Douche of the Week: Chris “The Real Hero” Hayes from MSNBC

Updated: May 29, 2012

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes proclaimed on Memorial Day that he was uncomfortable labeling fallen troops as heroes as he felt the term is used as an excuse to engage in “Unjust Wars”.

Somewhere Michael Moore, Bill Maher, and the Westboro Baptist Church just had a Douchegasm.

Forget that Hayes chose the worst possible day imaginable to show off his Brown University education by trying to opine on the definition of the word “Hero”.  Also, forget that his “brilliance” had a special layer of disrespect as he dropped this knowledge bomb on us directly after speaking to a Marine who holds the honored and difficult responsibility of delivering the news of the fallen to their families.  Let’s just look at his base contention: hearing the word “Hero” in relation to fallen members of the military makes people want to go to war.

Well, he does have a point.  After all, it’s proven in study after study that hearing the words “gay marriage” makes people instantly engage in sex with members of the opposite sex; hearing the words “iambic pentameter” immediately forces us to start dropping some Bill Shakespeare inspired accentual-syllabic verse; and hearing the words “Oxygen Thief Knob Jockey Douchebag” makes us instantly apply for a job at MSNBC.

Oh wait, that’s not right.  It actually seems like he has no point at all.  We elect politicians and they decide when we go to war.  The troops actually have absolutely nothing to do with it at all.  We just execute policy.  So if Hayes wanted to level his vitriol at President Bush for getting us into these wars or President Obama for having us fight one under absurd rules in Afghanistan, then he should have at it.  I may agree or disagree with his contentions, but at least there’d be some reason in them.

Instead he opted to just insult our fallen comrades on Memorial Day for not all dying with an appropriate level of heroism.   Maybe he could make a little Heroism-o-Meter for his show and every time we lose another brother or sister he can let us all known if he or she was a real hero or not.  I think we’d all really appreciate it.

And yes, after the VFW skewered him, he issued a half-hearted “I’m sorry but you know…you guys just didn’t understand what I meant” quasi-apology, but the fact remains that he is just one in a growing number of self-styled academic elitist bringers-of-truth who do not respect the service and sacrifice of our military members.

For an outsider to our community, it’d be easy to sit there and say that the military is trying to pat itself on the back.  They imagine us all sitting around and telling each other how awesome we are as we drink beer and do manly and offensive things.  The truth of the matter is so vastly different.  I’m not a hero.  Tom’s not a hero.  99.9% of you out there wouldn’t ever call yourselves heroes.  Hell, the guys who have recently been awarded the Medal of Honor do not consider themselves Heroes.

But those who died, those who literally gave everything, who will never see their families, who will never hold their children, who will never again know their partner’s embrace – these people are heroes.

They paid a price Mr. Hayes would never be willing to pay for this country.  I’m sure he’d have a dozen great-sounding reasons why he wouldn’t serve as well: he doesn’t trust the leadership, he’s  more valuable somewhere else, he won’t engage in unjust wars, blah, blah, blah.  And he will surely have an army of followers supporting him, as they are all over the blogosphere right now, agreeing with his statements.  As we speak, they are writing comments citing “facts” that are patently false about our intelligence, our income levels, and our education.  They are developing arguments for why Hayes is right, why we are wrong, why anyone who serves isn’t worthwhile or has no other options.  If you don’t believe me, please go look at the comments section under any Hayes article regarding this topic on a non-military blog.

It’s easier to do that, to surround yourself with other people who haven’t known service, who haven’t sacrificed, who’d never dream of putting themselves at risk and convince each other that there is a reason why you’re better than other people, than to admit others have experienced something you never will, or God forbid, may be more valuable citizens.

There was a time when men served – when to not serve was deemed cowardice.  There was a time when Captain America, the weak little kid who couldn’t enlist because he was too small and sickly but never gave up until he could wear the uniform, was our gold standard of manhood, service, and patriotism.

We all know those days are dying if they aren’t dead already.

It’s been replaced by a small patriotic civilian base who understands the founding principles of our nation and the 0.45%, a shrinking warrior caste that is expected to hold the Fort while much of the rest of the country pushes for their next thrill, next car, next reality TV show, and next pleasure.

And we’re good with that, even as we don’t fully understand it.  We’re capitalists.  We believe in the American Dream.  We believe in Freedom.  If that’s what Americans want to do, what they want to care about, how they want to live their lives, then they should get after it.

Three things, though, Mr. Hayes.

1)    Wisdom comes from experience.  It is comical to watch a man such as yourself espouse any understanding of the word “Hero”.  You’ve lived a pampered existence handheld by academic and political elites and have never been in harm’s way.

2)    You, being who you are, surrounded by the people you retain, and coming from where you do, will disregard my first point and assume your experience with television, academia, politics, and “big thinking” is in some way comparable.  You will want to argue this point citing events throughout history gleaned from books as your own wisdom.  You will want to explain yourself further as you see everything as an argument to be won for your “side”.  When you get this urge, check the calendar.  If it is Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or the Fourth of July, shut the fuck up.

3)    Quit being such a fucking douche.




  1. Dave Hagen

    May 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Serious? Why would any “educated” man attack the fallen soldiers for the war versus those who send them and are responsible for the policy? What was his agenda and how on Earth would this attack serve to support it? Wow. Freedom of speech does not extend to intentionally stupid and provacative comments meant to insult entire classes of folks. But those who bare arms under the organized government in the armed services continue to leverage those rights so idiots may abuse them.

    • SFC RENT!

      May 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

      MSNBC Shame ON YOU! Not just Mr Hayes but anyone that is probably going to wish they prevented this topic, standing in the back trying to act like his comments were unknown. NEWS FLASH! Soldiers know the consiquences of War, and most are humbled when it is used to define them you dont have to call them Heros, here are a few choice words: Warrior, Gladiator, Teacher, Mentor, Champion, Defender, Guardian, Leader, Idol. None of us do it for the recognition of Awards or Labels. And if you ask we would rather have our Brothers, Sisters alive and simply call them friends and family. Mr Hayes if you get the chance to read this We are not celebrities that get together on Memorial Day and ask for recognition from anyone. We remember those that gave it all and left loved ones we still know behind,Husbands, Wives, Children,Brothers and Sisters. Left them behind so MSNBC a World Wide Network can degrade their Families on a Day of Recognition. Soldiers know your out there and you have supporters. SO ARE WE! Our known Enemies know this that is why now they are coming to our Country in the shadows of people such as your self and ultimately in the end as i tell my Children and Grandchildren of the Wars and HEROS I stood beside Armed in HISTORY. You will probably be alone telling your neighbors of how you were once worked for MSNBC. Im not a Hero. I am asking you to resign Sir.Becasue in one word you are Poison to our youth. Poision to our Country. Poision to our Future. Honestly heres a word for you…. Coward!

    • SFC RENT!

      May 30, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Sir you need to resign from MSNBC. Here is a word…COWARD! Memorial Day is not to label one in dividual but to recognize Our Fallen Soldiers Here are a few words of choice: Leader,Teacher, Provider, Mentor,Champion,Idol,Guardian,Warrior, Protector,Gladiator, Fighter. I am assuming you are an eduated person and unlike others who would only seem to blame you. I blame the MSNBC Network. If you think we as Soldiers do what we do because of our life style we do it because we know “Cowards” such as yourself Mr. Hayes are out there feeding this to our youth. And you know what….. SO ARE WE! But when its all said and done and I tell my Children and Grandchildren of the Wars and the Soldiers I stood with our Enemies ground and fought on the Battlefiled and made History, and they tell thier children after I am gone. You Sir will probably be alone telling your neighbors how you used to report for MSNBC. and when your gone no one will ever talk about you and your carreer choice.

  2. Mike

    May 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Oh well, just got done watching Saving Private Ryan and this fools delerious drivel almost caused my head to explode. City workers, community organizers heroic….r u kidding me? Do they go to work opposed by withering gunfire, do they find, disarm and dispose of bombs buried in the streets of New York? Are they maimed and killed trying to protect the freedoms of others? Quite the contrary…..their lives goal is to take from those who they believe have to much, and give to those who do to little. The object of this article is a spineless piece of crap and it would be my humble suggestion that somebody scoop him up and drop him off in San Diego and see if he could make it 5 minutes in an un-named school of gladiator heros with out soiling himself.

  3. Matthew Rutledge

    May 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The problem with people like this guy is simple. They’re to big of an asshole to realize the level of asshole they’ve reached.

  4. SGT Steve B

    May 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

  5. Teresa Hall

    May 29, 2012 at 11:45 am

    We can’t expect anymore out of someone associated with MSNBC! Stands to reason he is a coward, because I’m sure if he were asked to “serve” he’d wriggle out of it somehow. Disgusting!! Our “Hero’s” are fighting for his freedoms too if he has forgotten that!! God Bless our Military!!!

  6. SGT Smith

    May 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Perfect. This should be shared everywhere. Nick, you nailed it man.

  7. TygeRInfantrY

    May 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I don’t even KNOW who this douchemongin’ retard is but it is safe to say that one look at him and U can tell he was the kid that was picked on in school and never bucked up to get his ass whooping to stand up to his bullies. So now he is on a mission to prove himself right, as self-righteous people always do and make everybody else wrong. No matter the consequences….U know the type. The MSNBC type that thinks their opinion comes from a better source than yours!*SMH* Sadly his kind are multiplying all throughout America, I see it in the faces of young kids everywhere now a days. The days of pride and patriotism are gone! Kids grow up so disconnected with what makes THIS Nation such a great place and take all our freedoms and liberties for granted! It’s sad and heartbreaking to see from younger children, to know that they will NEVER stand up for not only themselves but for each other or for anyone, because to do so would be too high a risk, for them. Truth be told we are the .45% and I fear that even this small percentage may be shrinking even more! Let it be known that I volunteered, I served, I sacrificed and I was injured but I would STILL do it again. I would give my life this very moment to bring back just one of my guys who lost theirs….Not a day goes by that I think to myself maybe if I get a new spine I can still get in the fight! A Man has to strive towards things, goals and dreams. These selfish, academic-morons who seek to label themselves “better” than anyone are neither scholars nor gentlemen because Respect is an underlying quality of both and those who cannot respect and admire the people who provide them the freedom to spew their ignorance are themselves placing an emphasis on their “worthlessness”. If U would not defend anything nor anyone, what good are U as a Man?! Common sense is a thing of the past with most of these geniuses, for they can quote Nietsche, Marx and Tsu with the best of them but they can never define the lessons that they’ve learned in the REAL world. I always invite people like this to travel the world and go to places where freedom is not the law of the land and feel free to let people know how they feel and then let us know how THAT went. Thanks for reading my rant….God Bless our Heroes and Brothers all the same. On3….

    • Apache Wife

      May 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      My husband is on his 4th deployment right now. I better never run into that guy! “My hero wears combat boots:. God bless our military.

  8. Joe

    May 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Another perfectly written DOTW!!

  9. Doc

    May 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    HOOAH! Couldn’t have said it better!

  10. Stephanie

    May 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    So glad you guys made this fuckwad douche of the week.

    Now I’m just waiting for AFT’s take on him.

  11. Doc Davis

    May 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Perfect response, Mr. Hayes needs to be reminded that he can bash the military and our fallen heros because so many of us decided to wear a uniform and protect his right to speak his mind. No one hates war more than the soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen fighting, for in the end they are the ones who pay the ultimate price. I would love to see this man in any type of hostile environment, requesting help from the very same people he chastised and put down.

