they are. He may have told his Chief or LCPO, but that doesn't mean that they in turn informed the chain of command. They are under enormous pressure to get things done on time, and sometimes in that situation people lose track of what really matters, i.e. the Sailors.