You remember in "Patton" how after the Kasserine Pass debacle the general wished to restore pride in his beaten soldiers. They had to wear helmets, neckties, polish their combat boots and "look like soldiers!" The soldiers didn't love Patton for this but they certainly respected him and their pride indeed renewed. We continue to have these defense problems. Now we try to install a measure of pride and purpose into our important National Guard. You hear the TV commercials DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY ( which has actually been West Point's motto for many years), you hear "Be all you can be!" They do this to parry off the mocking "Weekend Warrior" remarks which never makes them stand tall. Most of the guys who go into the Guard were never soldiers anywhere. This would be their opportunity to march, salute, fire a rifle, and take charge of a guard post. It was something I once did at age 19 and with live ammunition. I suddenly started feeling responsibility especially on a dark post at night. Now the president appears at Artesia,NM, to applaud the new Border Patrol trainees who wear snappy Smoky the Bear hats, tailored uniforms and lots of leather.

National Guard units have been called up as an adjunct to stop the illegal aliens from entering America; this was necessary because the regular Border Patrol was unsuccessful in stopping the flood of illegal aliens. The National Guard soldier will arrive in baggy fatigues, probably in soft fatigue hats, and without his rifle. In essence they will arrive as a labor or service battalion, they will dig holes for fence posts and offload heavy bundles of wire. Among cowboys this is known as "riding the fence" probably the most unpopular, most onerous duty of a cowhand. I will say no more, but be prepared for a morale problem in the National Guard and remarks of "This ain't why I joined my National Guard, and I want to transfer out of this cs outfit." It seems when it comes to defense that America digs itself into one hole after the other.

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