One Reason Why “we” Wore the Uniform and Put “our” Lives on the Line

Less than one percent of Americans currently serve in the US Military defending their nation and fighting for its interests in foreign lands. Between 1964 – 1968, I was one of those troops serving for America wearing the uniform.  I put my life on the line just like the others that wore similar uniforms in the US Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

In 1964, I joined the US Marines and went to boot camp at MCRD in San Diego, California. While I was in boot camp, the Tonkin Gulf Incident took place and President L. B. Johnson used this as an excuse to go to war in Vietnam, where I served in 1966.  I came home with a bad case of PTSD and still suffer from it.  I cannot sleep without weapons close at hand.  One of those weapons is a seven-inch bowie knife with a razor sharp blade.  Another is a 38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver loaded with hollow points. Remove the weapons, I cannot sleep. Every night sound brings back memories of Vietnam.

In Vietnam, my battalion, while it was there during the war, took 50% casualties and earned a Presidential Unit Citation.

I often ask myself, who did I sacrifice for?  Why did I put my life on the line and who did I put my life on the line for?

I’ll tell you. Out of patriotism, I served to defend the American way of life—the freedoms this country provides and the opportunities offered by a capitalist, consumer economy that is supposed to reward merit and hard work.

My wife was born in China. She experienced severe hunger during the famine of the Great Leap Forward (1959 – 1961) and she lived through the insanity of Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966 -1976). In the mid 1980s, she came to the United States on a student Visa, earned an MFA from the Chicago Art Institute and went on to write her memoir, which became a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.  As an immigrant and a naturalized US citizen she benefited from what America had to offer to all immigrants and citizens that live and hopefully work here.

Therefore, I served in the US Marines and fought in a war to preserve the right of immigrants to come to the United States and succeed.  Since less than 2% of the US population are North American Natives, that means 98% of the population in America are either descended of immigrants or immigrants.

According to Index Mundi in 2012, 79.96% of Americans are white, 12.85% are black, 4.43% are Asian and 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic (Latino). Note – there is a separate listing for Hispanic since the origin may be white, black, Asian, etc.

For example, I fought for Jessica Sanchez (age 16), so she could have a chance at the American dream. Her father, a Mexican-American born in Texas and a US citizen served in the US Navy and wore the uniform, so he also served for his daughter and others just like her.

In fact, Jessica’s grandfather (a Filipino), who wasn’t a US citizen, joined the US Navy and wore the uniform.  When a Navy transport carried my battalion from Okinawa to Vietnam in 1966, Jessica’s grandfather could have been serving on the crew of that ship. In addition, the United States, out of gratitude, offers citizenship to foreign nationals that serve in the American military and are willing to fight and even die for this country.

If you do not know who Jessica Sanchez is, I’ll tell you. She started singing at the age of two and her dream is to become a professional singer.  For fourteen years, she competed until she became a finalist at the age of 16 on Season 11 of American Idol where she came in second place losing out on $300,000 and a guaranteed recording contract.

Another young American, a white boy, may have cheated Jessica from achieving her dream. In fact, this other young American who never wore the uniform, may have cheated others out a chance to win too, because he claims that he is responsible for the person that won the contest. He admits that he rigged it and he did it legally because there is no law against what he did.

The American military is not a white-man’s club.  In January 1948, President Truman ended segregation in the armed forces. The most decorated unit in the US military during World War II was the 442nd Infantry Regiment—the Nisei, Japanese-Americans born in the United States.  This unit became the most highly-decorated regiment in the history of the US Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

In fact, during World War II, over 250,000 to over 400,000 Filipinos served/fought in the US military. In addition, the US army reported in an Army Profile in September 2005, that 17.4% of the troops were female, 60.8% were white; 21.6% were black (African-American); 10.5% were Hispanic (Latino),  and 4% were Asian.  Source: http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/docs/demographics/FY05%20Army%20Profile.pdf

The US even offers citizenship to foreign nationals that serve in the US military because so many Americans are not willing to serve or are not qualified for one reason or another.