  12. Ray Murphy

    May 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Very well said. Now, if everyone reading this would send an email stating how offended we are to MSNBC, and then never going to any of their websites, maybe, just maybe one or two of them over there would get a clue. We might be the .45%, but we can carry a very large fiscal sword. Hell, email some of the advertisers/ponsors on MSNBC, explaining how they will be held accountable for the asshattery done by Chris Hayes and the like by giving MSNBC advertising dollars, hit ’em where it hurts.

  13. BECKS

    May 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    My question to Mr. Hayes is this. If someone who WILLINGLY sacrifices their life for people they have never met, ideals that they regard so highly they would die to protect them, if those people are not worthy of being called heroes, well Mr. Hayes, who is? surely not the anti war protestors who vandalize private property and spout about rights while at the same time desecrating the most sacred of holidays and areas. Surely not the politicians and political “elite” that use every excuse to dodge military service. Surely these are not the “heroes” of this generation that you want our children to look up to, the people who shrink every responsibility they can. I would much rather my children grow up worshiping men and women who have stepped up and done something with their lives. I dont know about you Mr. Hayes, but i grew up playing with GI Joe, not barbie and ken.

  14. SSgt Raylene Jenkins

    May 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Damn well said Nick! My father, brothers all Bronze Star and/or Purple Heart recipients. Well deserved and no one outside their circle would or will ever know. Military heroes do not seek out nor do they stand in a spotlight. They press on and ask for little more than the freedom they fight for and the ability to care for their families. I can not help be disappointed by the simple-minded, uneducated simpletons that speak with such disrespect for the people who fight for their rights to run their over-fed mouths!. Moreover, I feel sorry for those that do not know the pride that comes with service to our great country!

  15. LCpl G

    May 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Well said Nick. Damn what a cockbite and on fucking memorial day? Damn man I can’t believe that shit.

  16. Zach

    May 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I was a Marine, and now work PSD for the State in Iraq (yes, it’s still here). We have a protectee who constantly bitches about how he’s a grown man and doesn’t need us to hold his hand while he heads off to meet with various oil contacts. All he does is sit in the back of the vehicle and talk shit. It’s extremely frustrating, but I find picturing him in peril, looking to me for help with his little doe eyes as he’s carted off by a group of masked men, while I’m casually staring back and shrugging, really really helps me deal with him. Of course, I would never do that, but it helps me get through those days. His life is in my hands, and that’s pretty satisfying. Was that creepy? Discuss.

  17. Matt

    May 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I couldn’t agree with Hayes’ sentiment more. The whole ‘hero’ rhetoric only helps perpetuate our GI Joe culture of rationalizing unjust wars – 18-19 year olds are duped into serving to ‘protect our freedom’ because they are excited by notions of patriotism and defending their country. This is how they attract young men to risk their lives for wars of choice. The soldiers who fight in these wars are indeed courageous, but hero is not the term I would use to describe someone who enables the government to engage in imperialistic wars (the wars would not be possible if everyone refused to fight in them).

    When was the last time a soldier truly ‘defended our freedom’? Every war since WWII has been a war of aggression, and can hardly be described as being undertaken to ‘defend our freedom’. 9/11 was perpetuated by a group of terrorist maybe 500 in number at the time? Can someone explain to me how a group that small and unsophisticated could possibly threaten the sovereignty of the greatest military power in the history of the Earth.

    I applaud Hayes for his courage, and am dismayed at the backlash. Free speech involves listening to those you disagree with and having a thoughtful debate about disagreements. Instead, this situation has resorted to a knee-jerk defend the troops mantra that is hardly conducive to a national dialogue about the appropriate use of military force.

    • Lucky

      May 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Hey Matt the dick licker, ever heard of the Taliban? They certainly allied themselves with AQ, and while not directly responsible for 9/11, certainly portected those who were, and have no problem attempting to kill Americans… Go suck start a shotgun in your mouth and stop eating up bandwith.

    • Bret

      May 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Matt: spoken like a true liberal, milquetoast, cowardly piece of shit. How nice it must be to enjoy the freedoms that those of us in uniform have fought and bled to defend, including the freedom to be an ungrateful assclown.

      Fuck your mother.

      • Matt

        May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        Yep, that’s about the response i expected – a level of discourse equivalent to a junior high school cafeteria. Well, I don’t consider myself a liberal, maybe more of a libertarian on some issues, but that’s not really relevant.

        As convincing as your rebuttal was, I fail to find the rationale for the overwhelming, knee jerk offense to Hayes’ comments compelling on any level. I’m afraid my questions will go unanswered: how have any of the wars since WWII actually defended my freedom – America would fail to be a sovereign country had we not invaded these countries? Was the Taliban/Al Qaeda going to take over the US government and force us all to adopt Shari’ah Law (terrorist threats need to be dealt with, but invading entire countries seems a little misguided, not to mention wasteful of military resources)? I guess I’m just confused. It’s called ‘national defense’, which implies we have a military to defend ourselves from attack. A country hasn’t attacked us since Pearl Harbor in 1941 – every other conflict since than has been a war of choice, not necessity.

        Yes, I am forever grateful to the soldiers who actually died for my ‘freedom’ (although most countries enjoy more freedoms than America does: http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm). Unfortunately, very few of those soldiers are alive today. Modern soldiers are indeed courageous, and they have made an impressive sacrifice to say the least. However, I stop short of using the term hero to describe someone who voluntarily offers his/her services to perpetuate wars of aggression. Yes, political leaders decide to start wars, but it would be impossible to fight them if we the people refused to fight against nations who pose no threat to us – unless of course the draft was brought back.

        • Christine

          May 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

          Yeah, for all intents and purposes Afghanistan DID attack us on 9/11. The Taliban was running that country at the time, and the Taliban was supporting and enabling Al Qaeda. The are threats to our freedom that come in forms other than an attempt to invade and rule.

          I’m curious. What response would you have considered appropriate in the wake of 9/11? For the sake of discussion, let’s leave Iraq out of it — that’s a different kettle of fish.

          • Kigely

            May 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm

            This is explicitly incorrect Christine.

            Taliban is an extremely conservative segment of the Pashtun tribes that have lived in the valleys and mountains of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan for near a millenia. They currently (but didn’t always) practice a form of Islamic religion with heavy overtones of their root animist beliefs. The Taliban sect of the Pashtun tribes were militarized in their resistance towards the Russian incursion. [This is that part where people say America armed Osama]. After Russia vacated the region, the Taliban sects made a four year military campaign to bring the nation under their formal rule which was essentially completed around 1992-94.

            Al-Qaeda-(Which in Arabic means ‘The Base’) was formed in the 1980’s as general database of resources and fighters from the Mujaheddin and Balkan states that American & British agencies could use in recruiting and combating Russian activities in Afghanistan. The term ‘Al Qaeda’ was just a general terminology for the dossiers and intel keeping up on the payments and transportation of equipment to the various persons and personnel (Like Osama Bin Laden and Saddam who was armed with fighters and resources for his war with Iran).

            There was no formal group that called themselves Al Qaeda till the consolidated Mujaheddin and independent fighters (Osama) broke from American/British interaction as a result of the the American stance during the Kosovo uprising. [Islamic fighters expected America to come in on the side of ethnic Muslims…we did not pick a specific side] That is the point at which persons like Osama officially declared hostility against America (and allied interests) This group then took on the moniker Al Qaeda for their own uses even though it was merely a benign title in a file cabinet to us.

            9/11 was allegedly (we dont have their bodies)carried out by: Mohamed Atta (Egyptian), Waleed al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Wail al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Abdulaziz al-Omari (Saudi Arabian), Satam al-Suqami (Saudi Arabian) Marwan al-Shehhi (United Arab Emirati), Fayez Banihammad (United Arab Emirati), Mohand al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Hamza al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian), Ahmed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian)Ziad Jarrah (Lebanese), Ahmed al-Haznawi (Saudi Arabian), Ahmed al-Nami (Saudi Arabian), Saeed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian).

            None of whom were linked to the Taliban in anyway.

            And as far as training goes according to the 9/11 Commission report. Some of these men (Mohamed Atta for example) had experience in both Kosovo, and was a paid auxiliary for the Israeli Army in the Golan Heights. (Thats like American soldiers as private contractors)

            Otherwise training and prep (according the official record) was done in Beirut, Libya, an apartment in Paris, an apartment in London and several houses and apartments in Miami and Tallahassee Florida.

            So no the Taliban was no enabling or helping ‘Al Qaeda’. What the Taliban did was be the only sovereign country on the entire globe to publicly endorse and welcome any active agents of ‘Al Qaeda’ to seek refuge in Afghanistan.

            That would be the actual accurate (as far as can be verified) history of 9/11, the Taliban and Al Qaeda Christine hope that helps in future discussions.

            ***[Here is the citation for my sources–http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf–its a long read but worthy]

        • Hugh Brennan

          May 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm

          Matt, Let me explain in the simplest terms. The generation that fought WWII came to the conclusion that the war was, in a large part, caused by the US failing to remain engaged with the international community after WWI. You will recall our failure to join the League of Nations, the slashing of American military power and the isloationist foreign policy that marked the 20’s and 30’s.
          When the young men who were forced by the shortsightedness of their elders to fight their way across Europe and the Pacific grew into leadership they were determined to use American power to prevent another general war.
          The rise of Soviet power and the challenge of communist expansion caught America by surprise. If you doubt that, just look at the reduction in US forces 1945-1950. Truman cut the military to the bone. The result was disaster in Korea. Eisenhower, in his famous warning about the “military industrial complex” is grievously misquoted. His speech was about the absolute, if regretable, neccessity of maintaing overwhelming military forces and forward deployments in the age of jet bombers and intercontinental missles. Kennedy, who promised to “pay any price, bear any burden”, led us into Vietnam on the same basis as we had fought in Korea- to prevent a communist conquest. He won against Nixon based on the supposed “missle gap.”
          Unfortunately, the democratic left, forgot the lessons of history and their own traditions, and with the fall of Nixon, they engineered the most disgraceful episode in American history- the abandonment of our victory in Vietnam and the resulting slaughter of Vietnamese and Cambodian innocents. They then proceded to create the “hollow forces” of the 70’s.
          Thanks to Reagan’s build-up and the leadership of Lady Thatcher and John Paul the Great, the Soviet empire collapsed. Clinton/Gore then did what they could to dismantle the security/defense establishment. 9-11 was the result.
          The wars that followed were debated openly in Congress and the UN. They were started in accordance with the democratic consensus of the legislature and executive of the US. They are the product of representative government. They are not, in any way, shape or form, illegal.
          In each case- Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan- the wars were instigated by foreign powers. Korea and Vietnam- communist aggression; Iraq- failure to comply with UN sanctions and the terms of the 1st Gulf War truce; Afghanistan by harboring the terrorists who attacked on 9-11.
          One can argue the strategy and tactics of each conflict, but the US never gatuitously attacked in any of these situations, and in every conflict named, the American forces were dispatched as representatives of the Great Republic as a result of open democratic deliberation, and in accordance with the Consitution.
          Those who served, served as defenders of the Constitution and in service of the security of the United States and the liberties of its people.
          As I said, the strategy is certainly open to debate, but the basic idea originated with Wilson and recieved new impetus with the WWII and the rise of the Soviet challenge. As it turns out Fukiyama was wrong, and history is not over. We hope Huntington is wrong as well. But, from Wilson to Bush, the idea that the US will find ultimate security in the universal spread of liberty, human rights and democracy is hardly an obscure idea.
          Therefore, everyone who served, in any capacity, in combat or support, at home or abroad, in war or peace, is, to one degree or another a hero descended from a long line of heroes.
          As to your assertion regarding our degree of liberty, you may have traveled infrequently or haven’t spoken to enough immigrants, but that’s just funny.

