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"Yeah, we're honoring vets..."


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Captainofthe7th

Well that was a short lived post after reading Lewis' post....haha Good thing I still had access to the edit button..

 

Rob

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Ignoramuses!! Monty and Ike might not always have seen eye to eye but he was a great commander at a time when we (ie Great Britain) needed one. He led us to victory at El Alamein and thereafter into Germany, following D-Day. He is highly honoured here and it saddens me to see those kids playing soldiers and disrespecting him! I hope they aren't associated with this forum?!

 

 

My gut reaction was to write something short and to the point. Thankyou Ian for putting it in a more elaquant way.

 

 

Graham.

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Lads-

 

Contacted the OIC of the reenactor unit in the picture via email & ended up talking to him about an hour ago. The picture was not meant to be disrespectful, nor to be posted online. It was actually taken for a WWII vet of the 82d in reference to this veteran's opinion of Montgomery & his tactics. Once we talked he understood our point of view & I think he's on the same sheet of music as everyone else. Pretty good guy actually & regrets that the picture got out like it did.

 

 

I understand where he's coming from and assume he offered an apology of sorts...but it couldn't really be construed as anything but disrespectful, whether it was meant in jest, or not. Just my take on it.

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My gut reaction was to write something short and to the point. Thankyou Ian for putting it in a more elaquant way.

 

 

Graham.

 

Roger that Graham! :thumbsup:

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shrapneldude

This is the trouble with taking things completely out of context. On the internet, as soon as the photo is copied from the original person, it loses any and all context and where a caption explaining that this was a tribute to a friend of theirs who had a particular disdain for Monty might have made it a bit easier to stomach seeing such a disrespectful display, without it, all the general public can do is speculate and jump to conclusions. It's a natural reaction, and even IN the proper context the photo is rather sad, but it's important to try not to rush to judgment of others.

 

That said, is nobody going to comment on the fact that there are 12 year old kids playing Airborne? :lol:

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I understand where he's coming from and assume he offered an apology of sorts...but it couldn't really be construed as anything but disrespectful, whether it was meant in jest, or not. Just my take on it.

 

Roger - me too brother

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Captainofthe7th
This is the trouble with taking things completely out of context. On the internet, as soon as the photo is copied from the original person, it loses any and all context and where a caption explaining that this was a tribute to a friend of theirs who had a particular disdain for Monty might have made it a bit easier to stomach seeing such a disrespectful display, without it, all the general public can do is speculate and jump to conclusions. It's a natural reaction, and even IN the proper context the photo is rather sad, but it's important to try not to rush to judgment of others.

 

That said, is nobody going to comment on the fact that there are 12 year old kids playing Airborne? :lol:

 

 

Dan,

 

You know that the elite WWII airborne troops are mostly portrayed by 12 year olds and well...how to put this nicely....guys that might need more than one parachute when making a jump. And at every event they are the guys that rush into the trenches first and 'win' the battle because, after all, the airborne won the war!! :rolleyes:

 

Despite the context of the photo, it's images like this that make me less proud of being a reenactor. I much prefer to just do displays now instead of tactical events...living history displays, in my opinion, are the only ways that reenactors can truly honor veterans. Tactical events are just for fun on weekends (you taught me that, Dan).

 

Rob

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I think its great to see our greatest allied commanders honoured/commemorated in each other's countries, like FM Montgomery ( Monty) there in the US. General Eisenhower (Ike) and his C-I-C Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) have their statues in central London. Then there are bronzes of Generals Spaatz, Doolittle and Marshall etc., too. :salute:

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uplandmod

This is one thing about the internet I can't believe people still haven't figured out......that the internet is INTERNATIONAL!

 

Those conversations that people have with their friends about "the French are all this...." or " The Americans are that..." doesn't cut it anymore. If one is lame enough to still get caught up in those types of conversations online are going to called out publicly for their stupidly.

 

I love it how they still justified this behavior, "We did it for the Vets!"

 

I know there are a lot of great Paratrooper reenactors out there but it's things like this that ruin it for the entire group!

 

Leonardo

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I have little to add other than look at the average age of this group of people.

 

We have younsters within our ranks, a couple of years under active service enlistment date for sure, but when in the Uniform of those that have gone before us they act with respect, the respect that is demanded in our group, or they are out, its as simple as that.

