A Report From the Navy

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Writes a friend:

I have intended to write to you for some time to congratulate you on the recent milestone for the von Mises Institute.

I have been familiar with the Institute since I was in graduate school at Auburn from 1988 to 1990. I attended a speech there by the Libertarian vice presidential candidate during that time. The publications of the Institute along with LRC have greatly affected my thinking about economics and politics.

Your recent comment about judging a military man by the collection of ribbons he wears was spot on, I believe. I served for 26 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and I saw the Naval Academy graduates award each other medals over and over. The conversation goes something like this: “Commander, if you will nominate me for the Naval Commendation Medal, I’ll put you in for a Bronze Star.” They fill out all the paperwork for the award de jour and then just get the boss to sign it.

I refused to play that game. If the boss didn’t appreciate me enough to fill out the paperwork and send it up the line himself, I didn’t get the ribbon.

You also have commented on the ridiculous stuff the ROTC students do. I was a Lieutenant when I was at Auburn, but I stayed away from the ROTC just because of that silliness.

In many ways I regret ever having anything to do with the Navy at all.

10:51 am on November 19, 2012