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America’s History of Inspirational Veterans’ Protests

Two nearly forgotten chapters in American history remind us that U.S. veterans have sometimes been called upon to fight for freedom at home as well as abroad.

Kathy Shaidle


October 3, 2013 - 4:00 pm
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Shutdowns Through History

Who wasn’t moved and inspired by this week’s displays of civil disobedience by World War II veterans in Washington, D.C.?

Perhaps we were abashed as well.

Who among us can honestly say we’d have done what they did — defying authority, risking arrest, making a scene — even though we are, most of us, younger and stronger?

Aren’t millions of Americans rather more like this fellow, spotted by Mark Steyn in his travels:

I saw a fellow in a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt the other day. He was at LaGuardia, and he was being trod all over, by the obergropinfuhrers of the TSA, who had decided to subject him to one of their enhanced pat-downs.

There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen having his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt is certainly one of them.

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All Comments   (5)
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Re. Patton and MacArthur, well, you know, they were just Army after all... *although Patton was distantly related to Chesty Puller and may qualify as one who should've been a Marine*

Weren't there also protests and riots by vets after the Civil war?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After the Battle of Athens, the New York Times weighed in.

They denounced the veterans for taking the law into their own hands.

Of course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've got another example

"The first Pension Law passed by Congress (in 1818) was for the survivors of the War of Revolution. All who would make oath that they actually needed the pension to make them comfortable could have it. An agent visited the town, and advertised for all Revolutionary survivors to meet him, and prove that they were soldiers, and subscribe to the oath. James Odell, Esq, of Salem was the agent for Ipswich...He and Col. Hodgkins were well acquainted and met like old friends. The Col. stated that he did not know as he needed the pension to make him comfortable, as he was still able to carry on his land, and to see to things generally. Mr. Odell said, "You can have it, if you will ask for it". "Well," said the Col. "I will take it for one year," and he did. But when the year came round, the dear old veteran, who spent his best days in the army, and when the war ended had scarce to pay his way home, and was surely entitled to a pension, just because he could by hard toil live without it, would only receive it for that one year. He lived the rest of his days on his own honest, hard earnings. Surely this was unselfish love for his country.

Court records of the 1820's confirm this account of Hodgkins' action, but they also show he regretted it, and spent the last years of his life trying to recover his pension...According to affidavits offered between March and June 1829, he had sold off real estate to pay debts of $1,210, the bulk of his obligation to the Crocker heirs. His remaining properties-83 acres of unproductive land, a yoke of oxen, two cows, six sheep, a shovel, a hoe, and a fork and furniture-were valued by the court at $807. His debts totaled $770.32, mostly in small sums due servants, the village blacksmith, saddler, and cooper, even to Thomas Knowles, the barber, who had shaved the Colonel without pay since August 1820. Hodgkins was clearly eligible for a pension but proof of the fact did him little good because he died on September 25, 1829.

Note that he died with something many of today's Americans might wish they had, a positive net worth of $36.68. I'd wager many of our current veterans would be willing to follow the example of this kind of leader and defer their pensions to restore the full faith and credit of the United States. If they do that, then how can the lesser victims do any less?

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good examples of Git-R-Done by the vets. This not only takes courage but enough intestinal fortitude to risk ones own fortune (money, freedom, life) to secure the freedom that the Constitution guarentees. Here or abroad, we will fight!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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