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Male Advanced Member
1196 Posts

Houston, TX


Heritage Classic 04

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  1:05 PM                       Like
This was posted by my buddy MUSHY on my board. It is a long read but well worth the read - I Promise.


In brief, Jill Edwards, a junior math major at the University of Washington, and a member of the UW student senate, opposed a memorial to UW grad "Pappy" Boyington. Boyington was a U.S. Marine aviator who earned the Medal of Honor in World War II. Edwards said that she didn't think it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She also said that a member of the Marine Corps was NOT an example of the sort of person the
University of Washington wanted to produce.

What follows is Gen. Dula's letter to the University of Washington student senate leader. Read and comprehend what is being said and decide if you want to be a "sheep".
To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your 'student activity' regarding the proposed memorial to Col Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative folks like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté.

It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are. Please take a couple of minutes to read the following. And be grateful for the thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

Brett Dula
Sheepdog, retired


By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER,
Ph.D., author of "On Killing."

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is
considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell.

Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and
someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for
your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes
them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The dfference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the
little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right long with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those
planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd
dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and
prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are sychologically
destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself..."Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.

Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that
continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

My personal Signature

"If It Weren't For The United States Military"
"There Would Be NO United States of America"

Commanding Officer
Navy Operational Support Center Willow Grove
dsn: 991-6301
com: (215) 443-6301
cell: (215) 410-2272
fax: (215) 443-6309
Lewko, Kenneth CAPT Navy Operational Support Center.vcf

Edited by - BadaBing on 08/07/2006 3:01 PM

Advanced Member
2157 Posts

St. Charles, MO


Springer Classic

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  1:14 PM
Very well put, and not a word of it in German or Japanese..
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Starting Member
6 Posts

Scottsbluff, Nebraska


Road Star

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  2:43 PM
As a former "Sheepdog" .. I have to agree completely with the authors sentiments!
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Indiana Randy
2118 Posts

Fort Wayne, Indiana


2000 Magna V4 750

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  7:23 PM
Thanks Rocco. Well worth the read.
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John Henry
Male Advanced Member
535 Posts

Houston, TX



Posted - 06/06/2006 :  7:34 AM
My favorite bumper sticker slogan:

"If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier."
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Posted - 08/07/2006 :  3:08 PM
LOL, you had me going there. Post indicated new today, but I remembered having read John's response a couple months back. I gather this is the result of having relocated it?

Great job guys. Nice enhancements, Thanks!

By the way, It IS a great read, and JH, ^5!

Edited by - Niebor on 08/07/2006 3:09 PM
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Male Senior Member
364 Posts

Atlanta, Georgia


'06 Aero

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  3:01 AM
It is a long read but well worth the read - I Promise

I trusted you, and I was greatly rewarded. Thank you.

That pretty much sums up a lot of what is going on right now in our world.
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Male Advanced Member
1990 Posts

Southern, PA


1982 XJ 650 R Seca

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  6:45 AM
Just got around to reading this Rocco, thanks very much, it was excellent.

Eventhough I no longer carry a badge and gun for a living, I am STILL a Sheepdog.
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Male Advanced Member
1796 Posts

Baytown, Texas


'07 V-Star Custom

Posted - 08/08/2006 :  9:37 PM
No true words have been spoken

Semper Fi
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Male Starting Member
8 Posts

Plano, Texas


Burgman 650 Exec

Posted - 08/22/2006 :  9:56 AM
A great analogy and a good explanation of why some of us here are proud veterans and current CHL holders.

The same sentiment is summed up in a favorite quote of mine from George Orwell: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."


Cold War Veteran
U.S. Navy Submarine Service - '76-'82
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Male Junior Member
55 Posts

Oxnard, Ca


Street bob

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  9:16 PM
I saw LTC Grossman speak about two months ago. Great class! He spoke for a solid eight hours, covering school shootings, 9-11, terrorist attacks, Al-Quida, and pre/during/post shooting incidents. Lots of food for thought. Anyone who has the chance, should see this man talk.
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Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts

Jacksonville, NC

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 12/09/2007 :  2:09 AM
I agree.

But it is too long, and too repetitive.

If the author wishes it to have impact, he needs to sharpen it and shorten it.

I don't respond as a sheep, or a sheepdog, or as a wolf. I respond as an English teacher, with an acute sensitivity of what words can do to move people, and what too many words will do to most readers--turn them off.

I don't want people turned off to this message. Therefore I post this critique.
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Posted - 12/09/2007 :  5:05 AM
The problem is, the sheepdog has turned into the wolf.

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Advanced Member
1053 Posts

Northern, Virginia



Posted - 12/09/2007 :  8:59 AM
Jill Edwards showed the true depths of her ignorance when trying to justify her untenable position by tossing out the comment (paraphrased… don’t remember the exact words) “…don’t need another memorial to a white man (i.e. Boyington).” Boyington was (is) Native American, born into the Sioux Nation.

Once a Sheepdog, always a Sheepdog!

Edited by - D R on 12/09/2007 9:01 AM
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Male Junior Member
71 Posts

Golden, CO


Posted - 07/16/2008 :  1:50 PM
Originally posted by jollyroger

Very well put, and not a word of it in German or Japanese..

or Arabic.

I actually had the pleasure of talking with Mr Grossman. Our Battalion Commander got him to come out to Hawaii to talk to us before we deployed last year. He had some interesting views on life, politics and the war in the Middle East. Some of his oppinions I agree with, others not so much. HOWEVER, I think our country will always need a good corps of sheepdogs around.
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4260 Posts

Meridian, Idaho


Sportster Sport

Posted - 07/16/2008 :  7:04 PM
Boise State University is proud to commemorate the achievements "Pappy" Boyington with a conference room named in his honer in the Student Center on campus which recognizes the Marine flying Ace, War Prisoner of the Japanese, and Medal of Honor winner. Boyington was an original member of Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers before he achieved fame as the leader of the Black Sheep Squadron. He was shot down over the Island of Rabaul while leading a raid on the Japanese Pacific Bastion.
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Male Advanced Member
1796 Posts

Baytown, Texas


'07 V-Star Custom

Posted - 07/17/2008 :  11:19 AM
Originally posted by rioguy

The problem is, the sheepdog has turned into the wolf.

Actually not...the sheep see the sheepdog who posses the tools of the wolf on the same level, which unfortunately is fundamentally dangerous to the sheep

I direct you to the follow up of the SHEEP,SHEEP DOGS and WOLVES
The Parable of the Sheep
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