Law Professor: "Shameful to support men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings."
Whenever people ask me why I initially quit law school to volunteer to go to Afghanistan as an Infantryman, I only half-jokingly tell them I preferred sleeping on the ground and looking for the Taliban to being around the pretentious jackasses one finds at law schools from time to time. When I got back, the first article I read in the Law School newsletter was about how the first year of law school is the hardest year anyone could ever have, Well sure, except almost every year that our men and women spend in the military. In law school you generally get fed fairly regularly, don't get shot at, and don't have to pull radio guard at 2 a,m, This isn't exactly a newsflash, but there is nothing inherently difficult about attending classes and reading books. I'm not saying that to degrade higher education, but comparing it to dodging 7.62 rounds is a bit....hyperbolic.
And then along comes someone who proves my point with far more alacrity than I could muster on my own. Everyone, meet Professor Michael Avery:
The email may have been brief, but with it Suffolk Law Professor Michael Avery seems to have poured salt into the wounds of quite a few Americans, including some students at his own school.
In the five-paragraph e-mail to colleagues in response to a school-wide appeal for care packages for deployed soldiers, Avery calls the notion of sending packages “shameful”.
"I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings" wrote Avery.
Somewhat ironically, the very first person to wish me a Happy Veterans Day was a buddy of mine who just happens to be a Suffolk Law Graduate. The school is going with the old stand-by of "he has a right to say what he wants."
In the long history of Suffolk University, we have embraced discourse within the framework of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We encourage free discussion; yet remain uncompromising in confronting acts of discrimination. As Suffolk's history shows, all of this can be done while supporting our mission to provide access to excellence in education to those who deserve it, not the least of whom are active duty military personnel and returning veterans, who by their brave acts have honored each of us and our nation.
Indubitably true. He also has the right to pee on an electric fence or inhale Clorox, but it doesn't make it either sensible or reflect well on the schook.
The whole thing did segue nicely with an article in the Washington Post this morning though:
The troops are lavished with praise for their sacrifices. But the praise comes with a price, service members say. The public increasingly acts as if it feels sorry for those in uniform.
“We aren’t victims at all,” said Brig. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, who commanded troops in Iraq and will soon leave for Afghanistan. “But it seems that the only way that some can be supportive is to cast us in the role of hapless souls.”
The topic is a sensitive one for military leaders, who do not want to appear ungrateful or at odds with the public they serve. They also realize that the anger that returning troops faced in the latter years of the Vietnam War was far worse.
As a result, most of the conversations about pity take place quietly and privately among combat veterans. After his two sons returned from combat tours with the Marines, retired Col. Mark Cancian warned them that people outside the military would view their service from two perspectives.
All things being equal, if I had to chose between being back in law school, being pitied for my service in the military, or serving as an infantryman again, the choice would be easy, and I would be singing this diddy tomorrow as the sun set:
Up in the morning out of the rack
Greeted at dawn with an early attack
First Sergeant Rushes me off to chow
But I don’t eat it any how
Oh hail Oh Hail oh Infantry
Queen of Battle follow me
An airborne ranger’s life for me
Cause nothing in this world is free
Pick up your rifle and follow me.
In a big bird up in the sky,
all will jump and some will die
Off to battle we will go,
to live or die, hell I don’t know
Oh hail oh hail oh infantry
Queen of battle follow me
I look to the sky I have no fear,
My Ranger God is always near.
Oh hail Oh hail oh infantry
Queen of battle follow me