          • P Barber

            June 8, 2012 at 7:59 am

            Thank you Hugh, that was an interesting read. But thank you for acknowledging that “everyone who served, in any capacity, in combat or support, at home or abroad, in war or peace, is, to one degree or another a hero descended from a long line of heroes.” I couldn’t have said it better. I only served for 3 years, on shore, but my husband did 23 years of submarine duty. Neither of us would consider ourselves “heroes” but we were both proud and passionate about country and it’s freedom. It was never easy! But whether one is serving on the front lines or support it’s all important and all dangerous and it takes a certain amount of courage to just sign that paper and raise your hand and commit to this great nation. Many don’t have the courage to even do that much! The children of these men and women are heroes in their own right. To grow up with the stress of knowing your mom or dad could leave and never return along with not having them with you for all the important events in your life is a tough life. Military families as a whole are heroes.

        • Jinger

          May 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm


          You’re too far in your own head. Bring it back down to the Jr High level, break out a dictionary and look up hero “one who shows great courage”.

          It takes great courage for a young American to leave their home, dedicate their life blood to their Country and put it all on the line never knowing if today is the day.

          You, Matt, are missing the point of heroism… The defining quality of a Hero – courage. It is the deep seeded willingness to sacrifice your own welfare/life for someone else – War or Not. To face danger head on while others run from it. To establish peace in a chaotic/terror ridden place. Stop violent masses without focus on your own welfare. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, American Service Members… are all willing to ACT heroically without being told to do so.

          Now you know… and knowing is half the battle.

          • DuchessAZ

            May 30, 2012 at 2:52 am

            LIKE LIKE LIKE

    • RU Nick

      May 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      That’s a hell of a straw man.

      1) I’m trying to figure out how you connected military service to the fact that we, as a nation, have allowed our Presidents to go to war without a Congressional Declaration of War since World War II. Sounds like a lack of interest on the part of the citizenry to hold our politicians accountable and a lack of interest on the part of Congress to be accountable.

      2) All wars are wars of aggression. Did Germany attack us in WWII? No, Japan did. We determined there was a benefit to our nation to go to war there. The duly elected politicians made that call and the people supported them. Regardless of whether these wars fit your personal feelings on “just or unjust”, this has nothing to do with the the people who volunteered to serve the nation.

      3) There is nothing courageous about a spoiled talk show host rambling about something absurd and then retracting it the next day when even many of his fans blasted him for it. In fact, the only way there would have been a semblance of courage would be if he held strong to his beliefs and threw it back in everyone’s face. In fact, for future reference, in order for one to be courageous they have to have risked something, faced danger, and placed themselves in harm’s way regardless. This man isn’t courageous and isn’t worthy of anyone’s applause.

      4) I always find it comical when people like you talk about 18/19 years old adults being “tricked” into service. We made a choice. An adult choice. And shockingly, almost none of us regret it. Odd. We must still be brainwashed.

      5) The idea that Osama Bin Laden’s network was unsophisticated is hilarious. The man literally created a money exchange system in accordance with Sharia Law. Al Qaeda isn’t a few bros drinking some brews going “fuck, what do you wanna do today? I don’t know man…how about we steal some planes?”

      6) Free speech has nothing to do with polite discourse. You have a right to express yourself. That is what is granted by the Constitution. Nothing more. Look it up. Great read.

      • Matt

        May 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        I agree with a handful of your points. It was cowardly of Hayes to retract his comments a day later (but I don’t think that courage is only about putting yourself in a physically dangerous situation). I do think that watching the entire segment demonstrates what he meant more thoroughly than browsing the headlines of attacks: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/chris-hayes-uncomfortable-soldiers-heroes_n_1550643.html.

        I never really said anything about the specific mechanisms of how we end up in war – I simply stated that since WWII, in my opinion, the wars fought have been those of choice and not necessity/defense of sovereignty.

        Germany was an ally of Japan, who attacked us. We fought against both countries on both fronts. We weren’t really the aggressors per se, as we did wait until after being attacked in Pearl Harbor to actually enter the war (that would be a war of defense). It seems like deciding to engage in that war was more justified than the subsequent wars America has been involved with – you may disagree.

        I think you’re right that the individuals who serve in wars don’t often regret it. The returned soldiers I talk to have downplayed the heroism aspect though, and generally agree that the two most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t worth getting involved with. I think they sign up for a variety of worthy aspirations; I just think they are led to believe things that aren’t true (terrorists are going to destroy America as we know it).

        Sure Al Qaeda has an impressive network of individuals scheming to take over the world. I just feel that our presence in random Middle East countries that may or may not harbor those responsible for such acts is the best way to go about thwarting their plans. Al Qaeda has grown immensely since our involvement in Iraq – it’s easier to convince young men to hate a country when they are constantly invading you and your neighbors.

        Not trying to anger anyone here – just trying to think outside the box a little. No need for vulgar name calling. I think discussion like this a little more useful when the dialogue is less emotionally charged.

    • Trango

      May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Matt how are you dismayed by this? I mean honestly, how does the backlash surprise you? You seem to be able to put together coherent paragraphs of thought. You missed the point of Nick’s post all together, but just the same. Why do you think people would be upset about Hayes publishing such comments on the ONE DAY of the WHOLE YEAR that Unites States honor and recognizes its fallen Servicemen and Women???? Maybe you have some level of intelligence, but commonsense seems to evade you Matt.

      Another question, what’s wrong with patriotism? What’s wrong with wanting to protect your country, family, freedoms, and the livelihood so many in this world yearn for? As Nick points out, people who enlist in the armed forces do not do so because they are anxious to kill and/or die for their country. Nor do they do so because they wish to be part of some “imperial” military machine. There are many reasons why people enlist; too many to write here. You don’t want to acknowledge those reasons though, right Matt? Because there is NO WAY anyone who enters the military, U.S. or otherwise, could have altruistic intentions, let alone intelligent reasons behind their enlistments. No, they are all blinded by the marketing/propaganda thrown at them by the imperialist military war machine.

      And I’m sorry but what kind of dumbass rationale is it to say that if everyone refused to fight, there would be no war. Yeah, maybe if you could get 100%, and I don’t mean 98%, or 99.99%, I mean 100% of the world’s population to agree to peace you MIGHT have a chance at no wars. Human nature doesn’t work that way though Matt, it never has. I think it would be great if we NEVER EVER AGAIN had to send another U.S. Servicemember into harm’s way. As long as there is a lust for power and wealth in the hearts and minds of mankind, your ideological peace is nothing more than a pipe-dream Matt and we will always need a military force ready to fight and die for the security of our civilization.

      What’s obvious here Matt is that you aren’t focusing on or concerned about the points made in Nick’s post. You are focused only on your own train of thought and in turning this whole thing into a 1st Amendment argument. I have to say too Matt, the whole 1st Amendment argument is the most tired and lazy argument made by people like you. Not only that, but it has no basis here. Go back and ACTUALLY read what Nick has to say. Nowhere does Nick say that Hayes doesn’t have the right to express his opinions. Nor does Nick say that people should not be allowed to state their opinions, if they are not in support of the U.S. Military and its personnel.

      If anything Hayes is using his 1st Amendment rights to simply gain notoriety. He almost assuredly knew that publishing his post on Memorial Day would draw him exponentially more attention than it would have any other day of the year. Hayes isn’t looking for intelligent debate on this subject; he’s looking to make a name for himself. And it’s the cronies like you Matt, who instantly fall in line like a bunch of cult followers, who help make it happen. You’re not part of a movement or intellectual debate; you are a pawn in one man’s quest for recognition.

      Finally, there is no “national dialogue about the appropriate use of military force,” with people like you Matt because you DO NOT GET IT and no amount of education will ever allow you to “get it.” You and others like you are too wrapped up in a perfect, ideological world where, as Nick points out, you and only you have a valid argument. In summation Matt, arrogance = ignorance and you seem to be full of both…

      • Matt

        May 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        Trango, I appreciate you criticizing the substance of my comments rather than resort to juvenile name calling (although there is some at the end, it is tamer than the others).

        Let’s see, I’ll try to defend my admittedly ‘extreme’ positions on this issue. I never said the backlash ‘surprised’ me, only that I was dismayed by it. Obviously, people are free to criticize an opinion they disagree with – my main contention was the level of conformity people have on this issue in this country. In my opinion, the blind admiration for military conquest is troublesome, but I can understand why people consider it heroic (I used to admire GI Joe’s when I was 7). If you listen to Hayes’ whole segment with the interview (with a military personnel), you see a thoughtful discussion about what it means to be a ‘hero’ and about the role of military in society. It really wasn’t offensive when you listen to as a whole. Both the Left and the Right likes to do this – take clips of statements commentators make and exploit them to rile people up. It works very well – as this situation demonstrates.

        What’s wrong with patriotism? Hmmm, let’s see, the first thing that comes to mind is Germany under Hitler (or even the US after 9/11 an the near universal support to invade a country that had nothing to do with the attacks). Yes, that’s an extreme example, but you asked me what is wrong with patriotism. It’s our duty in a democracy to question the actions of our leaders when we disagree with them – there is nothing more dangerous than blind patriotism.

        I appreciate a military whose purpose is to protect my ‘freedoms’. Unfortunately, the military in the US has expanded immensely beyond this capacity, a development I find deeply troubling on many levels. I actually would be inclined to serve in a military whose purpose I believe in. I’m extremely competitive and love physical fitness, am good at following directions, enjoy camaraderie with my fellow man/woman, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t trust the leaders of this country to exercise proper judgement about how to utilize our military power; thus I refuse to enlist, and discourage others from doing the same. That is what I meant when I said we would not be able to engage in unjust wars if we simply refused to fight. Obviously, I don’t think that we can “all just get along” to achieve world peace. I’m not that delusional – you created a straw man there. I’m aware that there will always be individuals in the world hellbent on reeking havoc on America and ‘our freedoms’. But if you think that terrorists hate us for our freedoms, you are the delusional one, not me – aren’t any of you Ron Paul supporters? (I know you never stated that, but I’m guessing many on this thread wholeheartedly believe that terrorists ‘hate us for our freedoms’).

        Another straw man – that I claimed Nick or anyone else stated that Hayes had no right to make the claims he did. I merely stated how dismayed I was that people get so offended and emotional when someone makes a statement they disagree with. Many on this thread are critical of my views, which is fine, but I don’t resort to name calling or questioning anyone’s patriotism, masculinity, etc. I agree that it’s a lazy argument to accuse people of not supporting the First Amendment when they criticize someone’s viewpoint – another troubling tactic utilized by the Left and Right alike.

