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DHS went to extremes to sully my husband’s name

By LYNNETTE BUKOWSKI | SPECIAL TO STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 30, 2009

I went to bed last night with a hero and woke up with an extremist — a potential terrorist. Imagine my surprise.

For 30 years I’ve enthusiastically climbed into his bed, helped him raise three children, prayed for (and with) him, cried, fought, laughed, moved the household around the world and country — all in support of his job as a U.S. Navy SEAL.

As an intelligent and intuitive woman, mother and wife, you’d think I’d know who I’m sleeping with. Not so, according to Janet Napolitano and her Homeland Security team.

Sarcasm aside, I’ll just say this straight up: I know this man. I know many, many of his fellow SEALs. I’ve fed them, cried with them, buried them, watched their children and commiserated with their families. Not for one moment have any of them — active duty and retired — forgotten these words: "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Secretary Napolitano, let me climb out of bed and get up on my pedestal so I’m equal to you when I ask this: Which part of that oath don’t you understand? Between you and me, woman to woman, words hold meaning.

I noticed in your feeble mea culpa to our military veterans your reference to only "the wording of a footnote" regarding the Department of Homeland Defense assessment titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." Please note that Page 7, Section (U), is not a footnote. Read in its entirety, the memorandum (which was certainly not written for us silly citizens to read) refers to sociopaths like Timothy McVeigh, violent Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the same section as "the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces."

How dare you disparage the men and women of the U.S. military to further your own political agenda — and, from my angle, ridiculous paranoia. There are indeed real terrorists out there among us, but they are not made up of our military men and women.

For 32 years my husband and his colleagues endured the rigorous, constant training of Special Forces, lived the life and perfected the skills that are second to none in this world. He took an oath and by God, by our love and support of him and his career choice, this entire family has lived that oath for all these many years.

I’m guessing here, but I do not think a certain merchant marine captain would liken the special ops men who saved his life with the pirate terrorists who nearly murdered him.

You and your DHS team, by accepting the memoranda as truth (albeit a few unfortunate words), have equated our brave men and women to sociopaths.

Indeed, there are a few sociopaths who have managed to serve and train with the U.S. military over the years. All walks of life endure such people. Ironically, though, when I researched the definition of sociopaths — those who are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others — I was startled to note that the behavior of a large majority of members of Congress and members of our current administration exhibit several symptoms of a sociopathic mindset. To wit: not learning from experience, no sense of responsibility, inability to control impulses [especially with our money], lack of moral sense, lack of guilt, self-centeredness, just to name a few.

But I digress.

Simply put, and on behalf of the U.S. armed forces and the families who support them, let me say this: Your attempt at an apology is not accepted. I do not want to shake your hand or discuss this. I am an American, ma’am. I am not politically correct and don’t want to be. I’m on God’s side, the country’s side, the people’s side and as such, the military’s side. If loving this country, supporting our military and believing in God is now labeled as extremism, I give. And, with God’s grace, I will continue to sleep with my very own extremist for many years to come.

The only concession I’m willing to make is this: If I gladly accept the label of being an extremist, will you step down and take the administration, Democrats and Republicans alike, with you?

Lynnette Bukowski is a freelance writer who remains married to a recently retired Navy SEAL. She lives in Norlina, N.C.


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