Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anchors Aweigh and the Goatf*** in the Gulf

Hey, no disrespect to the United States Coast Guard, which does a heckuva job patrolling for drunks in speedboats and rescuing those in peril on the ... um, still waters.

But somebody please tell me, as I am watching grandly uniformed Coast Guard officers testify about the Goatf*** in the Gulf: What are all those splendid ribbons on their chests for?

I mean, the Coast Guard is a branch of the Homeland Security Department, not a military outfit per se. So are these combat ribbons? Are they merit badges for rope-tying and seamanship? I really want to know.

It probably wouldn't have occurred to me to be so rude as to pose the question -- if these grandees didn't have so many ribbons festooned across their chests. I mean, the last time I saw the genuine war hero General Petraeus on the TV I counted eight rows of ribbons on his chest, many of them representing medals for valor in mortal combat.

Shown above: Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, who was all over the TV in the initial stages of the Goatf*** in the Gulf, seems to have six rows of ribbons. Coast Guard Capt. Verne Gifford (above, left), who has been all over the TV lately, seems to be sporting seven.

Just askin' ... As I say, no disrespect to the Coast Guard, but maybe they should consider toning down the comic-opera regalia till this catastrophe settles down.

OK, I spent four years in the Navy, so I do get to repeat the joke:

Why do Coast Guard officers all have to be over six feet tall? So they can walk to shore if their boat sinks, of course.

I kid, I kid.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Sharkey, as I am sure you are aware,all Military ribbons are not an indication of valor in combat.
I get your point though,I am always amused to see High School ROTC kids with a chest full of ribbons Audie Murphy would be envious of.
With that said, there are Coast Guard folks doing jobs that take a lot of skill and courage. Look into the guys in Alaska during the commercial fishing seasons.

I also want to mention that the Coast Guard still has a combat role. They secure ports and coastal waters. In fact Coast Guardsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal lost his life doing just that in Iraq.

Thought you might want to know.