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Messages - Daniel Lee Gard

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1
Your Turn / Re: The Ethics of General Milley
« on: September 16, 2021, 10:24:02 AM »
I do not take anything Woodard writes as truthful without independent investigation. The dangerous thing is that the book has not yet been released so all opinions are formed on the basis of snippets alone.

I am not confident in General Milley's role in the Afghanistan disaster. It needs to be investigated - but that is different discussion. The Woodard book is on a different topic. One thing is certain - the General is not stupid. No officer rises to that position without a record of intelligent leadership. Yet these charges would indicate a kind of stupidity that would not be tolerated in our military.

Once the book is out and civilian authority believes that there is something actually true then action must be taken. Any commanding officer charged with such things would be relieved of command pending investigation. In all likelihood, General Milley took such action against subordinate officers. Perhaps the same might happen here.

2
Your Turn / Re: The Ethics of General Milley
« on: September 15, 2021, 04:28:07 PM »
There are a lot of "ifs" in all this.

If it is truthful reporting by "reporters" from the Washington Post and not another Democratic Party opinion piece pretending to be actual reporting of facts.

If analysis of the actual book itself points to accuracy in the events though, as far as I know, only snippets are available.

If an investigation follows and confirms or denies the charges in the book.

I am not a fan of General Milley and join others in wanting answers about the Afghanistan debacle. But he has a strong record of service to our country and I respect that. More importantly, like any American the CJCS has the right to presumed innocence until proven guilty. It will take more than politicians and others jumping to conclusions based on no established facts.

3
Your Turn / Re: 9-11: The 20th Anniversary
« on: September 12, 2021, 05:40:24 PM »
Today is September 12.

Some people had difficulty sleeping last night as 20 year-old events shaped their dreams. Some people slept soundly giving that day 20 years ago no more thought than they do Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

Some people live with gratitude for the freedom America gives us. Some are unaware of the price others have paid for that freedom.

But for all, today is September 12. The sun rose in the east. Church bells sounded. The people of God gathered around altars and pulpits, some great and some humble. Some things change but what truly matters never changes.

What matters is that Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, has been sacrificed for all humanity. What matters is that He who died could not be held by death. What matters is that Easter has forever redefined who we are and brought eternal victory to all who are baptized into Him and fed with His precious Body and Blood. These things never change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

So this is September 12. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


4
Your Turn / Re: 9-11 Sermons
« on: September 11, 2021, 04:47:10 PM »
9/12/01 at Concordia Theological Seminary. I had just been put on standby awaiting orders.

https://media.ctsfw.edu/Audio/ViewDetails/15272?fbclid=IwAR26GJKtlzEBnB0WySP_tdVtoDg9FaoyBwjpRaS5dHmnfGTrTpRlhZeiT3k

5
Your Turn / Re: 9-11: The 20th Anniversary
« on: September 11, 2021, 01:49:30 PM »
Thank you for posting this.

6
Your Turn / Re: 9-11: The 20th Anniversary
« on: September 09, 2021, 10:52:53 AM »
 This is a brief piece from the 15th anniversary:

Reflections on 9/11 and beyond.

It is almost 2:30 p.m. here in Chicago on this the 15th anniversary of September 11. I attended Divine Service today yet my mind was not on what I was hearing. I wish I could say that I was attentive but I was not. Only two things marked the tragedy of September 11. One was a single petition in the Prayer of the Church. The second was LSB 762, “There is a Time for Everything” by Steve Starke and written in 2002. It was played during the Offering because our Cantor, who has become like a daughter to us, snuck it in just for me.

After the Divine Service, there was a congregational lunch. My wife had to leave after worship so I went with my 13 year old son.  Soon he was off to sit with his buddies and I found myself alone. My mind raced back to the events of 15 years ago. Once again I was smelling jet fuel and wondering if I would ever forget what I saw inside the crash site.  But then my thoughts replayed the years since. Once again I was at sea on USS Saipan in 2003. Once again I was in New Orleans sending Marines and Sailors to war and knowing that some would not return alive. Once again I was walking the corridors of the detention camps in Gitmo. Once again, I was far away from my wife and children and feeling what every deployed service member feels – a tear in the heart that can only be mended with homecoming.

I must confess that I felt as isolated as I ever have felt in my life. Nobody there had the slightest clue where my mind was and, if they did, they would have had no way to relate with experiences they did not share. I am not in New York or D.C. or Pennsylvania. I am in Illinois with people who are separated from these events by years and by miles.

