Theodore's World: Navy Prevents Town From Honoring Vets

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April 02, 2008

Navy Prevents Town From Honoring Vets

'Who's in charge here? Dumb and Dumber?'


A voluntary program in Idaho for residents to raise funds and work with the maker of Buck brand name knives to honor veterans returning from the defense of the U.S. apparently has been torpedoed by military administrative rules regarding the value of gifts.

And the command wasn't sitting well with both members and leaders of the community near Post Falls, where Buck has its corporate headquarters.

"Who's in charge here anyway? Dumb and Dumber?" asked "davenjan" on a forum page in the Coeur d'Alene Press.
Clay Larkin, the Post Falls mayor, said the decision was senseless.
"I would like to know what top-ranking brass made this decision, and I will personally call them and share my thoughts!" he told the newspaper.

The program was launched about three years ago as Graham Crutchfield, a retired Marine, organized the plan to raise money from individuals, service clubs and businesses and work with the company on the commemorative knife program.

More than 500 veterans from the region, including those wounded in combat, have been given the knives since 2005, officials said. They also have been presented to family members of those killed in action.

But then, the newspaper reported, an unidentified senior Navy officer told Troy Gilbert, a member of a Hayden, Idaho-based Mobile Construction Battalion, since the value of the knives was more than $20, members of the military were banned from accepting them, the newspaper said.

Members of the Navy's Judge Advocate General's staff in nearby Washington state deferred a WND request for comment to the Washington headquarters. Officials there did not return messages requesting a comment.

But the Post Falls mayor was more than a little upset.

"I cannot believe what I read this morning about the Navy balking at their seamen receiving a gift from their communities for their service. Where has reality gone?" he said.
"I was in on the first Buck Knife giveaway for the 116th, Charlie Co. National Guard when they came back from Iraq," he continued. "Graham Crutchfield helped me on the fundraising. The looks on their faces when we presented the knives were priceless. Buck Knives employees have come forward and been a major supporter of the project, and I thank them for their involvement!"
He noted an "interesting part" of the argument is that two generals already have been given – and accepted – the knives, "and never has anyone questioned the presentation or the gift for their service," he said.
Paul Abschier, a World War II vet, told the newspaper. "It's the stupidest thing I've heard of. They've put their lives on the line and they can't receive a knife?"
"As a retired lieutenant colonel judge advocate general Army Reserve officer, it is my opinion that gifts exceeding a monetary value of $20 may be kept if they are for meritorious service or achievement," said Kootenai County prosecutor Bill Douglas. "Combat service in Iraq or Afghanistan would certainly fit this criteria."
On the newspaper forum, "Former Ranger," said, "This is utterly ridiculous. When did common sense leave those who are in charge?"
"I still can't believe any service would do such a thing," Crutchfield said. "Megan McClung was a Marine and Annapolis graduate who was killed in Iraq. We gave her parents a knife. Are we saying her life is only worth $20?"

Officials with the knife company did not respond to WND requests for comment.

Wild Thing's comment........

Well tuff, I am not going to obey the law then. There is no way I will ever stop doing things for Veterans when I can. Or giving a gift to a Veteran when I want to, and I sure as heck am not going to pay ANY attention if ithe price range is acceptable to the stupid law set up. I can't afford to give a lot but when I do it is from my heart and most of the time if a gift it is something I already thought a lot about.

Not “some brass” but:

5 C.F.R. Part 2635 - Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch

Under this “rule”, buying a returning vet a nice steak dinner in honor of his service would be a violation as well... Absolutely stupid.

And what about that episode of Overhaulin’? Seems I recall an episode where they completely redid a returning vet’s car as a “thank you”... I am sure the value of the restoration and customization would be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

What about if I were to send a book or Bible to a service person. If the book cost more than $20 bucks, does he have to refuse it?

I don’t think the spirit of the law is being taken into consideration.

And rememebr when Sean Hannity gave a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse gift certificate to a recently returned soldier... I would imagine that such a gift certificate would be worth at least $100.

I guess that was a violation too?

And all the things Rush Limbaugh has done for our soldiers and Veterans.

Remeber too when they did that home for the Iraqi Veteran and his family? That would be under this rule too.

When I go to the VA and take gifts, that would go under this ruling too.

Well I guess I will become a law breaker.

....Thank you Mark for sending this.

Posted by Wild Thing at April 2, 2008 01:48 AM


Holy Smokes! What happened to honoring those kids who served so bravely? What nut came up with this idea?
Every returning soldier, sailor, marine, airman, etc., should receive a nice meal at a nice restaurant, two nights stay at a 3 star hotel (at least)to recover from their long flight home and a free limo ride from the hotel to home. They should get a parade in their hometown, too.
Heroes need to be honored, not shunned like last weeks leftovers.
Plus wouldn't that be good publicity for the restaurant and the hotel? They need to think about marketing.

