Vigil against

Last fall, The Hook offered an article and comments about an exchange between Jiffy Lube customers. I pulled a few excerpts from the comments

…I am honored to serve as an officer in the United States Marine Corps where my singular mission is to train and prepare our nation’s youth for whatever eventualities our government requires of them, and more importantly, to lead them and bring them home safely. That is what service members do…and that has all of nothing to do with politics. I care about those I lead, that individual to my right and to my left. And when we are in the thick of war, when death is looming in the form of bullets and bombs and suicide attackers, my actions and my allegiance go singularly to my comerades. Our welfare and lives are in each others’ hands. No politics, no bureaucracy, just keeping each other alive and bringing each other home.

That is why I serve. The lives of those with whom I serve, those who are your neighbors, friends, sons, daughters, sister and brothers, are worth my time and effort.

For all our sakes, I hope others feel the same.

Paul Croom


In response to CPT Paul Croom:

With all due respect, sir, I believe you need to be here in the fight to see what a load of political crap it is. Only then can you talk in public about the ‘nobility of military service’. there is nothing noble in my mind about picking up garbage or sweeping the roads in iraq. save your nobility for your trainees.

Evan Knappenberger


I am sorry you do not feel a sense of pride and brotherhood with your fellow soldiers. Perhaps you do. Perhaps I did not make my message clear.

I do not enjoy the monotony and depravity of picking up garbage or sweeping roads any more than you do, in a combat environment or in garrison. I was a Lance Corporal once, too. I know the drill.

Additionally, I’m not sure you fully understand or grasp the responsibility of leaders. Certainly this is my opinion, but NCOs, SNCOs and officers exist SOLELY to train, equip and lead their troops safely and so that they may accomplish assigned missions. So, the idea of “saving my nobility for my trainees” is right on point. I serve for them, and the “nobility” of my service is a tribute to their efforts of volunteering to wear the cloth of our nation’s uniform, for better or worse.

…I was there in the fight. On 11 May 2005, 18 Marines including myself were on an Assault Amphibian Vehicle in the assault in Karabilah in Al Anbar. Our vehicle was hit with an IED. We had 6 KIA and 9 WIA, including myself. All the WIAs had to be medivaced back to CONUS for varying degrees of burns and shrapnel wounds. So, I believe I have seen the fight.

Paul Croom

There is a man starting an anti-war vigil on a mock guard tower today. He will be there a week.

An Iraq War veteran is staging a week long, anti-war protest in Bellingham starting today. Evan Knappenberger will be on what he calls “tower guard” on a six-foot scaffold at the corner of Magnolia and Cornwall in Bellingham. The 22-year old has been back from Iraq since December.


Opening Ceremony at the weekly peace vigil for Iraq Veteran Evan Knappenberger, 1st BDE, 4th Infantry Division. Evan will stand at Tower Guard on a 6’ scaffold at the Federal Building in uniform for a weeklong vigil. He is drawing attention to the US military’s STOP-LOSS and INACTIVE RESERVE policies, which he submits are being used as a substitute for conscription in a political war.

I haven’t served in the military so I am in debt to all those who are and have served our nation regardless of their political beliefs. But to the Paul Crooms of our nation; I’ll add that I am grateful that some still have a sense of pride and brotherhood.


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