However, one white boy is so proud of being the creator of “Vote for the Worst.com” that he boasted on his site, “We did it, Worsters! 132 million votes were cast last night, and in the end, we helped the fifth straight white guy with a guitar win American Idol… we succeeded yet again and helped make sure Pinoybot Jessica Sanchez was left in the loser’s circle.”

The week before, only 90 million votes were cast to decide who the final 2 would be.

This white boy’s name is David Della Terza, and he launched “Vote for the Worst.com” in 2004. To discover his alleged influence rigging votes on American Idol and other TV talent contests, it helps to understand that an active Website-Blog often doubles its viewers annually, and a recent Alexa Ranking shows that Terza’s infamous Blog is ranked in the top .01% of all global Website and Blogs.

For a comparison, we will use my iLook China.net Blog. In 2010 (the first year), there were 28,341 total views; in 2011, there were 126,557.  So far in 2012, there have been 95,050.  The average per day views in 2010 were 84 with 347 for 2011, and 645 for 2012 (that number could go up or down before the end of the year).

At my iLook China.net Blog, daily views increased by 400% in 2011 over 2010.  So far, in 2012, daily views have increased by about 180%, and there have been almost a quarter-million total views since the January 2010 launch.

If we use the conservative estimate that a Blog’s views will double each year and use the same number that iLook China saw in its first year, then “Vote for the Worst.com”, since it has been active for eight years, may have reached more than seven million views annually or more than 20,000 a day, and those numbers could be much higher.

If a white boy uses the media (a Website or Blog is media when it reaches these numbers) and called an African American by the “N” word, what kind of reaction would result?

One talented contestant that was voted off the week before the final round was Joshua Ledet, and I believed he was so good that he was a contender for first place. How would many in America react if David Della Terza’s ‘Vote for the Worst.com’ had posted, “We succeeded yet again and helped make sure ‘N-word’ Joshua Ledet was left in the loser’s circle.”?

How is that different from calling Jessica Sanchez, a Hispanic-American born in Chula Vista, California, a Pinoybot as he gloats that he rigged the vote on a popular TV talent show such as American Idol and possibly cheated her out of several hundred thousand dollars and a recording contract that might be worth millions?

The reason why I wore that uniform and put my life on the line was not for someone like David Della Terza.

To discover more on this topic, see The True Value of American Idol – (Viewed as Single Page) and learn more about David Della Terza and contestants that have competed on American Idol.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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5 thoughts on “One Reason Why “we” Wore the Uniform and Put “our” Lives on the Line

  1. Defending the Dream « The Constitution Club

  2. In search of America for Memorial Day — Part 4 of 4 | A View From The Middle (Class)

  3. I thouroughly enjoyed reading this. Thank you. I am an African American woman age 50. It’s difficult when you are only invited to the party when your skills, bravery, and tenacity are required. But when it’s time to bring out the birthday cake, you are dismissed. I feel your pain. I have been aware of vote for the worse for years now and so has the team at AI. It is not within their interest to do anything about the voting system, therefore, it will probably continue as is. However, please know, supremely talented people like Jessica and Joshua will have what was intended for them, one way or another. What’s even more important is they will have earned it and be better people for their struggle.

    • Leslie,

      Thank you. I wonder if anyone has started a “Stop the Worsters” Blog. When I mentioned the Worsters to our daughter (she’s 20 and in college), she said, “Oh, yea, they are one of the spoilers.” She was referring to ‘Vote for the Worst’.

      By the way, I think I made a mistake about Jessica’s father. I thought he had been honorably discharged and was out of the Navy. In fact, he is still serving America and his ship was in Singapore on Memorial Day when Jessica was singing at the White House.

      Here’s a video where Jessica is singing for her father a few weeks or months earlier, and he shares the stage with her.

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