Okay, folks. I have read up on this a bit now, and I just have to say that the people who are freaking out need to think about themselves a bit.
I remember being a young Private in the Army, fresh out of AIT. Nearly everyone just out of training had a few things on their mind: 1: Sex. 2: I don’t know ANYBODY. 3: How can I get number one and fix number two. For most, this didn’t change, that I am aware of, unless they achieved the demigod-hood of E-7 and above.
The fact is that many people find themselves in this new atmosphere and go wild, do crazy things. Taking a pic with you pretending to french some painting on the wall is far and away more minor than some of the things that I remember, and probably more minor than most of us who have been in the service remember.
Think about it-these are kids, college aged kids doing things you’d expect a college aged kid to do. People want her to be punished for doing something silly, which not only happened at the beginning of her career, but also happened during the huge step from airman to sergeant(something that can take years)?
This soldier is doing a job that few would want. Ease up, people, unless you can pull out your unblemished service record, without so much as a verbal warning. If you can do that, then just tell me how you’d want things to go down if you knew her personally? Is this really something that is worth destroying a career over?
So, to the young Sergeant… No more stupid pics, go say something nice and respectful to the POW-MIA folks, and drive on… and remember this moment the next time some idiot private is standing in front of you, mumbling about the stupid thing they did.
Edit: The importance of the image/group is not lost to me, but I honestly didn’t know much of squat about the importance at 19. I’m 37, now. How old are you, if it’s the “disrespect of the symbol” that’s got you upset? Not everyone is aware of it at that age, so maybe you should channel your angst into increasing awareness, maybe with the help of a certain apologetic Sergeant. 🙂