Then I remembered the strong condemnation of our national response to terrorism as articulated by some.  I refuse to engage them on that topic. I am not a hero but I have walked with heroes. I have held the newborn child of a Sailor murdered on September 11 and saw her beautiful eyes. I have held the hands of grandfathers and a 19 year old widow when they learned of their Marine’s death. The faces of those who died and those who survived this war flashed through my mind.

I questioned whether all that these heroes sacrificed was worth it. Then I saw my son and his friends doing what 8th grade boys do. I saw small children being what God created them to be. I saw a parish full of people of all ages who had heard the blessed Gospel and received His Holy Sacrament. And for the first time today, I smiled. In fact, I laughed – but at my own foolishness and questioning. To see my brothers and sisters in Christ, whether they are aged or babies, together in Christ answers the question.

7
Your Turn / Re: 9-11: The 20th Anniversary
« on: September 09, 2021, 10:46:22 AM »
9/11 is the most difficult day of the year for me. It was not a day that I could get beyond and go back to the routine of life. It meant my first mobilization to the Pentagon followed by three others - Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Forces Reserve and Guantanamo Bay. It meant leaving my family not knowing when or if I would come home. It meant ringing too many doorbells and informing a family that their Sailor or Marine had died. It meant sending Navy Reserve chaplains to the theater. It meant one long hospital stay and months of rehabilitation and a large disability rating by the VA. PTSD, anyone?

This is an article published in 2002 in For the Life of the World:

https://issuu.com/ctsfwedu/docs/6-3_jul-2002/10

8
Your Turn / Re: Women and the draft
« on: September 04, 2021, 04:10:33 PM »
Agreed John, that they have a right to express themselves. But using their rank and former service to do so seems a bit awkward to me.

An interesting idea. Does the same principle apply to retired pastors using their titles and former service to express themselves? Or are we to be silent as you expect retired military to do?

I  note that one participant in this forum identifies himself and advertises his opinion in an article with these words:

"Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Article coming up in Lutheran Forum journal. Now would be a good time to subscribe."

By your rule he should not do what he does.

9
Your Turn / Re: Women and the draft
« on: September 04, 2021, 03:39:23 PM »

Seems to me that they forgot exactly who the commander-in-chief is. And that in this country we have a civilian leadership of  the military that “out ranks”  flag officers.

Not at all. If you read the letter you would see that they explicitly acknowledge that fact. Before retirement, not one of them would publicly dissent from the chain of command since military service limits the exercise of free speech. Active duty or reserve personnel (from E-1 to O-10) would not publicly challenge their leaders despite the personal opinion they might hold.

Upon retirement they became private citizens but private citizens with 30+ years of military experience at the highest levels. Among the signers are retired 4 star, 3 star, 2 star and 1 star officers.They represent all the services.  They promised to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. This they did for years by putting their lives in danger and leading America's warriors. These are professionals who have the right and duty to speak.


 

10
Your Turn / Re: Women and the draft
« on: September 04, 2021, 11:20:12 AM »
Closely related to this discussion are current events and their ramifications for the near future of war This link is to a letter signed by 130 retired generals and admirals. It is secular in nature but important for Christians to contemplate as we pray for all humanity.

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/fb7c7bd8-097d-4e2f-8f12-3442d151b57d/downloads/DOD%20Resignation%20Letter%20090121.pdf?ver=1630549859242

11
Your Turn / Re: Women and the draft
« on: September 04, 2021, 11:10:24 AM »
First, I am opposed to drafting women. That is different than enlisting or commissioning women to serve. Physical strength aside, women have served and will continue to serve with distinction. 

I do not see a draft coming in the near future - but that is only a guess. The Army would have an indispensable role on a large scale war. A country needs to have the forces required to actually occupy the enemies territory. The PRC knows that and has a huge army. America does not although we have better technology and weapons.

Our Army must be sufficient in size to meet its mission requirements. Should the "balloon go up" (as in WW2), an in-place draft system might be activated to quickly meet the manning requirements. My son turned 18 this year and he is now registered for the draft.