 

Looking at the picture we can see its not one or two but a bunch of ill disiplined Reenactors playing up for the camera. Regardless of the reason behind it, the guy wearing the bars of a commisioned Officer is responsible as far as I am concerned.

 

We all like to have a laugh on the weekend, but this is a "Laugh Too Far"

 

On a forum that finds the Living Historian in the minority this is not what we want to see. I am only relived that I know this kind of stuff is in the minority and the hobby remains an honorable one both here in the UK and one hopes there in the US of A

 

Regards

 

Lee

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willysmb44

If I had to look back in almost 20 years of WW2 re-enacting, I’m sure I’ve taken part in more than a few photos that might not look good in the wrong context today. The difference is I don’t scan or post any of them. You don’t want a photo getting out there? Don’t put the thing on a computer!

I saw some photos from a 101st unit out of Florida years ago on their site that showed a lot of people pointing guns and knives at one another (at ranges of less than on inch) at public events. When I pointed out how stupid these looked, I got a lot of backlash from people in that group (one of whom threatened my life, I think because he knew I lived on the opposite side of the continent. Oddly, they stopped responding when I offered to show up at one of their events in person to take him up on his challenge the next time I visited my parents who lived in their area). Some re-enactors live in a very small smug cocoon. I have very little empathy for people who take such “yuck yuck” photos at public events. THINK before you hit the shutter button, people!

But as for the age comment, I’d also rather see these faces in WW2 uniforms than 400-pound guys in their 50s any day of the week. Some of the troopers in WW2 looked like they were that age until they got shot at. Look at photos of soldiers in combat, even the late war German HJ troops (some of them really in their pre-teens) look like old men in their expressions.

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Bill in VA
Lads-

 

Contacted the OIC of the reenactor unit in the picture via email & ended up talking to him about an hour ago. The picture was not meant to be disrespectful, nor to be posted online. It was actually taken for a WWII vet of the 82d in reference to this veteran's opinion of Montgomery & his tactics. Once we talked he understood our point of view & I think he's on the same sheet of music as everyone else. Pretty good guy actually & regrets that the picture got out like it did.

 

The "captain" in the photo is is named Christian B. He's the founder of C/307th AEB, out of NC. I know him personally,and wouldn't give two wipes of the brown eye for what he says about it being a joke photo posed for a WWII vet. Christian was kicked out of one reenacting unit, formed his own and has been PNG'd from several other events in the VA/NC region. At one NC event (I was present and staffing it) he showed up and was told to tleave, that he and his group were not welcomed because of these (and worse) shenanigans...misbehavior, failure to "play nicely with others", authenticity issues, safety issues (he/his unit started a fire that completely destroyed a GP medium and all of its contents as well burned close to an acre of field grass as but one example); in short, he and his group of underage troopers are clowns who have been univited and utterly shunned from the hobby in this region. Balance that with his "explanation" and his being "a pretty good guy, actually."

 

I also personally know April, the director of education at the Bedford D Day memorial; I went to grad school with her, shared a number of classes with her, an socialized with her fairly often. (The graduate History dept. at VPI&SU was pretty small.) I understand she invited these guys; she told me she sent them a six page letter detailing acceptable behavior prior to their attendance. This was a public event and he and his group were supposed to be there to educate the public and honor the memory and contributions of the D Day veterans. You may have spoken with him, but I know him personally. Actions speak louder than words, a picture's worth a thousand words...pick your cliche; I've known him since 2006 and this photo accurately represents him, his unit, and their attitude towards the hobby and history.

Bill

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While I stand by my original comments about trying to be more instructive and inclusive that doesn't mean every effort will succeed as is evidenced by the comments from Bill in Va. As a long serving member in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program I have seen far too many rogue adult members who gain a paternal influence over the youngsters and then set about creating little monsters in uniform; and the parents swear by this adult. It might be true the adult might be doing something positive for the young adults but at what cost, being black balled from an event?

And if you've been around the direct action segment of the military long enough you have probably seen the same poor behavior that resulted from poor leadership. It has been mentioned here before about the stupid killing of a soldier on Grenada when another one tried to impress him with his knowledge of one of the safety mechanisms on the .45.

I personally knew many of the SEALs who died off the beaches of Grenada the night before that gig and it did not surprise me about that incident.

