Hard Work, Discipline, Courage, & Honor

By | July 5, 2018

By guest blogger Edward M. Kennedy III [See Biography]

[July 5, 2018]  ‘You don’t get something for nuthin,’ said my Platoon Sergeant as we were riding in an LCM-6 “Mike Boat” up one of the many unnamed tributaries of South Vietnam back in early 1967.  You see, we were after one of the Viet Cong teams that had beheaded a number of men in a village near our base camp; our mission was to kill them all.  These Viet Cong would give no quarter in a fight and we took them for their word that it was kill or be killed.  To accomplish our mission required hard work, discipline, courage, and a good dose of honor … something these men lacked and what we had in spades.

Bare with me readers!  A lesson here is not so obvious to be learned.  The communist Viet Cong were driven by a simple ideology that said that capitalism and an improved lifestyle would mean they could no longer control the population located in what they considered their territory.  They had to keep the population on the brink of destitution and depravity and in doing so they could control them by giving out a pittance of food and drink.  This meant the population would do anything to feed themselves and their kids.  Communists at the time would take all the food and farm animals they could for themselves and leave little for the locals.  “Thugs” were too good of a term for them since a thug rarely kills out of pure entertainment and to terrorize like the communist VC.

Nope!  Talking to the VC would do no good.  A local tribesman was convinced this would work and so off he went looking for what thought was the “good VC” to persuade them they should stop stealing from everyone and threatening to kill his family.  We found his body a week later, tied to a tree and saw that he had been tortured mercilessly and for no reason; he had no food, no water, and no information to give them.  The VC had nothing valuable to gain; nothing, at least, in our value system.  They had a lot to gain from the entertainment value of slowly killing another human being and that, dear friends, is what is at the heart of communism.  Now, no one should fail to notice Vietnam today, after the communist takeover in April 1975, and still celebrated by American communists and socialist, remains mostly in the Dark Ages.  And the communist Khmer Rouge of Cambodia at the time made the VC look like pikers.

Communism and its sister ideologies like socialism are based on the emotion of hate; hatred for anything they cannot control and anything they cannot destroy.  Everything is about control and anyone who gets in the way will be eliminated; killed, imprisoned, or just “disappeared.”  You find this philosophy in South America, much of the Middle East and the Far East, and parts of Europe and America.  Some say that it is an enlightening idea that’s time has come.  We are told you are simply part of the “deplorables” if you cannot envision the utopia of those who possess it and so you must be re-educated in public schools to accept it without question.  This is the leadership lesson for us today.  Only through hard work, discipline, courage, and honor can any of this be overcome.

Author: Edward Kennedy III

Edward M. Kennedy III joined the U.S. Marine Corps on May 22, 1966 after graduating from high school in San Diego, California. Deployed to South Vietnam as part of the 1st Marine Division in January 1967. Earned a Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor in combat against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam during the Battle of Huế. After an honorable discharge married high school sweetheart Victoria Elizabeth and had five children and now have eight grandchildren. Graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and started a small firm working construction projects throughout the west coast. Sold the business and now tinkers in his retirement as a part-time consultant for whoever can afford him.