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December 14, 2007

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A Commercial for Christmas

The average television commercial is one of the more dismal aspects of modern life, being designed for the brain-damaged and the permanently silly. This one, however, is a small masterpiece, and is particularly appropriate for this time of year. It was sent me by a former captain in the 101st Airborne, and was sent to him by a fellow Screaming Eagle captain who served two tours in Viet Nam and was wounded near the end of the second one. A hand salute to A-B and to the people who made this gem.


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I understood and supported military action in Afghanistan. I did not think the move into Iraq was the right thing to do, but realized early on that the Administration was hellbound for leather to do it. I do not believe they have done a good job.

I appreciate the sacrifices the troops are making; I also believe they have not been used wisely by men who, for the most part, did their best to avoid frontline service in Vietnam. One of my childhood buddies enlisted right out of community college almost 30 years ago, and stayed in the Guard afterwards. He was sent to Baghdad at the age of 48! What's up with that?

I do not live near any sort of military installation, so I do not see people in uniform very often; however, when my wife and I last flew in February, I did talk to several soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division while between flights in Atlanta. I used to live in the Syracuse area and know the Fort Drum/Watertown area well. I asked one soldier how they made it out of Watertown in what had been a fairly big storm; he said he actually hadn't been there yet, was coming back from Iraq.

In that case, I said, I bet a big snow pile would look pretty good to him, and he smiled. I just told him I was glad he made it home.

I worry about commercials like this; they tend to make simplistic the issues each of us should be considering about what truly strengthens national security. I feel the best way to support these guys is to find a way to bring them home as quickly as possible, and in this case, that means looking unpatriotic to some because it is hard to separate "supporting the troops" from supporting ill-conceived policy.

I remember very well the idea 40 years ago that if we didn't fight the Viet Cong in Saigon we'd be fighting them in San Diego. Now we buy cheap shrimp from Vietnam. I believe we were sold a similar bill of goods in Iraq. Afghanistan is another matter, and, if we really want to think about a dangerous haven for terrorists, let's think about northwest Pakistan. How do we engage our representatives to handle that?


Try a used Franchi AL48 or, if you can find one, a Rem. mod. 1100. They're both light and in a 20 ga. won't kick much. The AL48 might have a bit more push than the 1100 due to the style of operation. Thanks for delivering the goods to the good guys so to speak! Check out Phil B.'s (sorry Phil, but I can't spell your last name;) article on the 50 best shotguns ever made on this site. Can't elaborate too much as I'm at work and don't have a lot of time. Keep your wick wet and your powder dry over there!!

Black Rifle Addict

Clay Cooper is right;been there done it and don't wish to talk about it...thank you.
I have paid for lunch on a number of occasions to our men, and women, in uniform when in public. I over here a conversation in a sandwich place, I intro myself thank them for protecting our freedom, and pay their bill.
Just because I didn't receive this reception doesn't mean they don't.
Hey Alabama Hunter-
A friend of mine reworked a 10/22 and was very happy with it. I believe it cost approx$300 with barrel and stock? Anyway, the rifle was a hand me down kind of item that cost him nothing, so he thought the rework was worth the price. Cheap to shoot, and great for practice.
BUT getting a .22-250 isn't a bad idea either-AFTER you trick out the 10/.22!

Dennis L. Crabtrey II

I have a few hundred dollars worth of 10/22 accessories and have had a good time tinkering with them. Trigger kits are the best investment overall.
Mine currently wears a Butler Creek Carbon Bull Barrel and Corelite stock and Scope. Scope coming off and having firesites installed when i get home from Iraq. Have a Hogue stock,Steel Bull Barrel, several factory stocks and barrels left over. Will probably go back to factory configuration eventually.


Dave: I keep coming back to your blog (naturally) and looking at this clip again and again, and each time it brings tears. How can we be so lucky as a nation to have people like this willing to fight for us?

retired waycar rider

great video--we owe these young people a lot--when I came back to the high plains in 1953 from those cold mountains--my friends and neighbors did say thanks--

John from Louisiana

I fly for a major airline and whenever I have service personnel on board I end my "welcome aboard" PA with "I'm sure you have noticed that we have uniformed service members on board, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their service to us and our country". Invariably the other passengers break out in applause.
It's good to see these brave men and women get the respect and gratitude that they so richly deserve.

Dave Lamenzo  (

What a gem, and as you say, many sincere thanks are due A-B and its associates that made this patriotic and soul-touching ad.

As an combat officer with the 101st, I remember returning home from Vietnam in December of 1968. While changing planes at Kennedy for my final leg to Bradley, some idiot spit on me. I didn't react to this insult; I was just so happy to be home and to be alive.

Thank you for publishing the A-B ad it is a great tribute to our young people who serve America to make it safer.