This incident in Va is an example of a poor influence upon young men and women that may not become apparent for many years at which time people might be left scratching their heads in wonder. I only hope that the examples of the other adults here will be able to counter such poor influences.

Thanks for the extra details.

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The "captain" in the photo is is named Christian B. He's the founder of C/307th AEB, out of NC. I know him personally,and wouldn't give two wipes of the brown eye for what he says about it being a joke photo posed for a WWII vet. Christian was kicked out of one reenacting unit, formed his own and has been PNG'd from several other events in the VA/NC region. At one NC event (I was present and staffing it) he showed up and was told to tleave, that he and his group were not welcomed because of these (and worse) shenanigans...misbehavior, failure to "play nicely with others", authenticity issues, safety issues (he/his unit started a fire that completely destroyed a GP medium and all of its contents as well burned close to an acre of field grass as but one example); in short, he and his group of underage troopers are clowns who have been univited and utterly shunned from the hobby in this region. Balance that with his "explanation" and his being "a pretty good guy, actually."

 

I also personally know April, the director of education at the Bedford D Day memorial; I went to grad school with her, shared a number of classes with her, an socialized with her fairly often. (The graduate History dept. at VPI&SU was pretty small.) I understand she invited these guys; she told me she sent them a six page letter detailing acceptable behavior prior to their attendance. This was a public event and he and his group were supposed to be there to educate the public and honor the memory and contributions of the D Day veterans. You may have spoken with him, but I know him personally. Actions speak louder than words, a picture's worth a thousand words...pick your cliche; I've known him since 2006 and this photo accurately represents him, his unit, and their attitude towards the hobby and history.

Bill

 

Bill-

 

First off - seems like I'm getting kicked in the xxxx from you about this guy - let me be clear in that I am not sticking up for him & I didn't know him from a hole in the wall until reading this post this morning. I tracked him down to find out what the deal was - PM me and I'll be more than happy to forward you the rather "heated" exchange of emails he & I had this morning, which led to our phone conversation.

 

Second - in as much as that I've spent 11 of my 22 years in the Army in the 82d, to include 4 combat tours with the 505th, and been a reenactor with the 82d ABN DIV Museum LHD since 2002, of the many tools I have at my disposal as a 1SG for a Stryker Infantry Company at Fort Bliss, one of them (unfortunately) is not a crystal ball to know the past history that Christian and his unit have established for themselves. You've painted a much clearer picture about the consistent shenanigans of this unit, and I'll be sure to get the word out about them.

 

I would love to hear about the other incidents with this guy too - please shoot me a note via PM me and we'll go from there

 

Thanks

 

Chris

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No doubt the reaction of the folks on this forum will filter back to them? If so, let's hope it's a lesson learned!

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Bill in VA
Bill-

 

First off - seems like I'm getting kicked in the xxxx from you about this guy - let me be clear in that I am not sticking up for him & I didn't know him from a hole in the wall until reading this post this morning. I tracked him down to find out what the deal was - PM me and I'll be more than happy to forward you the rather "heated" exchange of emails he & I had this morning, which led to our phone conversation.

 

Second - in as much as that I've spent 11 of my 22 years in the Army in the 82d, to include 4 combat tours with the 505th, and been a reenactor with the 82d ABN DIV Museum LHD since 2002, of the many tools I have at my disposal as a 1SG for a Stryker Infantry Company at Fort Bliss, one of them (unfortunately) is not a crystal ball to know the past history that Christian and his unit have established for themselves. You've painted a much clearer picture about the consistent shenanigans of this unit, and I'll be sure to get the word out about them.

 

I would love to hear about the other incidents with this guy too - please shoot me a note via PM me and we'll go from there

 

Thanks

 

Chris

 

My apologies if it sounded like I was trying to kick you in the jingles, Chris. I most certainly was not. I just wanted to interject some balance to your comments. Christian really is a pretty nice guy as far as being a reasonably decent human being in a social setting. I don't think he'd kick puppies, throw rocks at children, or trip little old ladies. But he's far more at home "playing army" with his kids (most of his unit members are under the age of 18 as far as I know) and has no real interest in the history of his portrayed unit, nor in educating himself, his guys, and/or the public. Again, I apologize if I came across sounding like I was homing in on you and your comments. (That said, I would be very curious to see this exchange!)

