I'm usually a good sport about the abrasiveness of the Mercury. It's usually in good humor.
However, to say Bradley Manning has "twice the balls of every other delusional so-called Army 'patriot'" struck a particular chord with me.
August 31st of this year is the one year anniversary of my grandfather, Amos Almeida, death. He was a first generation American from Mexican parents. He didn't get past the 8th grade, but when his country conscripted him into the Army, he went above and beyond and volunteered to be a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, with the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment.
His first combat drop was during D-Day. He took part of the first bayonet charge of World War II, charging into "withering machine gun fire," which was thick enough to cut a man in half, during the Battle of Carentan, for which he was later knighted in the French Legion of Honor.
He then dropped into Holland, during Operation Market Garden, a battle known as "Hell's Highway," where he earned a Purple Heart.
Following that, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he earned a Bronze Star for taking on 100 German soldiers and 6 tanks, with only 14 other paratroopers and 2 tank destroyers. He went into enemy fire to take out a German tank while outnumbered almost 5-1.
And when he came back, he couldn't buy a house in the neighborhood he wanted to because he was Mexican.
So pardon me, when this column states Bradley Manning, a desk jockey who admitted to what is essentially espionage, had the biggest balls of any Army Patriot, might be taken as a tad bit offensive. But my grandfather, God rest his soul, had bigger cajones than that kid ever did. Risking 35 years in prison? How about risking your life? How about literally seeing your friends cut in half in front of you? How about dragging soldiers across a shit and body strewn river in France and never getting acclaim for it, because it was also the right thing to do?
Sitting at your desk in a comfy air conditioned room mulling over files seems really hard in comparison, I'm sure.
I get that this is a gossip column and that it is supposed to be funny. And usually it is. But this should cross a line for every person who had a family member or friend who went through hell or worse, only to be deemed a piece of shit by this column, compared to this guy who had the "guts" to hit the "send" button.
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