        I’m not sure what Hayes’ motives were for making the comments he did. I do, however, appreciate the format of his show – they sit and discuss issues calmly without interrupting each other – rather than the standard Hardball or Factor in which you get 90 seconds to make a point with a crazy host yelling at you and interrupting the whole time. However, Hayes’ format does lend itself to guests/hosts conveying opinions that may not be popular, but are good for the national dialogue. I appreciate that, and I wish more voices on the Right would adopt similar themed programs (maybe there are some I’m unaware of). It’s unfortunate that he was forced to apologize for expressing an opinion. I’m guessing he did it to save his job, as he’s kind of the low man on the totem pole at MSNBC.

        Honestly, I don’t know where the arrogance accusation comes from. I don’t claim to know everything. What I do know is that for the past 70 years, the US has engaged in many wars with nations that pose little or no threat to our national sovereignty. We do need a better, more rational dialogue about the true costs of war before we commit billions of dollars and thousands of lives to a cause that may or may not be justified.

        Christine – I’ll try to address your questions briefly. You are making quite the stretch to say that because the Taliban ran a quasi-state there, and therefor, because they support Al Qaeda, the state of Afghanistan attacked us (although it would have made more sense to prioritize Afghanistan over Iraq, since there was at least some connection there, but I guess that debate is off limits for all the neocons out there). There’s no easy answer to responding to terrorism. I do think that invading countries’ sovereignty is not only morally reprehensible because it has led to thousands, if not millions of civilian deaths, but makes us less safe because it increases the number of terrorists. I don’t really think we should completely isolate ourselves either. I guess we just need to be smarter with diplomacy and think about how our actions alienate individuals in other countries. Going forward/responding to terrorism – I guess I’m OK with prioritizing special operatives carrying out missions to thwart terrorist plots, but drone attacks and assassinations without trial push that envelope too far in most circumstances.

        Thanks for your time everyone – would appreciate your refraining from grotesque name calling.

        • Yoshi

          May 30, 2012 at 3:35 am

          Matt, there are four critical untruths that you are seeking to propagate.

          1) Soldiers signing up are “duped” by propaganda. They are not. I’ve seen my friends sign up to further the ideal of service, because they believe in the kind of honor the Marine Corps symbolizes, because they believe in making a difference in the lives of the powerless, hell, because they need college money. I have never met a single soldier who has his head full of the sort of retarded jingoism that could only come out of the mouth of a political construct.

          2) a) You apparently believe the military hasn’t protected us since World War II. Apparently you are unfamiliar with the importance of holding territory and allies against an ideology that expressedly sought our defeat.

          b) Furthermore, some of the wars we have waged aren’t wars of aggression even by your arbitrary. How is protecting citizens of Kosovo, Kuwait, or Lybia a war of aggression if we didn’t start the hostilities?

          c) You are also unfamiliar with the history of World War II. We put the hurt on Japan’s oil supply in the Pacific long before they contemplated Pearl Harbor. In essence, we forced their hand because they decided they couldn’t go forward in Southeast Asia without pushing us out. That sounds like aggression to me, with nuance, but nuance is what you want isn’t it?

          3: You miss the entire reason everybody is so pissed at Hayes. He expressed the thought that dead servicemembers might not be heroes. And he only did so because the idea that they were heroes might lend some political heft to going to war. IN OTHER WORDS, THE TRUTH OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE HEROES DID NOT MATTER TO HAYES’ POINTY SHAPED BRAIN.

          4: Is it not too much to ask that you do a little research into the history of al Qaeda up to 2012, as well as a little research into terrorist motivations, instead of revving up the standard liberal line about how we’re multiplying the terrorists? Maybe you want to read about the culture of hate Islamists are fostering in Europe and how they unfailingly bash tolerant liberal mores, or how Iran flipped on its head from a culturally tolerant state into a complete disaster? Maybe you want to read about the kind of preaching Osama himself was famous for when he was recruiting his followers? Sure, they hate us for that garrison in Saudi Arabia. They hate us for our alliance with the Shah. But they damn well hate us for our freedoms as well, and if you tell yourself otherwise, you are telling yourself a wonderfully convenient unicorn horned fiction.

          Christians, who oppose abortion, bombing abortion clinics = they hate that women have the freedom to choose
          Islamists, who oppose Western freedom of women and homosexuals, bombing Western civilians = they are fighting an understandable war against imperial aggression

          What’s wrong with this picture?

        • John

          May 30, 2012 at 7:19 am

          Matt, one question, for sake of arguement lets say that a close loved one has past away due to a drunk driver(just an example and by no means wish/hope it to be true), and on the day that it happened (years later) a random man shows up to a celebration of life for that said loved one, and starts to downplay and say words that are not so nice about that loved one. How would you feel? My point is out of all the days this man choose to say anything about the US military and its heros it had to be the day the we honor them. AND if you have forgotten Memorial Day is a Day that our great country has set aside to honor those said fallen, FROM ALL WARS past and present. Also, you say that everyone just needs to refuse to go to war, 100% (US only), you know that LESS than 1% of americans are serving right now? And that we only go were we are told to go by our Leaders? And i dont know much about it, but please tell me if im wrong (because hey lets face it knowledge is power) but congress has to pass on the war for the US Military to go, and the Congress men/women directly speak for the people? so with that asked, wouldnt that mean the this war was actually passed by a majority of US citizens? And lastly, have you ever been to Afghanistan? I have, spent a year there, could have been a beautiful country if not for 100 of years of war. But while there, there was a father who shot his own kids (2 boys under age of 10) close range, then blamed it on US/ISAF forces, and for what? So he could claim it and get money. That country also treats its women like common mules, beats them, rapes them, kills them, and this is Just? The US/ISAF forces are not there just to protect the US, but to help make a difference in that country and to give them schools and better living. I joined because i want to make a differences in other lives, and most importantly to my serve my country and defend her until my last breath, but I also understand and believe in freedom of speech. I understand alot of you points, and they are valid, i have read and understood alot of other points, that are well said. But overall keep in mind that the whole point was that this guy decided to write/say those things on a day that we (Americans/ US Service Men/Women) use to celebrate our fallen, thank them for there courage, and (my opinion) Heroism. Because its takes some balls to go to a place knowing that every breathe you take, every move you make, someone is trying to kill you. And its a thing that unles you have ever or are serving will never know until it happens to you. Thank you for your time, God bless the US and God Bless the fallen American Soldiers, Heros.

        • mk

          May 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

          Amazing! well said, thank you for expressing so well the views of many of us.

          Marine’s mom.

    • PavePusher

      May 30, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Your knowledge of history is Teh Phale. Hayes can, of course, say anything he wants to, thanks to the efforts of those he and you disparage. Hopefully he’s got the spine to also take the backlash. You certainly don’t need to defend him, unless you think he can’t take the heat?

  18. Sgt Gehres

    May 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    First off that absolutely hit the nail on the head Nick great article. Secondly as someone from a small community I’ve heard the word hero thrown my way a lot and as all of us do I don’t see it to be fitting. I’m home I’m whole and I’m safe now, I have seen men I consider heroes in country and I’ve of course grown up hearing like all of us did about legends like GEN Patton, Puller, Bradley, McChrystal. These are universally regarded heroes in our culture. As a young NCO it terrifies me that my younger sister’s idea of a hero is lil Wayne or those Kardashian women. It’s a sad state where as a recruiter teachers in high schools across my area ask if I’m only looking for troublemakers or idiots. The view people in our own country have taken is absolutely appalling. God knows Facebook was interesting yesterday half the posts were solemn in nature mourning the loss of our dead whereas the other half were posts about getting “totally smashed at cookout! Woo!!” it’s high time we realize that the people we protect as a society are in the words of COL Grossman ” sheep who resent the sheepdog until such time as the wolf knocks at the door.” I close with this statement that means the world to me, I remember everyday not just once a year. As for that douche well someone else can protect his freedom I know too many other people worth my blood.

  19. Iowa48

    May 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Hayes’ supposed challenge to the status quo was merely self-promotional masturbation on his part, and you are hopelessly naive if you think it to be anything else.

    Mr. Hayes only made his asinine statement regarding our warrior dead in order to
    garner attention. MSNBC maybe has at most an audience of less than a dozen
    mindless zombies who only watch because they find operating their tv remote too
    complicated to switch channels or turn it off. Nobody had ever heard of this
    jumped up jackanapes prior to his insult, which was scripted merely to publicize
    his inane existence.

    MSNBC and Mr. Hayes are totally insignificant entities, and
    as such he needn’t have offerred the drivel which constitutes his

  20. JD(not the one with the picture)

    May 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Ann Coulter said it best: “The Marines reacted by continuing to protect Chris Hayes’s right to menstruate.”

  21. Kevin

    May 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Just another anti-military pussy that shoots his fuckin mouth off because he KNOWS he wouldn’t last a day away from his desk, much less a desert, mountain, or any other shit hole terrain we’ve been to, go to, or will go to. I’d like to see how long this cock sucker would last in AFG. Let’s buy him a ticket.

  22. Cecilio Mendez

    May 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    There are times when words are not useful to solve a situation. It is suicidal to talk a deranged criminal into stopping what he is doing. You can not talk a rattle snake out of biting. Nor can you talk a mouse out of pissing on its trail. The “turd” who insulted the departed brothers and sisters, soldiers, on Memorial day – I refuse to even speak his (?) name- belongs into that group. The America I knew, and proudly served (US Army, SP4, Chu-Lai, Vietnam 1968, 26th Engineer Bn.), is rapidly sinking into a deep sinkhole. But we know how to survive and those who belong to that elitist refuse, do not. When push comes to shove, they will wither and die. Then we can do, again, what it is required to return and be the BEST republic on earth!

  23. Drew

    May 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm


    How did someone with a decent command of English convince yourself of so many incorrect statements? I will set aside the fact that your comments pissed me the hell off following a Memorial Day weekend, a weekend that far too few even give thougt about other than to kick start their summer activities.

    First, there are extremely few Americans serving in the military. No where near enough to over ride political winds. If they decided not to go to war when tasked, they would be punished and…you bet…the draft would be right back in play. Hey, why don’t you post the make, model and license plate number of your car, if that ever happens we can alert the Canadian Border Patrols to be on the lookout, I would hate to see you run one over if your ticket gets called.

    Second, every single war or political action this country has ever engaged in was for one purpose, and one purpose alone. That is to protect and expand the American way of life and our interests abroad. Every single citizen whether they are aware or grateful has benefitted from those conflicts regardless of their beliefs. Be it freedom or economic gain, or to warn others who might be thinking about doing harm to Americans in the future, it was all for you, Matt.

    Third, nobody I have heard thus far has stated that Hayes does not or should not have the right to say what he did. We simply are exercising OUR rights to fire back. If MSNBC decides that Hayes is out of line they will take whatever action they feel is required. I personally hope they terminate his contract, not only is he ignorant but he is offensively so. And what timing?

    Fourth, anyone who knowingly and deliberatly steps into harms way selflessly, as all military, police, fire and paramedics do EVERY DAY deserves the respect of those who can’t join them on the line. And ALL those who die in the line of duty are HEROS, whether you define it that way or not.

    Last, it doesn’t matter if you agree with the politicians who started the wars or not (I don’t always either), but the troops? Off fucking limits to those who don’t have the balls to stand in their place.