My Alma Mater, Michigan Technological University, located in Houghton, MI, announced yesterday that they would offer in-state tuition to spouses and children of active duty personel. THANK YOU MTU!

Moishe Goldstein

That is one very nice thing to see. When I came back from Viet Nam I was actually spit on by a maggot infested hippie, the only good thing about that encounter was the old cop in my hometown at the time (Colorado Springs applauded the same way when I knock his ass down the Post Office steps ( All thirteen of them!)

Moishe Goldstein

Knocked! Sorry I should have proofread! It it gratifying to see something like that happen when Jerks Like Pelosi, Barney Frank and the like do everything in their power to destroy the military. I have been on the soapbox too long for one day!

Moishe Goldstein

To Backlash: Get stuffed !( a fine British term for what I would like to say) You are beneath contempt.


I enjoy this commercial and I view it every chance I get. I too remember a very different reaction when I returned home from Vietnam.My oldest son served five years in the Marine Corps and I cannot never express enough how I feel about our young men and women serving today.


Three million people is a lot of people. If three million people (men, women, and children) were lined up side by side (two foot spacing for each) in a line, the line would stretch over one thousand one hundred miles. Relatively speaking, from the Canada border to the Gulf of Mexico. Now think of those people as corpses, dead. When we pulled out of Vietnam the most accurate estimate is that three million people died, around two hundred thousand at sea alone.

I'm very glad we appreciate our people serving in the military. I got out in '71, very different.


First off, great public service spot by A-B. Commercialization? Hardly. If A-B is credited for acknowledging our service people, good for them. Maybe more companies will follow suit.

Gman- I believe it is a little short-sighted to not recognize that although the SEA conflict was a politicized clusterf***, the sacrifices of that generation in the opinion of many historians likely obviated a wider future war.

The Communist policy of aggressive expansion was no myth. The strategy of strenuously confronting that virus was, in the end, successful. Well executed, no. But what great undertaking has ever been without its failings, and in this case tragedy?
The opposition to communism was a 40+ year effort, from the Berlin airlift, the Korean Conflict, the Cuban Missle Crisis, to Vietnam. And many, many confrontations that are sadly almost unrecognized today. The mistake of the Soviets was to truly believe we are a decadent, weak, and immoral society unwilling to sacrifice blood and treasure until the cause is almost lost.
These guys from that era-several who post here-should be recognized for not only their selfless service, but that their efforts absolutely contributed to the destruction of the communist threat.
My old man flew three tours over SEA, but started receiving combat flight pay from 60-64 for recce missions on the fringes (heh) of the USSR. For all intents and purposes he fought in a war that lasted throughout his career (59-84). Historians call part of it the "Cold War"- He says it all seemed pretty f'n hot to him. He lost as many comrades to Soviet shoot downs as to SEA combat.
So, although I may be in the minority, whatever "pop history" may have to say about Vietnam, those vets are winners to me-big time. Never defeated in the field, and they convinced the advocates of Communist expansion from Hanoi, to Peking, to the Kremlin: Combat opposing America's citizen warriors is a losing proposition.

Chev Jim

I went to Pakistan several years ago to work for the release of Christians charged under that country's blasphemy laws. Folks, Pakistan is a powder keg. Osama bin Laden is hiding in the Northwest Territories, where the government is afraid to go. I was reliably informed that 90 percent of Pakistan's nuclear scientists support al Qaida--and it was a highly respected Muslim who told me this. We give money to Pakistan without asking them to reform their heinous blasphemy laws. You insult the dead "prophet" Mohammed, and the only penalty is death. Christians are routinely beaten, robbed, raped and otherwise brutalized and the police turn a blind eye. We're losing our gains in Afghanistan because of lack of commitment by the Germans and other weak-kneed NATO members. If Pakistan falls to the Muslim extremists, then al Qaida will finally have access to nuclear weapons. Imagine a nuclear 9/11 and you get the picture. In the meantime, our churches aren't doing anything to help the churches in Pakistan. Folks, we've got a world-class mess on our hands, and I don't see anybody running with the guts to do anything about it--unless it's John McCain.


Clay Cooper:
I don't want to get into a pee match with you but Rush Limbaugh has devoted, I believe, the majority of his 3 hours per day radio program to the war. He has confronted liberals on every aspect of the war and recently made a donation of 4.2 million dollars to a United States Marine Corps charity. True, half of that money became available because of a massive Democrat Senate screw-up (at our expense), but it got there because of Rush. I cannot speak for Mr. Hannity. His radio show doesn't get up here, nor does the Savage show.


Chev Jim
You paint a pretty bleak picture of that country. I'm not suprised that most Democrats and at least one Republican (Huckabee) want to invade thaat nation.
I question the wisdom of any church sending missionaries to that nation. Islam is the state religon and freedom of religon is a concept that's not too common in that region.
I honestly don't know what we should do. Islamo-Facsism is rife there. If we let it be there, they'll try to export it here. I would love for our president to do something there. Not only is UBL there but the Taliban uses that country for a base to attack our troops in Afganistan. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't.