Bill

 

EDIT: He has attended Family Day/Open House at ASOM in the past as a hanger-on but he's currently trying to ingratiate himself into as a stand-alone unit so you've either at least seen him or will likely have a an opportunity to do so in the future.

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My apologies if it sounded like I was trying to kick you in the jingles, Chris. I most certainly was not. I just wanted to interject some balance to your comments. Christian really is a pretty nice guy as far as being a reasonably decent human being in a social setting. I don't think he'd kick puppies, throw rocks at children, or trip little old ladies. But he's far more at home "playing army" with his kids (most of his unit members are under the age of 18 as far as I know) and has no real interest in the history of his portrayed unit, nor in educating himself, his guys, and/or the public. Again, I apologize if I came across sounding like I was homing in on you and your comments. (That said, I would be very curious to see this exchange!)

Bill

 

EDIT: He has attended Family Day/Open House at ASOM in the past as a hanger-on but he's currently trying to ingratiate himself into as a stand-alone unit so you've either at least seen him or will likely have a an opportunity to do so in the future.

 

No sweat brother - yeah, I got him on my radar & as stated before in this thread, if he is going to be the OIC, then be the OIC! That and that he's got quite the track record for being a knucklehead - sheesh man!

 

Chris

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Rakkasan187

Lewis505 sent me this jugheads email and I was seething yesterday so I sent him a little piece of my mind; This is what I sent and his reply:

 

Mr. Barlow,

 

I am sure by now you have received numerous messages about the photo that has been posted. You may be able to remove it from your site, but I am afraid the damage is already done. As my brother in arms First Sergeant Chris Lewis has already stated to you, yes, it is understood that a lot of individuals did not like Montgomery, which is a written fact. However, my question to you and the kids in that photo is this; how many of you have served? I see immature kids in that photo who wouldn't understand the first thing about sacrifice. You claim that a 82nd veteran thought it funny to pose this way because of what he may have told you about Montgomery? Do any of the reenactors in that picture know who Montgomery was, or are they acting off one person’s opinion? Furthermore, if you are portraying the Captain in that photo, have you ever served? Officers and Non Commissioned Officers Lead by Example. The example you are setting for your reenacting group is unbecoming of neither a Non Commissioned Officer or Commissioned Officer. That is not the image of a true professional and I would be disgraced to be under your command, had you ever served.

 

The American military has suffered several black eyes in the past few months with images appearing of Soldiers and Marines and Airmen disgracing themselves, our Country, and our Armed Forces. The individuals in those photos will be brought to justice. What is the excuse of your reenacting group?

 

Unfortunately for your organization, all you have done is spark more ignorance. Regardless of the uniform, past or present there are a large majority of us who have served with honor, dignity and respect and feel an obligation to police those who bring discredit to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. This goes also for reenactors who can't possibly understand if they never served.

 

I would suggest that the next time you gather as a reenacting group, take your kids to a cemetery and have each one research a fallen Soldier. Have them sit there by a grave and have them try to imagine that persons last few seconds of life. The pains, blood, anguish and fear that person went through before they died. Maybe it will open their eyes and humble them, and maybe, just maybe they will think before they disrespect in the future.

 

You not apologizing for the posting of the image is also unfortunate, your arrogant attitude reflects your ignorance of history.

 

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr

US Army (Retired)

3rd Battalion 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (Rakkasans)

United States Army Sergeants Major Academy

Technical Trainer Senior Professional

Mission Command Training Directorate

 

Here is his reply: (Not very impressive and sugar coated. He defends more of his dislike of Monty than the actions of his unit…)

 

 

Mr Smith. ( ret grade and serice respected)

 

My military career is no where on par with u and the 1st Sgt's.

 

My service did not provide the comforts of sleeping in dirt or that of the extremes of the weather. So I shall not compare your commitment over my own.

 

I will how ever provide u with a glimpse of my military career by saying, Texas is a bitch for basic, thank God for air-conditioned training.

 

My men are very much respectful to history, to the Brittish and to their sacrifices. It is how ever sad that far to many lost their lives, for one man who felt the need to exploit his military knowledge, by creating fanciful dressed rehearsal battle offences, just to stay in good with the common wealth.

 

It is very clear by any historical fact that Sr Montgomery loved to use the airborne for his objectives, how ever never fully grasped its true potential and purpose.

 

Gen Eisenhower, constantly had to stop the war to play to British politics, in order to keep Ol' Monty in good favet with the folks back in England.

