Most military folks I know, even the Navy Seals and the Marines, admit that no war can be won without a lot of behind-the-scenes home-front help. Of course, there's home-front help, and then there's home-front battle.
A lot of us are cut out for the former, and do our share of helping in myriad ways. Our troop-support efforts are as varied and ingenious as is the spirit of the American people.
But only a few of us seem to be cut out for the home-front battles, those necessary confrontations with the anti-military leftists, the Cindy Sheehans and Medea Benjamins and the summer-soldier malcontents.
We ought to just call it like it is. A home-front warrior is a different breed than the home-front helpers.
They are the few, the proud, and the ferocious.
Melanie Morgan receives my own medal for our most ferocious home-front warrior.
The Female John Wayne
Morgan is no wimp, no wall-flower, no Daisy Mae.
She is the equivalent of a female John Wayne. With enormous appeal to the opposite gender, she mixes ferocity, tenacity and meets the foxhole test with feline ease. More like Annie Oakley, with a dose of Lois Lane.
As one of the co-founders of Move America Forward, Melanie has managed to juggle her duties as a daily-talk radio star with regular rumbles with the loony leftists of the anti-military crowd, from Berkeley, CA to Crawford, TX to Washington, D.C. Melanie has gone to the war zone twice, once on a speaking tour directly with our soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and again with in-transit soldiers in Kuwait.
But while most of the rest of us were still snugly sleeping, prior to 9/11, Melanie took her first trip to the Middle East, to Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. And at the tender age of 24, she learned the difference between reporting on war from afar and seeing it up close.
Of that first close encounter with war, Middle-East style, she writes:
Writing and reporting about historic events in your own lifetime (from afar) is a cheap experience. Anybody can watch TV, read a newspaper, peruse a blog and pound out something on a keyboard. But being near and hearing from actual victims of atrocities and how they were committed, and re-living evil, as it reaches into the lives of people and alter humanity forever, has had a profound effect on me.
I was a 24-year old reporter for ABC Radio, with little comprehension of Middle Eastern politics, and the hatred nursed for centuries by a tribal culture that is mysterious and alien to me. Cramming on the World Airlines flight to Lebanon could not prepare me for the sight of 8-year old boys feeding ammunition belts to terrorist Hamas fighters ringing the Beirut airport as our plane circled in for a landing under fire.
(No, that is not a Hillary ‘mis-remembered' moment.)
When Hillary was 24, she was ensconced safely at Yale Law, planning a political future and studying defensive ploys to aid the Black Panthers.
Maybe Melanie Morgan should be running for President now, and Hillary Clinton should be in boot camp.
Taking on the Loony Left Is Not for Wimps and Whiners
I would have paid good money just to see Melanie Morgan face off with Medea Benjamin, of Code-Pink notoriety.
Medea Benjamin is a mousey little woman, a real rabble-rousing lover of dictators everywhere, who takes great pride in being arrested for uncivil behavior, and seems to love taking advantage of our national tolerance for idiocy. Ferocious Melanie has taken her on, personally, in Berkeley and elsewhere. No one ever need worry over telling the two apart. Medea will always be the one spitting on or burning our flag, while Melanie is backing Medea into a corner and verbally annihilating her disgraceful disrespect for our Country.
When I asked Melanie recently about her passionate convictions and their personal toll, she wrote:
Every time I organize a pro-troop demonstration, or attend others, the anti-war Left always taunts me about ‘why don't you go to war, if you believe in it' or ‘how come your son doesn't sign up?'
My answer to the first part of the question is that I am unaware of any waivers that allows a 51-year old woman to fight in war, but I would be proud to go if I could.
At the January push-back against the Code Pink traitors ( who have sent $600,000 to the families of the terrorists) I was jeered again for not ‘sending' my son into battle, while the teenage hooligans and their enablers from the World Can't Wait, Funk the War and International A.N.S.W.E.R. were hitting elderly women and other pro-troop supporters carrying American flags.
As the morning wore on, I called my husband and son to tell them I was okay, even as they were watching the video images of the violence on TV. My husband told me just minutes earlier, FedEx delivered a box to the house.
My 16-year old son raced for the door. He knew what was inside. It was papers from the Marine Recruiting office in Berkeley.
I was absolutely shocked, and Mommy tears started flowing with pride and worry. I must tell you that in one single instant I understood the sacrifice of every military family member, and that made me admire them in an emotional way that I have never felt before.
If my son chooses to go into the military, it places a burden of worry on me that no one can understand until it happens. But it thrills me with pride that I helped to raise a child who understands the notion that America counts, we are a loving nation willing to fight for our freedom and for others, and that the X-Box generation isn't so consumed with ‘American Idol' that they reject the concept of service and sacrifice.
I am equally proud of the military recruiters who are quiet, dignified and dedicated in their job to bring young men and women into the brotherhood. Their job is made so much more difficult thanks to the hatred by the Left.
I couldn't have said this better myself, and that's ground I rarely give to anyone.
Of course, Melanie is also a writer herself.
(Is there anything this woman cannot do?)
Getting to know Melanie Morgan has been a very humbling experience for me. I like to think that I am good with words and that what I write is some sort of public service. But when I meet someone like Melanie, who is truly moving mountains on the home front of this war, without any compensation or pomp or celebration, I am reminded that we must all do more.
Move America Forward is paying public tribute to Melanie this Saturday in San Francisco, and I wish I could be there. But more than a celebration of Melanie's home-front heroism, this dinner is a fundraiser for Move America Forward's never ceasing efforts to defend our troops and their recruiters stateside. While our taxes go to pay the ACLU to sue every Tom, Dick and Harry that offends them, we citizens must voluntarily foot the bill and do the work to defend our right to raise an army.
Maybe only a few of us can be the ferocious home-front warriors like Melanie Morgan, but all of us can and must do more.
As Lt. Col. (ret) Steve Russell told an audience in Nashville, TN, as part of the National Heroes Tour:
"We cannot afford to allow the home front to become our exposed flank in the war on terror. This war must be won. And it must be won decisively."