Category Archives: Virginians at War

Marginalizing Another Dissident

Ann McLean

by James A. Bacon

The Washington Post recently published a story about a gubernatorial appointment to one of Virginia’s more obscure commissions: the state Board of Historic Resources, which oversees state historic-site designations. The article focused on Governor Glenn Youngkin’s selection of Ann McLean, who believes that Virginia’s heritage is “under attack,” and has condemned the destruction of Confederate monuments as a “dangerous” rewriting of history.

Only three years ago, before the protests unleashed by the George Floyd protests, views on Confederate statues were radically different. A special commission appointed to study the statues on Monument Ave. was debating what to do with the monument which, even before George Floyd’s death, some considered a problem. The committee was leaning then toward “recontextualizing” or “reinterpreting” the statues to reflect the fact that the public understanding of the monuments had changed since they were erected more than a century ago. It was a perfectly acceptable position to argue at that time, as McLean did, that these magnificent works of public art should be preserved in place.

Today, some paint that view as racist. Continue reading

The President Had Somewhere Important to Be

Credit: Getty Images

by James C. Sherlock

The caption of the photo:

“US President Joe Biden looks down alongside First Lady Jill Biden as they attend the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan last week.”

I watched.  I am sure I had lots of company.

  • Virginia Veterans — nearly 730,215 — one out of 10 adults.
  • Virginia active duty (89,303) and reserve military (25,977) = 115,280
  • Virginia Army National Guard 7,500 soldiers and 46 armories
  • Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing at Langley AFB Hampton – approximately 200.

In an unblinking story for The Washington Post, Matt Viser exposed a failure of leadership and understanding of the moment that was a direct insult to all Americans.

The President was there to representing us all. He shamed us. Continue reading

Virginia Beach and Afghanistan

by James C. Sherlock

It was never a Navy war.

But in this Navy town, it was brought literally home to us again and again. We are home to nearly half of the Navy SEALs, including SEAL Team 6.

Something like 4,000 to 5,000 total plus their families.

SEALs are America’s special operations forces specially trained for undersea, coastal, river and swamp operations. They train on our beaches, in our swamps, bays and ocean. Some of us can hear their live gunfire at night.

Folks in the Navy flight paths hear big transports take off at 4:00 in the morning, guess that’s them going God knows where, wish them well, and try to go back to sleep.

About 15 years ago, I went through physical rehab in a civilian facility here with one of them, a Chief Petty Officer who you would not have recognized as a sailor. He and I were there for different types of injuries.

I was retired and rehabbing a knee operated on for arthritis. He was rehabbing muscle damage from a bullet wound. Affected his trigger finger. Continue reading