 

Eisenhower gave Mpnty many chances at the front page. With him finally loosing it big with his failed attempt at taking Germany via the Netherlands. ( airborne operation, followed by British XXX corps failed drive north) .

 

Monty was old school British Army, trying to play catch up with a modern Military.

 

I find my self more on par with Gen Pattons views of Monty, Respected Officer, Just would not invite him to play war!

 

I also, like Gen Patton lack the skills of a good political rump kisser, and do not seem fit to live in our over sencitive touchy feely politically correct world you and I live in.

 

Your opinion of me is mute, based on a single image, you clearly have not viewed my units other images, as well as all the hard work we do to honor our American WWII Veterns! I am sure, that given the time an oppertunity you would respect us as a very dedicated unit, and not be so quick to judge us or our actions.

 

Unlike many reenacting units, our chooses not to fall into the same catagory as most. We leave our partying at home and dedication in the field. We strive to educate ourselves on our history, financially burden our wallet for non farb BS.

 

I think that one picture is in no way a true representation of our unit. As well if any, it can be proof tbat my unit is unlike many I mu region and this hobby, so stucck up, they lost touch with what it means to enjoy your self, once in a while.

 

As I said before, judge me not by this picture, but what we have accomplished with our professionalism in the past ad wrll as our future.

I feel you understand my points, and a smart enough and have enough discipline not to join in on the band wagon of unit bashers....please take a look at our unit facebook pics both at wylde barlow and all american airborne legion page.

 

You have a respected and wonderful day.

 

Wylde Barlow

 

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Smartphone

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So...he's resorting to Monty-bashing is he?! Well, speaking as a patriotic Brit I have to counter his charges, if I may? That Monty was a great commander is in no doubt. By 1940 the Nazis had most of Europe under their control. It was only this small island nation of mine which held the line, together with our Commonwealth cousins. Monty delivered the allies their first major victory and the Nazis their first major defeat at El Alamein. As Mr Churchill said at the time, (Nov '42) "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." The thin khaki line had held and, like the Battle Of Midway, it was a turning point in the war.

 

Monty was a "soldiers' soldier". His men would follow him to hell and back. He was an officer in WW1 and witnessed the carnage which cost Britain a generation of its young men...57,470 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone. Unbelievable today when just three or four casualties in Afghanistan can create ripples back home! This coloured his approach to warfare. He was determined not to squander the lives of his men as the General had done in WW1. So, he was very meticulous in his build-up ahead of a battle, ensuring, as far as was possible, that manpower and logistics would carry the day with the minimum of casualties. This "cautious" approach was at odds with the "Gung-Ho" attitude of American Generals such as Patton who always went hell for leather, which is why Patton was extremely critical of him. The slow advance on Caen following D-Day is often cited as being down to Monty's over-cautious approach, but the ground to be covered by the British and Commonwealth forces was a killing ground! The German defenders had their dug-in 88s zeroed in on the grassy plain which the Allied armour had to cross. As a result, tank losses were horrendous during operation "Goodwood" and the advance was temporarily stalled. Meanwhile, on the eastern flank, Patton's 3rd Army was poised to unleash "Britzkreig", American-style in "Operation Cobra". Both generals had contrasting styles, temperaments...and egos! (None more so than Patton!)

 

Then there's politics. By 1944, Britain, after almost 5 years of total war was becoming weaker. The manpower pool was being drained, the country's resources depleted and the Empire beginning to crumble. America, on the other hand, was becoming stronger by the day. Monty had a seat at the top table with Ike, Bradley and Patton etc. He was charged with fighting Britain's corner. History shows that America had its post-war agenda which wasn't necessarily compatible with Britain's, so there was some horse-trading to be done. Monty had a prickly personality which rubbed some of his American colleagues up the wrong way. Most great men have their idiosyncrasies...that's what sets them apart from the rest!

 

I know that the average "Joe" didn't rate Monty because of his failure to break out on D-Day....but who was it oversaw the signing of the instrument of surrender on Luneberg Heath on behalf of the Allies? Monty...that's who! I rest my case.

 

:salute:

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shrapneldude

I rescind my comments about context and rushing to judgment.

The old saying goes, It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

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Johan Willaert

I think it might be time to put this topic to rest before it turns into a Who had the best Generals contest...

 

Johan

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