~A Veteran~

A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of "Up to and including my life". That is honor, and there are far too many people in this country who no longer understand it. - Author Unknown

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Errors of Trust and the Path of Betrayal

Some time has past since I posted last. It is not because I have nothing to say, but more truthfully because as my Papa always told me, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
I regard my Papa's words of wisdom carefully before posting this blog of insight into trust and betrayal, but I also couple it with honesty and information that needs to be put out.
During December 2004-January 2007 I was in a voluntary position to be a chairperson and leader of sorts for a Family Support Group for our Military Unit. At the onset, we as a group established an equality among members. This cohesion carried through the entire time of my voluntary position. Everyone had an equal say in all aspects of the groups activities. No one person was more important than the next. Many members did well above what was expected of them or asked of them. Those members put their heart, soul, and time into everything from the grand to typical. They were godsends, and we as a whole made sure to the best of our ability that these selfless individuals knew of our gratitude.
Something changed however, when the unit returned from War. It wasn't the soldiers themselves, but it was more of an attitude adjustment within the ranks of soldiers who had been "in the rear" with our group while the others served overseas. It almost felt like something was going on behind the scenes, but I was not quite able to quantify exactly what it was until later.
It turned out to be dissension in the ranks, backbiting, and a general betrayal that still holds it grip firmly today.
I was not aware that a particular administrative soldier disliked me personally so much that he was going to make sure he never had to have dealings with me again. I had never gotten that complete vibe from him, simply because he was a good politician, able to smile and joke with you, while plotting behind you.
This particular person is the largest reason why I have had the experience of betrayal and distrust within the capacity of my husbands unit. His complete animosity towards me is a direct reason why my husbands file is incomplete with awards, paperwork, and the lack of promotion in rank. Naturally being the perfect politician and member of the "Good Ole Boys" club, he can cover his tracks with 100% accuracy, so this issue becomes one of hearsay more than fact.
Recently in this continually unfolding drama, I have given this soldier the nickname of Grima Wormtongue. He whispers poison to the commanders, constantly bringing his opinion to the forefront, always standing ready to extinguish any possibility of something positive happening where my husband is concerned. It actually feels like a personal vendetta is at play.
The latest event of sorts, has sealed my decision to completely sever my ties with the Support Group at large. After sending an information gathering, question and idea email to the present leader of the support group, it was resent to a particular soldier who took offense to the simplicity of the ideas suggested, and went further up the chain. When it arrived at its final destination, the commander remembered the whisperings of Grima Wormtongue, and shot back with fever and insult towards my husband. My husband was given an option to "silence" his spouse, or have action taken against him and his removal from the current operations.
Naturally being a strong honorable man, he called the bluff laid before him and opted for his removal. After some stammerers and back stepping, that option was removed.
This entire occurrence showed several things. First, command is blowing hot air most of the time. The "do as I say, not as I do" cycle is in full play. Lying to your men is acceptable and can be revoked at one's discretion. And finally, the lines of betrayal run long and wide within the company, support group intertwined.
It was my own error to put faith and trust in the leadership I was given as a family member. It was the error on my husbands side to put CONFIDENCE in a leader who ultimately lied to him from the beginning and continues to do so. It was the Error on the leaderships portion to put forth an ultimatum which was fraught with lies, and expect a fair outcome. Instead it showed the true colors, which do not consist of red,white, & blue, but rather a dingy yellow streak.
It is the opinion of several outsiders, that my husbands career serving his country is at a stagnant section of life. As long as Grima Wormtongue remains, he will never see a promotion to the rank he has EARNED and deserves. His zest for being a soldier is a light within him that has but a tiny flicker left. The winds of lies and the cover of betrayal within the company blows out the once vibrant flame he carried with pride and honor.
It is a sad day when a soldier who loves his position and country has to make a decision about standing firm in his loyalty to a unit even in times as this. Typically loyalty is as common as breathing air. However with all of the backbiting and betrayal, it is now coming down to a decision verses instinct.
There is no "I" in team, and there is no team in a unit where command is only concerned with doing the minimum, so their own self-serving ideals can be reached. True command does not sacrifice the honor of his men, to achieve personal gains.