By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
In the spring of 1966 many of us dumb, adventurous, carefree neighborhood guys were weeks away from graduation. Our conquest of the world lay before us. We pondered our next move. What road should we follow? Every Irish kid’s dream: a civil service job? College? The military?
A combination of foolishness and testosterone overcame common sense. There was a war going on in a country few had heard of and fewer could find on a map. The Marines needed a few good boys to turn into fighting men. The Marines had a solid combat reputation and great-looking uniforms which, combined with a few medals, made an exceptional “chick magnet.”
The physical training applied in the infantry pushes recruits beyond what would be characterized as their physical limits. Once this is accomplished, the next phase necessitates stripping them of emotions that would cause them to view their enemy as human. Once this was complete, additional training followed and you were ready for combat.
Unlike war movies and video games, there is no glory in war. The wounded are wounded. The dead are dead. You’re depraved of sleep, food and those abundant daily creature comforts. You walk, run and walk some more. You’re exposed constantly to heat and cold. It’s hard enough to find men that can endure these conditions. Now they want to add women into the mix—all under the banner of equality.
When you’re designated a liberal, are you required to set aside common sense? Are feminists who never experience firsthand the horrors of the battlefield so powerful that they can dictate and put in place a policy that serves only to disrupt military unit cohesiveness and weaken our nation’s military?
Does our President owe so much to the Left that he is willing to place our daughters into a much more dangerous situation than they now face upon being deployed to a war zone? Why are our military leaders so quiet?
One argument being floated is that women are already exposed to hostilities during deployment to a war zone. This is true. However, the hostilities they along with many of their male counterparts face are much different than those serving in the field assigned to infantry or special ops units.
Combat units spend weeks out in the field. The conditions forced on these troops are better handled by men. Only a small percentage of men can meet infantry and special units physical qualifications.
One of my favorite arguments for placing women in front-line combat units is that there is a greater and faster promotion rate amongst those serving in the forward lines. This is true, especially for those serving in units with high casualties. The reason is that many assigned to those units suffer death and severe disabling wounds, causing them to be replaced. Is an added rank really worth the risk?
Finally, there will surely be an increase in pregnancies. Placing men and women together in combat conditions creates a perfect storm for this to happen.
Washington and Augusta please take note: Last Tuesday the Lewiston City Council approved a contract with Cassella Waste. This was an emotional issue for all concerned. When the dust cleared and the motion passed 4-3, members of the City Council moved on.
There was no bickering or bad blood. At the end of the vote, everyone remained congenial and went on to the next issue. This is the way that government should work.
Lastly, kudos to those sign carriers who weathered the cold, rain, sleet and snow, standing outdoors for hours and holding up signs notifying passersby of the stock liquidation of a closing department store. They exemplified the American spirit.