Posted by: Lynn at April 2, 2008 05:18 AM

So, are they going to stop the USO and Red Cross care packages? I'm sure with the top level of performers in USO Shows, tickets for these shows would cost well in excess of $20 if you had to pay for them.

What you have here is some Captain or Admiral with his head stuck up his butt. These are the PC types that are pushing for charges against our Marines for taking out insurgents.

Posted by: BobF at April 2, 2008 07:20 AM

Maybe...just maybe....this "senior unidentified Navy officer" is actually bringing this stupid rule to light so that it can get changed when the general public goes ballistic!!! Why else would he or she remain "unidentified"? Does that mean that they are "missing in action"? Stupid fruitcakes!!!! I get so sick and tired of "unidentified" and "anonymous" sources!!!! If they haven't got the guts to identify themselves, then they should just keep their trap shut!!!!! Probably not but a guy can hope can't he?!?! lol

This is one rule that could backfire big time on the military leaders. I mean, they can no longer go as guests of politicians to high dollar dinners and other such type events can they? This is going to affect a lot more than just receiving a beautiful pocket knife for serving your country.

Another flash!!! Maybe we should check into what types, how many and at what cost Murtha has received gifts as a service man. Then run his name through the mud and make him give them all back!!!!

Where is my Darvon and whiskey chaser?!?!?!

Posted by: John at April 2, 2008 12:22 PM

Guess I am a rule breaker. And I will gladly continue breaking that rule. I hope Johnny Sutton is not put in charge of enforcing this unrealistic idiocy. A bunch of us will be in the Federal slammer with Border Patrolmen and soldier snipers.

This reminds me of the incident where a lady sent a "dream catcher" as a gift to Hillary Clinton. Some over zealous Federal prosecutor found out it was made from an eagle feather and it was against some Federal endangered species act to have eagle feathers unless you were an American Indian. Even if these were just eagle feathers picked up off the ground like this lady did. So the prosecutor brought charges and she was convicted of a Federal felony and fined heavily. Don't remember if she had to serve time. I will say that Bill Clinton did pardon her so she would not be a felon the rest of her life.

Posted by: TomR at April 2, 2008 12:53 PM

Or maybe it is some JAG Ambulance-Chaser, who is just plane being a first class pr**k. There are plenty of them in the Pentagon, who sit on their Arse all day and throw pencils at the ceiling, trying to justify his/her existance.

There is a difference between a Gift and a Bribe of course fat-turds wouldn't know the difference. And the gift of a Buck Knife, certainly in no bribe but a gift of appreciation.

I suppose they'd much rather see Code Pink out there demonstrating against our troops than some legitimate company offering a token of gratitude.

What a bunch of morons we have working in the DOD.

Posted by: Mark at April 2, 2008 04:15 PM

John, thanks to Chrissie and others for publicizing this story as your comment "actually bringing this stupid rule to light so that it can get changed when the general public goes ballistic!!! " appears to have come true.

Buck Knife ban gone, Navy confirms
Veterans allowed to accept recognition from community

Posted by: Les at April 2, 2008 04:33 PM

Capt. Kidd said there is an exception to the ban on the acceptance of such honorariums, and it appears to apply in this case.

'appears' -- typical government bruo-crat, can not make a definite statement.

Posted by: Odin at April 2, 2008 05:43 PM

In the immortal words of General Anthony McAuliffe, "Nuts!"

Posted by: Jack at April 2, 2008 10:03 PM

Lynn, NUT is right, this is insane and no way should anyone stop doing things.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 12:50 AM

...aren't John Ryan and Mullah Cimoc from ... Idaho? A red state too? Liberal anti-Americans are spreading like cock roaches, termites and ants?

Posted by: drstrangeloveb52isok at April 3, 2008 12:50 AM

Bob, exactly if people took this stupid rule seriously it would also effect the USO and other groups.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 12:51 AM

John...."Probably not but a guy can hope can't he?!?! lol"....LMAO Yessss sir re he can.

hahaha Love it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 12:54 AM

Tom....."A bunch of us will be in the Federal slammer with Border Patrolmen and soldier snipers.".....LOL good one!!!

Thanks for telling about the lady that sent the gift to Hillary. Wow.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 12:58 AM

Mark, I think your right. LOL.

"There are plenty of them in the Pentagon, who sit on their Arse all day and throw pencils at the ceiling, trying to justify his/her existance."

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 01:00 AM

Les, Yippeeee!! That is GREAT!

Thank you so much Les, for the headsup. This is great news.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 01:02 AM

Odin, yes wording can really mess with something or it can also leave a door open.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 01:03 AM

Jack, haha it sure is.

Les, posted a link in the comments that said they said now it is ok. But it was NUTS to put them through all this stupid rule stuff.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 01:04 AM

drstrangeloveb52isok, good description of them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 3, 2008 01:06 AM