Beyond war fighting, a strong military on land, sea, air and space serves as a vital deterrence to keep the peace.
Agreed. Should there ever be a large scale war, the Army would have to provide the people and infrastructure to advance our line and occupy the territory behind it. But WWII is the template for that kind of thing. There hasn't been a war in over 75 years that fit such a pattern, and WMD technology  as well as targeted strike capability makes envisioning such a war in the future pretty difficult even for the imaginative mind. Just as most Americans cannot envision retreating across our own frontier in the face of an invading enemy line, most of us can't imagine Americans fighting anything comparable to either theater of WWII on foreign soil anymore. Wars are no longer between governments but between ideologies; thus, lines on a map don't really reflect gains and losses except very ephemerally. To defeat China, for example, we would either support an internal revolution, engage in a series of targeted assassinations, or gradually transform Chinese culture to something more amenable to Western values. In no scenario would we choose a landing site, establish a beachhead, and push an advancing front across China to achieve unconditional surrender. If we did that, the Army would do much of the heavy lifting. But it ain't gonna happen.

A national defense strategy must prepare for the next war, not the last one. But it must also have Plans B, C, etc. for less likely scenarios. In an unsettled world, conflict will arise on ideological grounds. But it can also arise from old fashion aggression by one country against another. I am always reluctant to say about any scenario, "It ain't gonna happen."

Where might it happen? We see an increasingly aggressive PRC. Will our ally Taiwan be in its cross-hairs? It already is. What about a re-armed Russia and potential plans to expand to its former Soviet Union borders? What U.S. allies might be threatened? How would we support our ally South Korea if the madman dictator of North Korea deployed his massive army?

What if there is a war on more than one front? Do we have a plan to quickly fill the requirements to fight them simultaneously?

I know that all of these are merely "what ifs........." But defense planning must consider and plan for the "what ifs". Setting up a draft system during a national emergency is far more difficult than activating an existing one. We can plan on using a technologically advanced military but must also anticipate wars in which that technology is insufficient.

No matter what, the Church must pray for peace. But we know that in a fallen world there will be wars and rumors of war. Kyrie eleison.

12
Your Turn / Re: Women and the draft
« on: September 04, 2021, 10:19:31 AM »
First, I am opposed to drafting women. That is different than enlisting or commissioning women to serve. Physical strength aside, women have served and will continue to serve with distinction. 

I do not see a draft coming in the near future - but that is only a guess. The Army would have an indispensable role on a large scale war. A country needs to have the forces required to actually occupy the enemies territory. The PRC knows that and has a huge army. America does not although we have better technology and weapons.

Our Army must be sufficient in size to meet its mission requirements. Should the "balloon go up" (as in WW2), an in-place draft system might be activated to quickly meet the manning requirements. My son turned 18 this year and he is now registered for the draft.

Beyond war fighting, a strong military on land, sea, air and space serves as a vital deterrence to keep the peace. 

13
Your Turn / Re: Whether to Forgive and Forget
« on: August 30, 2021, 02:59:26 PM »
I am not certain whether Biden should have said what he said about forgiveness. As others have pointed out this is a Kingdom of the Left matter, not a Kingdom of the Right matter.

The government bears the sword. When its people are attacked, the government must use that sword. It may seem paradoxical but the exercise of overwhelming force in response to aggression is the means toward bring peace. Preferably, the forward projection of our military will do what it needs to do - that is, act as deterrent. But if deterrence fails, the aggressor must be brought to their knees or eliminated. And that must happen with massive force that far exceeds the enemy's. It must not be a "fair" fight.

When the enemy surrenders and peace talks come about then forgiveness might be given. But the pure satanic evil of the Taliban, ISIS, Ad Qaeda and other terrorists threats cannot be appeased. Chamberlain tried that in the 1930's and it failed. It will not work now.

14
Your Turn / Re: Afghanistan
« on: August 18, 2021, 06:31:07 PM »

One possible explanation is that General Officers in today’s military not only need to lead they need to be nimble politicians as well. There were unilateral decisions made at the executive level that went against the advice of our intelligence services and some of our GO. I haven’t heard of many who favored pulling out of Afghanistan in the strategic way that it was done. Their reasons for not speaking more clearly or forcefully about their concerns remain their own and charity prevents me (though not a number of my Soldiers) from assigning motive.

Having served as a Flag Officer I have seen the pressure that is placed on senior military leadership. They will give honest advice to the civilian authorities behind closed doors. But because the President is the Commander-in-Chief and the Pentagon civilians appointed by him represent the President, they cannot and will not be insubordinate privately or publicly. Do not expect the GOs and FOs to speak contrary to the elected President. You will not hear their own thoughts and opinions that they may have told the President.

The military of the United States has been and will be under the control of those elected by the people of the United States.

15
Your Turn / Re: Sermongate
« on: July 13, 2021, 09:56:56 AM »
Samuel Johnson is credited with saying, “Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

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