And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness. – T.S. Elliot
One of my favorite days to celebrate is coming up, and you’re probably thinking Thanksgiving or New Years, but Veteran’s Day is just around the corner.(For all of you reading this on Monday, and you don’t know, it’s tomorrow, go thank a Veteran). The reason I love this holiday, because veterans give their lives for our safety and freedom, and never get thanked enough for their service partly due to the fact that many former soldiers don’t demand thanks or recognition. They demand you respect them as a soldier, for the uniform, and most of all, respect for their country.
Now, I am sure there are a few who like to be thanked every chance they get, and brag as much as possible, but the overall sense of military personnel, in my opinion, is humility and service. So of course, I was fit to be tied, about
the back and forth about Robert O’Neill and the many Navy SEALS who are betrayed by his actions. Now if you haven’t heard, Mr. O’Neill killed Osama Bin Laden by delivering the two fatal shots to the head. Mr. O’Neill’s official story is coming out in a Fox special, but other betrayed SEALS outted the soldier, before he had the opportunity, because they were upset that he was breaking the code of silence.
Now as a person whose never been anywhere near the danger of a battlefield or a covert mission, I would never question a veteran, because they give their life for this country and the mental wear and tear on their brain, especially a soldier from an elite, dangerous and covert group like the NAVY Seals. However, if they stop maintaining that role after they are finished serving, what is their
responsibility to this country?
When I think of words to describe the military, my first thoughts are duty, loyalty, and honor, they are all words that would say, “No, keep your mouth shut”. And that’s just it, he forgot the ethos of the military, and exchanged for the American ethos of “Me, Me, oh, and yeah, more Me.” I think it’s irrelevant to talk about the code, creed, ethos though, because he obviously doesn’t care and has taken full acceptance to the American ideals of self.
If the story had stopped there, I would have shrugged my shoulders, and thought “meh”…
But of course, it did not. What makes me a little mad about his original explanation as to why he wanted to share his story was for the healing of 9/11 victim’s families. As a motivational speaker, Mr. O’Neill was “invited to address a gathering of
9/ 11 family members at the National September 11 Memorial Museum shortly before its official opening. During what he described as a highly emotional exchange, Mr. O’Neill decided spontaneously to talk about how bin Laden died.” And Mr. O’Neill exclaims, “The families told
me it helped bringthem some closure”.
So we’re playing a game of BS, are we?
I don’t doubt that the story brought closure to a person who lost a family member in 9/ 11. However, many of the details surrounding the incident have been revealed, and every
one knows Osama Bin Laden is dead. He didn’t have to bring his ownership of the final deed into the mix. Now do I think that this closure is more important than keeping their pact of silence, probably not. And when he was telling the story, he didn’t have to say he was the “shooter”! The reality is that it is not the real reason Mr. O’Neill was coming out and sharing details. And to think we’re supposed to buy that story is ridiculous.
In many of the stories that I have read, they state that Mr.O’Neill wanted to go ahead and tell his story, because he knew his name was going to be coming out as the shooter, so what? Let someone else tell it, let some one else break the code of silence, because your integrity is all YOU got.
If you look at his article in Esquire, at a time when he remained anonymous, the article talks about how he was struggling financially despite the great accomplishments he had achieved. In the article, his father, goes on to say, “He’s taken monumental risks, but he’s unable to reap any reward.” (Source)
Well, how about that? Feel sorry for the guy? Heck no. Osama Bin Laden is not the only extremely dangerous target that America has ever had. Mr. O’Neill is not the only soldier, and will definitely not be the last to feel slighted. His actions make it seem like his mission, his achievements are greater than everyone else’s. And that is why his fellow soldiers are upset and I get it.
But can you blame him? Yes. But I blame the American culture a little more. And I am not surprised by the news media’s coverage of the story, because drama, scandal, deceit, it sells. But a part of me wishes that we were strong enough to not care. That the honor and integrity of our military was more important than hearing his heroic story. But he is the hero, who risked his life, and killed Osama, can we not give him slack? I wish that was the case, I think the real truth is that most Americans would not keep their silence, because deep down we know we’re just as selfish. Let’s do better America, including me.