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  1. #1
    Member Redwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Fort Bragg, NC

    Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

    How come this makes so much sense.

    The term "Sheep Dog" originally came from a speech given by William J.
    Bennett in a lecture to the US Naval Academy (in 1997), and is best
    explained in a letter <> by
    Major Charles Grennel, US Army, written to a student at the University of
    Washington (in 2005). The letter was written to Jill Edwards and other
    students who had planned to protest the honoring of Medal of Honor recipient
    Colonel Greg Boyington, USMC.

    To: Jill Edwards, Student, c/o University of Washington

    Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

    Miss Edwards, I read of your student activity regarding the proposed
    memorial to Colonel Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. You
    may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of
    servicemen and servicewomen, on whose shoulders you and your fellow students
    stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It
    may be that you are simply a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep, as
    long as you know and accept what you are.

    William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November
    24, 1997 said "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind,
    gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. We
    may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still
    remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people, not
    capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme
    provocation. They are sheep.

    Then there are the wolves who feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you
    believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy?
    You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable
    of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you
    become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

    Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and
    confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence and you are a
    healthy productive citizen, you are a sheep. If you have a capacity for
    violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an
    aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence,
    and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog,
    a warrior, someone who is walking the uncharted path. Someone who can walk
    into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out

    We know that the sheep live in denial, which is what makes them sheep. They
    do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the
    fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire
    sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kid's schools. But
    many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in
    their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be
    killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's
    only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone
    coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard. So they choose the path
    of denial.

    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf.
    He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that
    the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog
    that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and
    removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a
    representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog
    disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the
    land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them
    traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage
    fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog
    cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go Baa. That is, until the
    wolf shows up, and then the entire flock try desperately to hide behind one
    lonely sheepdog.

    The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough,
    know-it-all high school students, and under ordinary circumstances would not
    have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they
    just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however,
    and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to
    physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

    This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at
    the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf
    pounded hard on the door. Remember how America , more than ever before, felt
    differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
    Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it
    is just what you choose to be.

    Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing
    around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go
    bump in the night and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young
    sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older
    and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along
    with the young ones. Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think
    differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog
    lives for that day.

    After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most
    citizens in America said "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The
    sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of
    those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." You want to be able to
    make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the
    warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he
    is able to survive and thrive in an environment that would destroy 98
    percent of the population.

    Research was conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent
    crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence:
    assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority
    said they specifically targeted victims by body language: Slumped walk,
    passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big
    cats do in Africa , when they select one out of the herd that is least able
    to protect itself.

    Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
    primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose
    which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans
    are choosing to become sheepdogs. Seven months after the attack on September
    11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury , New Jersey .
    Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called
    on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the
    When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as
    weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers.
    one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes,
    business people and parents - from sheep to sheepdogs and together they
    fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the

    Edmund Burke said "There is no safety for honest men except by believing all
    possible evil of evil men." Here is the point I want to emphasize,
    especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each
    year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born
    that way, and so are wolves. They don't have a choice. But you are not a
    critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a
    conscious, moral decision.

    If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you
    must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved
    ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If
    you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt
    you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you
    want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a
    conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare
    yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes
    knocking at the door.

    This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It
    is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
    continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other
    end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the
    other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in
    America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a
    few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors and the warriors
    started taking their job more seriously.

    It's OK to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheepdog. Indeed, the sheepdog
    may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully
    prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving
    from "baa" to "thanks".

    We do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. Just like the sheepdog,
    we in the military just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank
    you to fill the emotional tank which is drained protecting the sheep.

    And, when our number is called by The Almighty, and day retreats into night,
    a small prayer before the heavens just may be in order to say thanks for
    letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the millions of
    American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Amen! Very well said!

  3. #3
    Member tropicmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Bessemer City NC
    Thank you for posting that!

  4. #4
    Member twodogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    SW PA
    Impressive letter!

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