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Old 08-18-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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Default Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades, veterans of the
Global War On Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in
Iraq and was a principal in putting together the first Iraq elections in
January 2005. They wrote it to Jill Edwards, student at the University of
Washington, who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel
Greg Boyington. Ms. Edwards, other students and faculty do not think those
who serve in the U.S. armed services are good role models.


To: Jill Edwards, Student, University of Washington
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards,

I read of your student activity regarding the proposed memorial to
Colonel Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you
will receive many angry emails from conservative people like me. You may be
too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen
and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I
forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It may be
that you are simply a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep, as long
as you know and accept what you are.

William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
November 24, 1997 said "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They
are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by
accident. We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence
is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent
people, not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under
extreme provocation. They are sheep.

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

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock
and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a
healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence
and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive
sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep
love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a
warrior, someone who is walking the unchartered path.

Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human
phobia, and walk out unscathed. We know that the sheep live in denial, that
is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in
the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why
they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits
throughout their kid's schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea
of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are
thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school
violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of
violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child
is just too hard. So they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf.
He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that
the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any
sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished
and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a
representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog
disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the
land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them
traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage
fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog
cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go Baa. Until the wolf
shows up.

Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high
school students, and under ordinary circumstances would not have had the
time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had
nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and
SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to
physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the
little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look
at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the
door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about
their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that
there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what
you choose to be.

Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing
around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go
bump in the night and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young
sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little
older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right
along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend
the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most
citizens in America said "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The
sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of
those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." You want to be able
to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog,
the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is
that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that would destroy
98 percent of the population.

Research was conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent
crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of
violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast
majority said they specifically targeted victims by body language:

Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their
victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd
that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose
which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans
are choosing to become sheepdogs. Seven months after the attack on
September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New
Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who
called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the
hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had
been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist
hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers -
athletes, business people and parents - from sheep to sheepdogs and together
they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the

Edmund Burke said "There is no safety for honest men except by believing all
possible evil of evil men." Here is the point I want to emphasize,
especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each
year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are
born that way, and so are wolves. They don't have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want
to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then
you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you
pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there
is not a sheepdog there to protect you.

If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to
hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if
you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a
conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare
yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes
knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy.

It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other
end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the
other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away
from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating
their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously.

Its OK to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheepdog
may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully
prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving
from "baa" to "thanks".

We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small
pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is
drained protecting the sheep. And, when our number is called by The
Almighty, and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the heavens
just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep.
And be grateful for the millions of American sheepdogs who permit you the
freedom to express even bad ideas.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand
ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have". Gerald Ford

"Life's tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid." -John Wayne

There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.
-Capt. Bob "Wolf" Johnson
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