Normally, I don’t cover current events. My site is generally upbeat and a place for readers and aviation enthusiasts. However, after I saw a short CNN clip the other day, I couldn’t remain silent. In it, Brooke Baldwin of CNN, blamed police brutality on returning combat veterans. With zero corroborating evidence, in fact not even any anecdotal: How many veterans are now Police Officers? What percent of police forces have combat experienced veterans? Have any former combat veterans even been involved in any of the brutality cases?
Facts? No need for those, its cable news.
What is more concerning than the bush league reporting, is the fact that this country has been at war for a decade and a correspondent for CNN doesn’t have a clue how our troops operate in combat zones. Our troops have extensive Rules Of Engagement, this ROE is so restrictive it is responsible for American lives being lost. Our combat troops have to show incredible restraint on the field of battle, or risk Court Marshall. In fact, there is a half tongue in cheek article going around the internet detailing combat commanders request for the same ROE the police have.
When I flew over Bosnia-Herzegovina we were not even allowed to carry self defense weapons. And yes we were being fired on, as Scott O’Grady proved when he was shot down a few weeks after we left. During my last cruise over Iraq in 1995, our 8-9 page ROE condensed down to: “Don’t shoot…oh, and don’t take the first hit.” Really?
I have tried to show through my books that Veterans are normal people pressed into extraordinary circumstance. They come home and deal not only with daily life but with what they did and saw. When I sit down to a family dinner the table is ringed with veterans from every service. Every one of them a tax paying positive contributor and “member of the community”. So yes, I’m offended. While I realize she has apologized it rings hollow for me, because she was spring loaded to go there in the first place.
And now you know why Active Military and Veterans do not trust the press.