    I served, and I am damn proud of it too. My only regret is I seperated and got lazy before my country truley needed me. I never put meaningful rounds downrange for my country or my buddies. Many did, many of the people commenting here did. I am not like them, I am not one of them. They are more valuable citizens than I am for their service. At least I know who the real heros are. And when I die I hope it is with half as much honor.

    If you really believe all the drivel you have posted Matt, well, go educate your self and what and why all those Men and Women put the uniform on, maybe it will change your mind.

    Since the “news” puke is simply looking for a rise and some ratings, he can eat shit.

  24. Brian

    May 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    My comment will not be popular, but the comments expressed here, and on other military blogs, directly demonstrates the divide between some, not all, in the military and those not in the military. First, we have the comment about how Chris Hayes appears to be the kid that did not “buck up” against the bullies who must have beaten him up in school. Then, we have the comments about how asking a thoughtful question, regardless of how uncomfortable it might have been, is somehow wrong.

    Chris Hayes asked a difficult and thoughtful question, something that seems to be considered “psuedo-intellectualism” on this blog and others. Perhaps the difference between so many in the military and those not in the military is the willingness to engage in an academic discussion, even one that is not popular and perhaps has no easy answer. The members of the military who write on blogs seems to take great pride in making fun of people’s education, until they pursue their own higher educations and then seek out jobs with those educations in which they have to work around others with educations.

    The divide is indeed that some are willing to ask difficult questions and some are willing to make fun of how a person looks and whether they perceive him to be “tough” enough to fight bullies. Unfortunately, those making these statements are supposed to be the people who have seen the worst in this work and appreciate the freedom of people to express themselves and be themselves.

    • Jinger

      May 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      “Perhaps the difference between so many in the military and those not in the military is the willingness to engage in an academic discussion, even one that is not popular and perhaps has no easy answer.”

      Is your argument is that it is a more respectable form of bravery to use words to provoke a Nation on a day of reverence than standing in harms way? Or, is it that no matter the value of the statement the Military isn’t intelligent/academic enough to dig into the philosophic thought behind it? Is it typical of the military to react with name calling and heated words when their very core is spit upon by the men and women they protect, perhaps. If someone slapped you across the face without warning would you discuss it or instinctively react?

      So many times when debating a point the non-military members of our society jump to assume that we, the military, are uneducated or lack the mental ability to converse – as you have here.

      It is the academic world that believes “Leadership” can be taught in a classroom. Leadership is harnessed and mentored through action and example. You can read all day about what other people did – it does not make you a better man or woman until you stand up and do it yourself.

      Is it at all possible that by insulting our character with your words – you’ve provoked a less than welcoming atmosphere for “academic discussion”. Have you considered that “academic discussion” is for those who have time to sit around and dissect a Warrior’s Ethos while we embody it?

      Many of our armed forced secure academic degrees while serving this Country Honorably – while the rest of academia do so from the comfort of a college campus. Your academic arguments are built through hours of reading while our guttural reactions are motivated by years of service and sacrifice. Your dismissive attitude toward Military Members and Veterans may lead you to a self-fulfilling prophecy when engaged in conversation.

      You Sir, have struck a cord with me. You’ve insulted my intelligence by denigrating my ability to discuss a matter such as this with maturity and academic foundation. The next time you are in a classroom I challenge you to ask if any Veterans sit to your left or right – you may be surprised by how many Heroes surround you.

      Finally, I understand your argument that Mr Hayes may have just been asking a “difficult” question – however – when he was speaking with the man charged with baring the most devastating of news why didn’t he ask him? Why did he not pose it then as a question? “Have the deaths of service members been used as propaganda in these wars”… he did not POSE a question. He made a statement, an ignorant statement.

      I am a Drill Sergeant. I am given the HONOR of training young men and women who have sworn an oath to defend this country. NEVER do we persuade them to be heroes. Never to we lay the name of a dead comrade on the alter of propaganda. The stories of our dead are set as examples of the ULTIMATE GIFT to FELLOW MAN. They are memorialized and honored so their death may not be in vain. So their loss would give others strength in the darkest of times to fight on, give their best effort — and hopefully return to their families victorious.

      If you cannot understand or respect that I have nothing further to discuss with you, academically or otherwise.

      • walt b

        June 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

        Without a doubt, the single best response on this thread. Thank for your service and thank you for you thoughtful and intelligent response.

        • Jinger

          June 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

          Thank You. It is a pleasure to serve.

      • Brian

        June 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        Thank you for your response, but you really did not address whether it was acceptable for people to make fun of Chris Hayes based on his appearance, and you did not address the other name calling that appears in these comments. Is calling people “cocksuckers” acceptable to members of the military? Is someone who is well dressed a coward because obviously he was bullied and could not stand up to such bullies.

        You stated that you were upset at my implications, but I think the name calling of the commenters is equally offensive.

  25. ThatGuy

    May 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Woah, hang on there big shooter. You seem to have missed Hayes’ entire point. First, he says that by no means is he trying to marginalize the sacrifices of those who served. Second, his question, what is eating at his beltway-addled brain, is how can we properly honor those who in a way that does not give approval to our politicians.

    What troubles him (and me) is that the politicians who ass-rape the Constitution every day and will gladly send our sons and daughters to die for a political agenda (rather then the defense of our nation) are more than willing to use their dead bodies as a prop to drum up support for the next “conflict”.

    So for your brainwashed “Ehmiricha, Fuck Yeah!” attitude I would like to nominate you for the next douche of the week. God forbid some blind, scrawny liberal squirrel find a nut.

    • RU Nick

      May 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm


      Congress has the lowest approval rating in history. It’s lower than Fidel Castro’s at his lowest point after the Bay of Pigs. In the military, Congress’s approval rating is even lower. Your argument here about politicians using “their dead bodies to prop up support” is moot. There is no support and if you look throughout history, especially in American history, the more dead or wounded the less the civilian populace is apt to support the war.

      We are also troubled by the “ass-raping” or any raping of that matter of the Constitution. Again, this has nothing to do with belittling the dead on Memorial Day.

      As for brainwashing, I’ve been to 44 countries, speak several languages, lived overseas for a decade, have a couple of fancy degrees and enjoy the occasional book but only if it smells of rich mahogany. I’d like to think my perspective has validity beyond what you apparently believe I am told to believe.

      In the immortal words of LTC Frank Slade, “I’ve been around, you know?”

      • Airborneric

        May 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

        Nick – you running for office anytime soon? We could use a few people like you…..

  26. Lucky

    May 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Nick hit the nail right on the head… The choice to serve, is the first adult decision that we as Citizens are allowed to make. It is a selfless one, to chance buying the farm, denying our DNA a chance to carry on, so that our buddies to the left and right can survive to continue on, thereby, allowing for our country to continue to exist. Matt, if that is the response that you expected, why would you even say what you said? I renew my request that you suck start a shotgun, in your mouth. If you can’t understand that, put it in your mouth and pull the trigger. Matt, you will simply loose this argument! I mean, look at the amount of Soldiers that earn their Bachelors or Masters Degrees while in uniform, and contrast that with the civilian population. Then contrast that number with the number of European service members that earn degrees while in the ranks. Then, kill yourself. Stop being a pansy and do it.

  27. Lucky

    May 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    And Afghanistan wasn’t a worthwhile conflict to get involved in Matt? Are you being fucking serious right now? May I remind you, we were attacked 10 years ago, and 3,000+ fellow citizens, brother and sister Americans were MURDERED that day… I watched it live, and if not for an operation at the NMMC, my Father would have been one of them. You and your argument are invalid. I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and I say that Afghanistan is a war that should be fought. Something tells me that you have not been OCONUS (or know what that means), aside from Europe. So fuck you, KILL YOURSELF.

  28. J.R.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Supremely awesome piece of writing Nick – can’t stop chuckling….but I really don’t a flying f&*k about what this panty wearin’ latte sipping tweed jacket with elbow patches sportin’ squat to pee non-man has to say.

  29. Brian

    May 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I would say that the “analysis” on the commenters on this blog have not done anything to convince non-military personnel that Chris Hayes is incorrect in asking what is a difficult question. Asking the question and thinking about the answer is a sign of someone who is able to examine issues and, what seems to be considered a disability on this site and other military blogs, show intellectual curiosity. We have the comments that include the word “cocksuckers” and telling others to go kill themselves. In addition, people make the assumption that because of Chris Hayes’ appearance, he was never man enough to fight the bullies that he must have faced in school. We also have those that challenge the manhood of people who have not served in the military.

    It is these comments, and the anger that seems to exist for “intellectuals” that is a major part of the divide between those associated with the military and those not associated with the military.

    • RU Nick

      May 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm


      I understand what you are saying, and I am going to try to answer as best I can in this limited forum. To me, the way you approached the question and established your argument almost showcases the primary issue here better than any actual discourse.

      For us, the military community, Memorial Day is a big deal. OUR friends have died. We’ve seen their families suffer. We deal with the guilt of still being alive while they are no longer here. We know what they did for the nation and for the men and women around them. They are heroes. There is nothing else that needs to be said. Whether we personally like any particular war or not, they volunteered where others would not, stood their post and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We’ll argue politics. We’ll argue war. We’ll argue pretty much anything else that is reasonably presented, but we’re not going to listen to some guy who has never been there (or one who has for that matter) dishonor our brothers and sisters in arms.

      Your paragraph was a very academic argument. You have no emotional attachment to the issue. You see people swearing at this guy for what seems like “no good reason”. We should be instead listening to his argument, considering it, and making some “valid” intellectual rebuttal.

      We don’t want to or have to. For us, this is all emotion. We stomach a lot. We constantly are riddled with extreme positions from academia painting the military as an uneducated rabble that doesn’t “truly understand” what it is involved in. We stomach it. We are told to fight wars under conditions never before asked of American troops that force them to take more risk than ever before. We stomach it. Our benefits are being reduced. We stomach it.

      The one thing off limits is our dead. And when it comes to them, we do not want to hear some kid from Brown make an academic argument about what true heroism is. We want him to either shut up or be respectful. And if he can’t do that, he should expect all of our wrath.

      • TygeRInfantrY

        May 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

        Indeed….people who’ve never risked/sacrificed will never understand.

  30. sharder8

    May 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Hey Matt — I’ll gladly answer your question of: “When was the last time a soldier truly ‘defended our freedom’?”

    Everyday! Everyday we defend your freedom by being there to protect it. What you will never hear from the mainstream media or even from our Government, is the times we had to go into the brush and kick Soviet troops out of our country. (I was there and if you want more info, you can search the Spetsnaz U. archives.) Our Air Force was there when the Soviets flew into our air space. Our Navy was there when Soviet subs entered our territorial waters. Some of this you will find in MSM, but there is much you won’t find. Our troops have stood guard on the DMZ and at the wall, showing the communists that we will not let you conquer the world or consider attacking our friends or our country.

    Our troops are not just for show and parades, they have a mission of protecting our citizens, friends, and country, by force or by show of force.

    You need to go back to school and I don’t mean a liberal public supported school.

  31. in_awe

    May 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Read this open letter Mark Daily posted on his MySpace page to answer once and for all to his fellow graduates of UCLA why he chose to go to Iraq. Mark was in the Honors Program and was honored as one of America’s top ten Army Reserve Officer Training Corps students in 2006. He chose to join ROTC and then he chose to join the Infantry when his ROTC honors offered him a teaching slot at West Point or any other branch of the Army he desired.