Hey Alamo,

I don't wanna make anybody think I don't appreciate the grunts; my cousin Joe went over there in 69-70 (luckily for him, he had a BA, so they made him a rear-area radio guy); one of the guys I played lacrosse with in college was in an engineering outfit 72-73 (and if you wanna talk about cluster f$!*s, he had a whopper or two). He spent all his time building fire bases for ARVN troops who didn't give a rat's ass one way or the other.

I just have always been of the school that while Ho was a Red, he was more of a nationalist, and didn't have a vast agenda of world domination. I guess it's an open question about if the presence of the US kept Thailand no-Red..and another question on if the Cambodian killing fields would have happened at all if the war hadn't happened.

When all is said and done, were we any more endangered because Vietnam went Red and stayed that way? And the question has some relevance today...if we put all our efforts into Afghanistan/Pakistan, where we knew AQ was, sted Iraq, where at the least intel screwed up badly and at worst cooked the books egregiously, do you think we'd be safer here?

As the great Texan Robert Earl Keen reminds us, the road goes on forever and the party never ends.


Hey guys, I've seen this before, and will probably watch it a gain. I know when the National Guard unit here in town came back after being activated, I painted a big sign in my yard. Welcome Home Troops. . A little different than when the guys came home from Vietnam, Many were spit at and jeered. That almost brought tears to my eyes. I'm up to the armory regularly, know all the guys. I taught the high School ROTC rifle team one year.


This is an old one, but still very true.

"If you can read this, thank a teacher. More importantly, thank the soldiers in American history who have fought for your freedom to learn."
God bless our military and Merry Christmas to all.

Dr. Ralph

Alabamahunter I got your tricked out 10/22... Did it a long time ago with a Butler Creek barrel and have probably fired it 50,000 times. I'm not sure you can shoot out a .22 but I think I have. It used to shoot dime sized groups @ 50 yards with any ammo. Close to same hole groups with Federal Gold Medal Match and strangely enough some Winchester moly coated bullet that they didn't sell by the brick but was only $2.99 for 50. 75 yards I'd line up shotgun shells and shoot at the brass base with about 90% accuracy. You know you hit the brass when the shell flies 20 yards! I've been contemplating replacing the barrel with a Green Mountain. Get a kit with a sear and target hammer to improve the trigger, you can do it yourself. Mine's made by G. David Tubb and was pretty cheap. It still doesn't shoot a good group at 100 yards but I think that's pushing it for a .22... maybe I'm wrong, I haven't owned a good bolt action with a long barrel. Original Deluxe Sporter stock on mine floated and bedded naturally, punch my name. One more thing, don't do it unless you have another .22 to hunt with because the S.O.B. gets heavy fast in the woods.

P.S. left out the 30 round mag just for you Yohan LMFAO...


Hey yooperjack,
I was driving across I-94 a few weeks back and was passing the weigh station just east of Jackson. They had two bus loads of returning Vet's waiting in there. You should have seen all the State Police Escorts. There must have been about 10 state police cruisers in front and in back of the buses. And us truckers were sure raising a racket when we passed by them letting them know we were welecoming them back.


A simple yes or no question "Do you want America to win in Iraq?" Its an easy question. Either you want us to win or lose! You can't answer by saying you support the troops. Its either yes or no. A follow up question, if you answered no, would be Do you want Sharia (Islamic) Law to rule America?

Sometime in the early 20th century, world domination by a single country or alliance became a possibility. The German Nazis and Japanese Imperialists tried to accomplish that goal. They were stopped because of America. After that, the Soviet Union sought that same objective. Again, America was the vanguard. Yes, we lost in Viet Nam, but that was a large battle in the cold war. We actually didn't lose, our politicians surrendered. Now America is the leader in the war against Islamo-Facsism. We have to win in Iraq. We have to win in Afganistan. We will probably have to face Iran at some point and I don't know what we are facing in Pakistan. Also, Saudi Arabia isn't the most stable country in the world. That country's society is based on a 6th century feudal system.

Twenty years from now , GWB might be thought of as a very progressive thinker. We'll have to wait and see.



One quick question. Do you want America to win the war in Iraq? Its easy, yes or no. If you answer no, there's a follow-up question. Do you want to live under Sharia (Islamic) Law? That's a possibility if we lose this war.

America has been the vanguard nation in the sustenance of freedom. We stood up to the Nazis and Japanese Imperialists then the Communists. We won because we stood together as a nation.

We are faced now with an even bigger challenge. Islamo-Facsists want world domination and we are the principal nation standing up to them.

We might desparately need a forward base in that region someday. Ten years from now, GWB might be thought of as a forward looking genius.

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