The New York Times usually can’t find anything to like about a combat veteran, unless the person is running for office as a Democrat, or is a Blue Falcon brought to their attention by some anti-military peacenik group, like IAVA=IVAW. So what’s this guy’s major malfunction?
Joshua Bunn was a rifleman in one of the bloodiest valleys in Afghanistan, where his infantry unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and lost more comrades than any other battalion in the Marine Corps in 2009.
“We were so far out in Taliban country we rarely got resupply,” Mr. Bunn, 27, said in an interview from his apartment in Jonesboro, Ark. “We just got rockets and small-arms fire every day.”
Former members of the military like Mr. Bunn are being refused benefits at the highest rate since the system was created at the end of World War II, the report said.
Oh, the mean evil VA that refuses him his benefits. What benefits are these?
And what report? Oh, that report:
More than 125,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have what are known as “bad paper” discharges that preclude them from receiving care, said the report, released Wednesday by the veterans advocacy group Swords to Plowshares.
What do you think “Swords to Plowshares” holds for a position on national defense? Without looking them up, “supine” is our guess.
OK, so the Times’s Dave Phillipps is engaging in retype-the-press-release and call-the-guy-the-press-contact-gave-you journalism. But it fits The Narrative™ (of which more anon), so there might just be a Pulitzer in it!
You don’t get a “bad paper” discharge because people are “bullying” you (in the Marines?), or because you’re too sensitive a soul for an organization that processes a hundred thousand souls of all sorts with a remarkably low “reject” rate, or because some sergeant or captain was an ol’ green meanie. You get bad paper because you’re a shitbird: a criminal, or a quitter, or someone profoundly toxic to the culture of a group of well-adjusted people, to wit, your unit..
And what sort of bad paper did Mr Bunn have?
After deployment, Mr. Bunn, suicidal and haunted by nightmares, went absent without leave. The Marine Corps charged him with misconduct and gave him an other-than-honorable discharge.
As a consequence, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not technically consider Mr. Bunn a veteran and has denied him permanent heath care, disability pay and job training intended to ease his return to civilian life. According to a new report, he is one of a growing number of veterans ruled ineligible for benefits because of less-than-honorable discharges.
Ah, a deserter!
So that’s the kind of veteran the New York Times likes.
Of course, the Times, which employs rounds-to-zero veterans in the newsroom (and not accidentally), doesn’t get the difference between honorably-discharged-after-creditable-service and bad-paper-after-bugging-out. It would interfere with The Narrative™, and in The Narrative™ veterans are:
- Down-and-outers from flyover country;
- stupid and ill-educated;
- damaged goods®;
- victims; and most of all,
- desperately in need of big-P Programs.
Ideally, of course, Programs managed by the wise producers and consumers of the Times (groups that can be understood as effete Manhattanites, and effete Manhattanite wannabees) and their Acela Corridor friends and families — people who were “too smart” to “waste their lives” in uniform.
You know what? Intercourse this guy. Intercourse all his bad-paper bugout buddies.
If he’s suicidal, like the article says, he’s a failure at that, too.
There’s always a great sympathy from those who won’t serve towards those that served badly. But nobody deserts because “the pressure’s too great” (or everybody would desert, rationally). He deserts because his character is deficient, and that fact needs to be written down for all time, lest someone else take a chance on him and get let down the same way this non-Marine let down the USMC.
No sympathy at this address, and the deserters’ pals at “Swords to Plowshares” can reach down deep past the fishooks in their pockets and give their own money, if they want to reward deserters.
In 2006, the British Parliament lost its mind and pardoned its World War I deserters. That was wrong, but this is even wronger: Dave Phillipps and the Times want to assault and insult every one of the millions of honorable vets by raising up these leeches above us. To Hell with the lot of them, and sooner rather than later.
Deserter? We’re with Kipling: sympathize with the man, but send him to his fate.
I could not look on Death, which being known,Men led me to him, blindfold and alone.