    Lt. Mark Daily died a hero in January, 2007 in Iraq after he swapped his armored Humvee for an unarmored one so 4 of his subordinates could have the added protection. He chose to place his life at even more risk to protect others. His life of Honor, Courage, Valor and Sacrifice ended that day, but not a day goes by that I do not think about his and his heroism.

    Read more about this true American hero at http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/11/hitchens200711 – an article cited as one of the top 80 most influential articles of the decade.


    By the time you read this I am bound for you know where. If any of you are still curious, I threw together this short essay as to why I joined the Army. Hope it answers your questions!


    The Best Way Out is Through!

    “Why I Joined”

    This question has been asked of me so many times in so many different contexts that I thought it would be best if I wrote my reasons for joining the Army on my page for all to see. First, the more accurate question is why I volunteered to go to Iraq. After all, I joined the Army a week after we declared war on Saddam’s government with the intention of going to Iraq. Now, after years of training and preparation, I am finally here.

    Much has changed in the last three years. The criminal Ba’ath regime has been replaced by an insurgency fueled by Iraq’s neighbors who hope to partition Iraq for their own ends. This is coupled with the ever present transnational militant Islamist movement which has seized upon Iraq as the greatest way to kill Americans, along with anyone else they happen to be standing near. What was once a paralyzed state of fear is now the staging ground for one of the largest transformations of power and ideology the Middle East has experienced since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to Iran, Syria, and other enlightened local actors, this transformation will be plagued by interregional hatred and genocide. And I am now in the center of this.

    Is this why I joined?

    Yes. Much has been said about America’s intentions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and seeking to establish a new state based upon political representation and individual rights. Many have framed the paradigm through which they view the conflict around one-word explanations such as “oil” or “terrorism,” favoring the one which best serves their political persuasion. I did the same thing, and anyone who knew me before I joined knows that I am quite aware and at times sympathetic to the arguments against the war in Iraq. If you think the only way a person could bring themselves to volunteer for this war is through sheer desperation or blind obedience then consider me the exception (though there are countless like me).

    I joined the fight because it occurred to me that many modern day “humanists” who claim to possess a genuine concern for human beings throughout the world are in fact quite content to allow their fellow “global citizens” to suffer under the most hideous state apparatuses and conditions. Their excuses used to be my excuses. When asked why we shouldn’t confront the Ba’ath party, the Taliban or the various other tyrannies throughout this world, my answers would allude to vague notions of cultural tolerance (forcing women to wear a veil and stay indoors is such a quaint cultural tradition), the sanctity of national sovereignty (how eager we internationalists are to throw up borders to defend dictatorships!) or even a creeping suspicion of America’s intentions. When all else failed, I would retreat to my fragile moral ecosystem that years of living in peace and liberty had provided me. I would write off war because civilian casualties were guaranteed, or temporary alliances with illiberal forces would be made, or tank fuel was toxic for the environment. My fellow “humanists” and I would relish contently in our self righteous declaration of opposition against all military campaigns against dictatorships, congratulating one another for refusing to taint that aforementioned fragile moral ecosystem that many still cradle with all the revolutionary tenacity of the members of Rage Against the Machine and Greenday. Others would point to America’s historical support of Saddam Hussein, sighting it as hypocritical that we would now vilify him as a thug and a tyrant. Upon explaining that we did so to ward off the fiercely Islamist Iran, which was correctly identified as the greater threat at the time, eyes are rolled and hypocrisy is declared. Forgetting that America sided with Stalin to defeat Hitler, who was promptly confronted once the Nazis were destroyed, America’s initial engagement with Saddam and other regional actors is identified as the ultimate argument against America’s moral crusade.

    And maybe it is. Maybe the reality of politics makes all political action inherently crude and immoral. Or maybe it is these adventures in philosophical masturbation that prevent people from ever taking any kind of effective action against men like Saddam Hussein. One thing is for certain, as disagreeable or as confusing as my decision to enter the fray may be, consider what peace vigils against genocide have accomplished lately. Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics. Often times it is less about how clean your actions are and more about how pure your intentions are.

    So that is why I joined. In the time it took for you to read this explanation, innocent people your age have suffered under the crushing misery of tyranny. Every tool of philosophical advancement and communication that we use to develop our opinions about this war are denied to countless human beings on this planet, many of whom live under the regimes that have, in my opinion, been legitimately targeted for destruction. Some have allowed their resentment of the President to stir silent applause for setbacks in Iraq. Others have ironically decried the war because it has tied up our forces and prevented them from confronting criminal regimes in Sudan, Uganda, and elsewhere.

    I simply decided that the time for candid discussions of the oppressed was over, and I joined.

    In digesting this posting, please remember that America’s commitment to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his sons existed before the current administration and would exist into our future children’s lives had we not acted. Please remember that the problems that plague Iraq today were set in motion centuries ago and were up until now held back by the most cruel of cages. Don’t forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed. Don’t overlook the obvious reasons to disagree with the war but don’t cheapen the moral aspects either. Assisting a formerly oppressed population in converting their torn society into a plural, democratic one is dangerous and difficult business, especially when being attacked and sabotaged from literally every direction. So if you have anything to say to me at the end of this reading, let it at least include “Good Luck”

    Mark Daily

    • RU Nick

      May 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      That was really awesome. I hadn’t read that in years. Thanks for sharing.

    • TygeRInfantrY

      May 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks for this….I will be re-posting this as it reflects the thoughts and feelings of a large group of my fellow veterans. I had never read this letter and Appreciate U sharing this with us!

  32. SGT H

    May 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I invite Mr. Hayes to enlist at anytime, and rethink his opinion of any fallen service member. That is all.

  33. Dan Jordan Jr.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I have tried to do two things as of late. One is to not be so damn critical of people who express their thoughts that are against my beliefs. The second was to keep quiet on Memorial Day. I am going to fail at each right now.

    I started Memorial Day with putting up the 173rd Airborne flag for the day. I had a bunch of stares throughout the day for placing a foreign flag to most on my household. This flag signifies my memories (or lack of) of my father, 1st Lt. Daniel Jordan. (23E, line #42) While some other place a Stars and Stripes in front of their house, I and others like me have true memorials behind Memorial Day. Even though 45 years will pass on July 10th, I still remember. Even when Ranger Up put up a FB post on what Memorial Day represents, I felt it was best to leave the post up to the current day soldiers and families. I read, hooah’ed and kept silent.

    But watching Mr. Hayes on MSNBC made me sick. I know families that have lost their father in Vietnam and their son in Iraq. (Elaine Roach) I do not believe either of these losses meet the standard of heroism that Mr. Hayes places for such actions. Yet this country owes that family the respect of heroes. I could not fathom the pain felt by all of the families when ‘the call’ comes to their door. To place them below any standard is ignorant. For Mr. Hayes to place himself as the judge of heroes is beyond narcism.

    I am thankful that a few in this generation have chosen to protect our republic. For those families that have lost a family member, they are heroes. For those who have fought and lost some of their own, they are heroes. I do not care what Mr. Webster or Mr. Hayes describe heroism as. Serve this country and then talk. If you didn’t, don’t.

  34. SPC Wilson

    May 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    For those that think polite discourse is the way to resolve this situation, I have one simple question? Assuming you weren’t spawned from some hideous hellbeast and therefore went through life without any meaningful relationships, how would you feel if someone were to piss on your brother’s grave? Or you father’s, sister’s or mother’s? How polite and levelheaded would you be? Would you sit down and say “maybe the old fellow has a point” or would you say “fuck that guy and his little dog too?”

  35. Richard

    May 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    “The whole ‘hero’ rhetoric only helps perpetuate our GI Joe culture of rationalizing unjust wars”

    Wow, what an amazing sentence. A hero is not a rhetorical concept. A hero is someone who helps someone else in an act that might get them killed or actually does get them killed. This is not “rhetoric”. This is about sacrifice for someone else. If you do not understand that, then I have a question for you. Is there anyone in your life that you would die so they could live? If your answer is “no” then you don’t understand. You are an ignorant person and you are excused because you have no knowledge that bears on this topic. Please go out into the world and learn what it means to be a citizen (as opposed to a resident) then come back and we can speak further.

    “18-19 year olds are duped into serving to ‘protect our freedom’ because they are excited by notions of patriotism and defending their country”

    I believe in America. I think that we have a good system and I want my children to grow up HERE, in this system, and thrive. I have visited about 18 countries and I have seen their systems. I asked a lot of questions and after reflection I think that America is the best place. I served in the Army between 1970 and 1976. I wasn’t excited by patriotism and I knew exactly what I was doing. My family and my country raised me and for my life I owed them a debt. I haven’t yet fully paid the debt. If you think that you can live in America for free I say that you are wrong. You get to live your life in America because someone else paid and is paying the price.

    “The soldiers who fight in these wars are indeed courageous, but hero is not the term I would use to describe someone who enables the government to engage in imperialistic wars (the wars would not be possible if everyone refused to fight in them).”

    You seem to be suffering under the misconception that a soldier gets to decide which battles he gets to fight — that a soldier “enables the government”. We the people elect our government — it isn’t yours or mine, it is our government. It represents everyone — me, you, and Mr. Hayes too. That is what democracy means. If I join up and my country says “go and fight” then I go and I fight. “No” is not one of the choices.

    “When was the last time a soldier truly ‘defended our freedom’? ”

    Every single damn day. We have a large military force. If you attack my country, we will reply. It is the most important job of the government to insure the safety of our population. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Walk softly but carry a big stick”. If you attack America we may pull out that big stick and everybody knows it. Some people think that we won’t roll out the Army for one little attack here or there but they know that we might. If you think that position does not deter attacks I suggest that you go to your local boxing gym and take a few sparring lessons. After that sweet-looking little girl with the breathlessly fast hands and the black belt in karate smacks you in the face and kicks out your knees a few times you will learn a little bit more about defense and offense. Start at the gym, there are harder and deadlier places to learn that lesson.

    “9/11 was perpetuated by a group of terrorist maybe 500 in number at the time? Can someone explain to me how a group that small and unsophisticated could possibly threaten the sovereignty of the greatest military power in the history of the Earth.”

    So UBL and his merry band wanted the US out of his holy land (Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem). His people are the chosen people and they want us to stop polluting the moral fiber of their youth. And finally, until the West adopts his religion we are not human and should be killed as a blight on the world. His technique is the same as every guerrilla fighter in history. Throw the US into chaos by attacking our institutions with the message, “see your government is so incapable that they cannot even protect you from us oops I mean they cannot even protect you from these vile terrorists”, “the bombings might stop if you would just sympathize with the moral values of their holy book”, “for you soldiers out there, while you are fighting in foreign places we will make an extra effort to kill your families”, and “if you continue to support the government, we will kill each and every one of you”. Those of you who served in RVN may recognize something there. If we give in to those demands, we have abandoned our values, the system I believe in falls apart, and I leave my kids to grow up in a system like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    “Instead, this situation has resorted to a knee-jerk defend the troops mantra that is hardly conducive to a national dialogue about the appropriate use of military force.”

    Memorial day has nothing to do with the appropriate use of military force — you brought that up, I didn’t. On Memorial Day you should ask yourself, “would I even be alive if these men and women hadn’t stood up for me?” Those didn’t force this government on you or force you to make any choices. They died to give you the freedom to make your own choices. If you don’t feel indebted to them for that sacrifice then you are excused and I just wasted a hour trying to explain it to you.

  36. Docfather

    May 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I enlisted into the Army National Guard in the height of the Iraq war. I didn’t have to, I could have said that I had already done my bit being a Coastie before going to college. I could have argued that my Bachelors Degree meant that I had higher callings then a lowly grunt medic. But instead I looked overseas and saw that what we were doing was worthwhile. I enlisted because I didn’t want to have my family or their children ever have to worry about evil coming for them. I am willing to put myself between them and the evil of this world and dare it to try. Be a medic in the Guard I have spent 4 out of 6 years of my enlistment on Active duty. I have witnessed things that I will never forget until the day I die, but in the end I also met the greatest guys I have ever known and am honored to serve with them. As I said before I have a bachelor’s degree, I was a successful manager for one of America’s Fortune 500 companies. The greatest accomplishment of my life was the day my grunts called me “Doc”. That wasn’t an easy day and I earned it the hard way but no one will ever be able to take that from me.

    Maybe people like Matt and Chris don’t believe that yes even 7 thousand miles away fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan we aren’t fighting for their freedom, but I would submit this in rebuttal. We could look the other way when Radical Islam killed 3000 Americans and they would be emboldened. We could have run away when things got tough in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Radical Islam would have been emboldened. We could just bury our heads in the sand and surely we would have a few more decades of peace while piecemeal the middle east fell to harsher and harsher Islamist regimes. Hell we are a big country we can absorb a few terrorist attacks. But each time we do this Radical Islam is emboldened until one day we look up and Radical Islam will have taken over. Not all just wars are fought on the defensive,sometimes you have to confront evil in it’s infancy and strangle it. That is what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were about. In Iraq Radical Islam through everything it had at us and we endured and persevered and today that country is a functional democracy. It has its hiccups but then so did we when we started our grand experiment. We had a duty to react when Radical Islam declared war on us and we must win that war. These weren’t wars of choice they were foisted on us by a group of men that have no value of human life. They are narrow minded bigots that want to subjugate the world to worst conditions possible, and I will put myself between them and my family and hold the line.

  37. Rick

    May 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    American service members deserve to be honored on Memorial Day, and not just as Nick explains. Take a moment in history and you’ll see that America has been, almost always, more in the right than others. The Axis powers were willing to commit mass homicide of POWs, and launched imperialist assaults, not the Allies. The Communist rulers of China were willing to slaughter millions of their own citizens, we fought their expansion in Korea to protect US. Same in Viet Nam, even if Ho Chi Mihn wasn’t actually a believer in communism. Spreading freedom, and free trade, is not imperialism. We could have pursued imperialism and seized other countries’ assets; instead our primary effort has been to increase freedom and trade. Only the privileged goofballs can look at the historic record and claim otherwise. The most recent example is Iraq. Lots of oil, we left. Korea, Viet Nam, Nicaragua, Grenada — we sure didn’t fight for their resources. Our service members deserve our praise, gratitude, and respect the whole year, because in addition to sacrificing for our country, their courage, dedication, and service have been spent making the US, and the world, a better place to live in. You can’t say that about USSR, Cuba, China, Pol Pot, bin Laden, on and on. Without saying we’re perfect, nobody is, we surely have fought many conflicts since WWII as the leader of the free world and I am proud of our country and military for every one of them. To anyone who slanders US, I say, get a job, doing something productive, pay your own way, and look at how much worse, far worse, this world would be if the US and our armed forces hadn’t always been trying to fight on the right side, and doing as good a job or better than anyone else has at doing what’s right.

  38. Axel

    May 30, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Ok Matt, you say that we have not been attacked by a country since WWII, but you never mention 9/11? What do you call that? I call that an attack, an attack made by Al Queda, which prior to the attack trained in Afghanistan alongside…..wait for it…..the Taliban. They were known associates, and the Taliban was the biggest power in Afghanistan. Read a little on the middle east before you come trying to throw your two cents in. As well let’s not forget the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. Now for you and this quest to not be called names…….Suck a fat dick. Yep I said it, and guess what, I can say it because it’s in my right. If it really bothers you, get off the blog, nobody wants to hear some bullshit sniveling.

    As for Brian and Thatguy, RU Nick said it much better than I ever could, so I’ll leave it alone.

    And as for Mr. Hayes, you sir are the doushebag of the century in my eyes…..those that have given everything are heroes, no matter if you believe in the cause they died for, because they gave everything for other American citizens.
    Just my two cents.

  39. Peter D

    May 30, 2012 at 3:41 am

    This should be an easy enough debate. If you don’t think that American Troops do anything for your freedom, go to another country, and disrespect their government or troops. Oh, I know what you are thinking. But, most other counties don’t have free speech, and yes, you would be right. You might also think that most other governments don’t allow you to speak out against them, under punishment of death in some places. Well, you would be right there too. So, it looks like our troops have been doing something for you after all. All of your other “Rights”, yes, we fight for those for you too. Our Heroes even give up the ultimate sacrifice of their life for your life. Others give up years of their life, limbs and their loved ones for your rights. I don’t know about you, but when someone puts up their life for you, I would think that person should be considered a hero.
    You know, here is the definition of Hero for you

       [heer-oh] noun, plural he·roes;
    a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
    a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

    So, there you go, they are heroes because they performed the heroic act of giving up their life, for your freedoms.

  40. SFC Jay K.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:37 am


    Do not fall into conversation with Trolls like “Matt”, which I am sure is not his name.

    All they want to do is goad, come up with what they FEEL is a reasoned argument against saying anything other than, “yeah, Chris Hayes made a mistake.”

    They will suck you in any time.

    Don’t argue with him. Just remember that even the retards in the Occupy movement or some other ultra liberal group need to be protected too.

    Even though I wouldn’t hesitate to use them as a body breach or to walk point in Maiwand or Zharay or Sara Kalacheh after Ripping with a unit that didn’t patrol due to economy of force.

    I gotta roll on ANOTHER patrol. Sleep well, America.

  41. Terry Sterner

    May 30, 2012 at 5:29 am

    So this sacklasss piece of shit is saying that our fallen troops aren’t hero’s? Well then… my dad was in the arny from 1988-1995. He was a Ranger and Special Forces…. He served I. Somalia during the balck hawk down incident, he served in Panama during operation just cause, he served in Iraq during Desert Storm and Desert Shiel, he was in Bosnia acting as a piece keeper…. and suffered from PTSD…. and took his own life on 9/11/10. Now he is not a hero?! He is my hero, and I’m going into the army as soon as I turn 18 myself to be an EOD tech.

    • Terry Sterner

      May 30, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Im 17 and turn 18 July 25th of this year

  42. Erok

    May 30, 2012 at 5:36 am

    My names Matt, and I’m a troll. You and Mr. Hayes do have the freedom of speech, but perhaps you should both exercise your rights to not speak. Trying to drag everyone into an intellectual battle of wits over something so stupid just proves your ignorance.

    – A concerned Airman

  43. Mary

    May 30, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Ok so I agree with SFC Jay K. I am still young in the army but I don’t think that we should be stooping down to “Matt’s” level. Like they say, “Don’t stoop down to an idiots level because they will bring you down and then beat you with experience.” Someone like that has obviously never even thought of the things that a soldier has to go through, the training the being away from family, the risk of dying everyday. We just do that for fun right? We just want to not see our children after a year from being away from their hugs and kisses. We just want to miss their birthdays, recitals, Christmas present opening, graduation…… we like being able to miss that, such a relief that we don’t have to deal with all that. When your brother is sick and Mom can’t take care of him the way she needs to be able to we just want to be able to stay away from that drama. WRONG!!! I would rather on some days go home and deal with the “Bullshit” of everyday life because we miss being able to deal with all of it. We want to take care of my sick family. We want to be able to argue with our sister on what she should wear to the party she is going to. But when you join this AWESOME military that we the people of the United States have, we give that up. We give up our free time so that the other people of the United States can sleep well. We in the United States military are the 1% that can make it through the training and the everyday life of a Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airmen, the 1% of America that is willing to sacrifice their life in order for the other 99% to live freely.

  44. Leslie

    May 30, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I don’t believe the guy’s intent was so malicious that he deserved all that, guys. I’m a soldier, and most of my friends are soldiers, and I tell you what, some of them deserve the title of DOUCHE OF THE WEEK. His point was weak, and his timing was less than tactful, but at the end of the day, he’s just voicing a question. Oh, and BTW, politicians should not be declaring war, or continuing war, it’s up to the people, and I think we’ve had a bit too little input as of late. You want to make a point? Stop bashing newscasters and DO SOMETHING, get involved, make sure the right people are in power. Don’t let me or my friends die in vain.

  45. Mike

    May 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I did ten years active duty in the Army . I spent the entire time overseas minus my time in service schools and academies. I was injured in the line of duty and medevaced and medically retired. I got out of the Army LOST, wishing I would have died an honorable death since I couldn’t be serving with my brothers anymore. I went to college. I listened to liberal crap like that in my “institution of higher learning” and by my Sophomore year I had ground most of the enamel off of my teeth listening to some of the BS these kids are taught and their opinions based on their philosophizing. It makes me sick. I want to remind liberals wherever they be that ANYONE WHO ANSWERS THEIR NATIONS CALL TO SERVE AND VOLUNTEERS SELFLESSLY KNOWING THAT THEY WILL END UP IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS LIKELY TO GET THEM AND HALF OF THEIR SQUAD KILLED -IS A HERO. Anyone who voluntarilly goes to an environment on behalf of their nations request and comes home in a flag draped box is a hero. It doesn’t matter if they died from something stupid enough to earn them a Dharma Award, or in the act of sitting on a grenade to save their platoon. They are heroes. Lastly, if these wars are so unjust then how come those people in Iraq and Afghanistan are offering Soldiers two wives each and a house and car and pension to stay there and protect them? They have water and electricity and schools and hospitals now. Thanks to the .45%. If Chris Hayes has done anything positive it has been that he has brought light on the fact that there is a huge gap between the military caste of Spartans Warriors, and the weak spoiled civilians who sleep comfortably under the blanket of protection we provide. Liberal minds break my heart. They make me hurt so bad I want to beat my head off a wall until I’m too brain dead to fathom the language they speak ever again. It seriously hurts me. Enough is enough. Seriously. This was a personal attack against us. To say this on Memorial Day was a blatant declaration of war against the .45% of us by a minority bully pulpit of liberals. Things need to change. Soon. If we veterans don’t stand up and plant our foot down and say “we have had enough and we aren’t going to take it anymore” then things will never change. Its time we gave America a long overdue spanking.

  46. James C

    May 30, 2012 at 8:19 am

    For the military members posting on this thread: how many of you want to be called a hero? How many of you who are alive and well think you deserve to be called hero? Are you the same type of hero as Dakota Meyer or Leroy Petry? Have you personally conducted heroic acts? Some of you most likely have, and you deserve the recognition. But many of you have not. And if you are like me, and have served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have known the fear of unseen IEDs, and screeching rockets, but have not had the opportunity to display exceptional acts of courage, then you probably don’t want to be called a hero. You probably think the term should be reserved for the women and men who did and currently do act above and beyond the call of duty to perform amazing feats, maybe a handful of times throughout their lives. Because heroism is not just existing, or even volunteering. To volunteer is to offer to do a job, to perform a duty without reservation. But that act in and of itself, as honorable as it may be, is not heroic. Selfless? Sure. But not heroic. Personally, I don’t want to cheapen the feats of courageous men who act in the face of adversity and danger to placate my own hubris and sense of entitlement.

    • MAGGIE

      May 31, 2012 at 12:50 am

      @ James C

      At last! someone from within who can see it like it is.

    • Jinger

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

      James C.

      Great Post. You are on the money regarding those of us in uniform. I don’t know about you, but I find it strange when people want to say thank you for serving. It is an honor and a privilege to serve this great Nation.

      That being said – I do believe it is heroic to stand in harms way. Am I am a hero? No. Would I be willing to give my life for my battle buddy? Yes. Are most people in the Military willing to do the same – I would venture another, Yes. Are we heroes? No, Are we willing to be? Yes.

      There are so many in the general population that would run AWAY if they heard the word RAPE… FIRE… HELP. We are a different community and would run toward the danger. Which COULD be labeled heroic.

      I believe that those who serve regard the word “Hero” as sacred. Someone who gets a cat out of a tree doesn’t get my “Hero” stamp, but the little old lady who gets her cat back might tell the good Samaritan they are her hero.

      What I find disturbing is that Chris Hayes questioned the heroism of our DEAD. Memorial Day is set aside as a day of remembrance for those KIA or while serving this Nation. Without QUESTION those lost were Heroes. They made the ultimate sacrifice regardless of “V” device. Their loss was in defense of our Freedom.

      Bottom Line? I am just a 42A. I push paper. If I were ever in a combat zone it would be a very slim chance I would EVER engage the enemy in combat. I view our Infantrymen as Heroic. They go out EVERY TIME to face danger head on – they are Heroes in my book because of what they do. They VOLUNTEERED to stand on the front lines. That means something to me.

      ~~Hope that all made sense. I get where you are coming from, but I don’t think volunteering eliminates the possibility of heroism. However… this statement is absolutely brilliant “I don’t want to cheapen the feats of courageous men who act in the face of adversity and danger to placate my own hubris and sense of entitlement.”

  47. gadiv

    May 30, 2012 at 8:44 am

    All the money that went into educating this guy and he still reached for that can of worms, eh?

    They’re heroes because they assume a responsibility for the safety and security of millions of people they’ll never meet. Soldiers are very personally interacting with the lives of millions of people without them ever really realizing it, and soldiers often lose their own lives in service to that responsibility.

    Perhaps Mr. Hayes idea of heroism has been colored unrealistically by Die Hard movies or Legend of Zelda games. Perhaps that Brown money was wasted on him.

  48. Khal Braun

    May 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    If you look at all the responses on here, I think it shows his education is working. Who heard of this guy before yesterday? Anyone? I haven’t and I watch MSNBC. Now, the whole country knows him because we have a way of giving fame to people who make stupid comments rather than ignoring their lack of credibility (ie: Palin, Hank jr., Ozzie Guillen). Secondly, how is Bill Maher in the same boat as Michael Moore? He’s a comedian; I’ll be it an educated comedian who loves politics, but if you ever actually watched his show (as many conservative do) you’d see that he criticizes everything including liberals and Obama regularly and factually. On a final note, this Hayes bloke is obviously wrong in every sense. A person who gives his/her life for a greater cause is absolutely a hero, especially to everyone who reaps the benefits of that sacrifice. I think the point he failed to address clearly, which is a valid point, is that on days when we honor veterans and troops and essentially war, it glorifies the hell of it all; it glorifies death and influences people to continue joining military. Now this should aid the fact that these men are indeed heroes, not deter it. When a war is not just, as recent wars, it becomes easy to cloud this fact by hiding behind the casualties of war and pulling a blindfold over public eyes to focus on fallen heroes rather than the fact that the people who lead are not heroes. That’s the point he should have made: these people are heroes, but should have fallen in a better setting than modern wars. Instead of reminding us that these people are great! memorial day should help us focus on how scary modern government has become.

  49. Mingo

    May 30, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I’ve read several replys here and I’d personally like to thank all of you that have stood up for us vets. And for the rest,,, I hope you burn in Hell.
    Myself I served 2 combat tours in Veit Nam returning with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, am I a hero,,,,, hell no!! I’m just a person that won’t stand by and let someones elses life and freedoms be put in jepordy by some “banna republic” dictator hell bent on personal gain and putting a nations people into servatude. Or by letting some other country dictate how this country operates.

    What many seem to forget is that, in todays world every country is interconnected, one way or anouther. What happens in one country will effect many others.
    I supose that one could argue if a war is a just one or not, as I’ve heard countless times about Veit Nam. Here’s my take on this and my personal experiances.

    While serving 2 combat tours in Nam I served in the 101st Airborne, air cav unit, inf. in the A Shau Valley, the sight of Hamburg Hill and many other major battles for freedom. I have been in Cambodia and seen the killing feilds there first hand. And did assult missions on the Ho Chi Min Trail, as well as helped protect many villages in S. Viet Nam.

    I can’t understand for one minite why someone would be so ignorent in saying this wasn’t a just war?? Unless there just uneducated about what this war was really all about. I’ve personally seen the skinned alive bodys staked out in the village squares and dismembered heads stuck on bambo steaks along the trails, men , women, and children, some being only 2-3 years old.

    These people were no more than peasent farmers trying to scratch out a meager living for there families with no clue or intrest in international politics. They were good people just trying to make there way in life, survive a dictatorship, and feed there families as best they could.

    My mission was to protect these people that couldn’t protect themselfs from Communist/socilist dictators bent on taking all that these countries had, and to put there people into serveatude without giving a second thought about slautering someone because they didn’t “comply”.

    So that being said,, I’d really like some of you “highly educated” people to explain to me why you might feel that me being there wasn’t a just cause and why socialist forms of goverment are a better option??? I’d really like an answer to that one.

    For those of you that feel socialist forms of government are the way to go,,, I’d like you to remember that this is the socialist manifesto, and this is there methods used in gaining power over others, don’t forget that for one second,, it’s fact,, it’s true history!!!! So is this what you want for this country??? It certanly seems that way with the current administrations eroding of our libertys and The Constitution on a daily basis. If this is the case, my “watch” is not over yet,, and you too,, are my enamy as you are to all the people of the world. Though I’m in my 60’s now, I’ll never back down from the oath I took to protect this country and it’s people. And if I have to go into battle again to ultimatly protect yours or anyone elses right to life and liberty and the freedoms we all enjoy,, I will,, to the best of my abilitys.

    I knew all this when I enlisted, and was told what a war really is all about and what to expect by both my father and grandfather.Both combat vets from the Spanish American War and WW1,my grandfather, WW11,and Korea, my father, both were highly decorated, dare I say,, Heros in there own rights. IMO

    It really pains me when I here people spouting BS about things they have no clue about and that only adversitys in life, have been, not getting a date with some “hot cheer leader”, or not pasing a collage test. You seem to have no idea what responsibilties are involved in keeping a nation free, or have no idea what the world is really all about. Nor are you, man/woman enough to stand up for whats just and right. That’s what honor is all about, sadly many of you will never know what it means as your only concerned is about your own selfish intrests and you will never have the pride in putting your life on the line for someone elses freedoms. Yea, it may sound cleche, or old fashion but it really,,, is the way it is!! Real Life,,, People!!!

    In closeing I’d like to remind you all,, to remember these experiances I’ve had next time you critisize a vet of any war. This is what, us solders, of this country have fought aginst throughout this nations history. And if you feel this is an outdated mission,, I can only hope that you someday are able to experiance first hand the oppression and torture of some third world dictator as I have. So you’ll truely understand what makes this country so great and what responsibiliys we all have to others as a free nation. And it IS a responsibility, NOT an Option…. if we are to remain free!!!! Semper Fi… My Brothers

  50. RAW1

    May 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Unfortunately after 24 years of service both Active Duty Army and Army National Guard, it is people like this why I regret to have ever enlisted. However, there are all those other brothers in arms that I will gladly serve another 24 years. These are the American I served for. Although I doubt anyone would ever spend the time or money to investigate how many of the people who have died from terrorist attacks whether it be the World Trade Center, one of the many airplanes hijacked and crashed, or any number of bombings around the world were actually or willing to be part of the 1% of the American population who serve in OUR nation’s military. This is why I liked the movie Starship Troopers. Certain Rights were limited to those who served. Hayes would be one of those who only serve the minimum time to receive the limited rights. At least then he would have a better understanding of what service is all about. I would like to add that in addition to all those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, the spouses of those serving overseas should be granted hero status as well. For it is they who pick up the pieces of the family and hold them together never knowing if or when there is that unfortunate knock at the door from a fellow service member with the information of a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine’s untimely death!

  51. SSG Dan

    May 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    AMAZING retort! I want to have like 10,000,000 of your babies. No homo…

  52. Hueymed

    May 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Matt, Mr. Douchebag Hayes… I dare you to extend a similar “intellectual”
    challenge to the Black History Month, and see where your career and personal
    safety skills take you. Moreover, to have the balls to do any of this outside of the
    comfort of internet. The fact is, you can’t define or argue “heroic” or for that matter integrity, honor or bravery
    because you have none, nor ever bother to learn to acquire any of these virtues.
    To me there is really one simple resolution, and that is to add MSNBC to the blocked
    channel list.

  53. Sarmsboss666

    June 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    though i do not always agree with the wars we go into as a country i will never EVER say anything bad about the soldiers. EVER. they are just doing their job. so this guy can go hang himself with his “education”

  54. Bieme

    June 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Well i got the entire point of the statement at “MSNBC.” All downhill from there.

  55. turd ferguson

    June 13, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I cant believe people really think like this. I mean, i fucking laugh when people talk to me about the wars like its my fault, that i honored my contract and did my job. I mean shame on me for wanting to spend any amount of my time away from my home and family, getting shot at, watching my friends die and coming home all fucked up so i could pat myself on the back for it. Personlly, i think this guy is a symptom… he is a symptom of the fact that someone took a massive shit in the gene pool.

  56. tipsi

    June 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Hello! I have one question and i hope someone can help me so.That all who serve in the army in Afghanistan, communicate with webcam or not? Or same can and the others not? Thank you when someone can answer.

    • JonsAscout19D

      August 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      In reply to your question, I can only offer my own experience as an answer. While serving in the Army for 12 years, I performed the duties of a Scout. That being the case, I was deployed to combat in Iraq, for a total of 4 deployments. Because of the nature of my work, I was forced to be “forward” or very close to the front lines of our forces. Thus, keeping me far removed from the comforts of a “base”. Majority of my time in Iraq, was spent moving from house-to-house, never spending too much time in one place. This nomadic lifestyle did not allow for myself or my Soldiers to have access to communication devices, such as phones or internet, for extended periods of time. This led to a divorce from my first-wife, as she could not understand this about me, when compared to other Soldiers living on the “bases”, who got to speak with their loved ones daily. So…in answering your question, it really depends upon the service member’s job or duties, as to whether or not they are able to call home regularly.

  57. Bigfoot

    August 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

    It’s not just the military that don’t consider themselves heroes. In every crisis situation, there are those who run from and those who run to help; they don’t consider themselves heroes, but they are. I doubt Hayes would be among them.

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