That Sense of Honor

Upon my husband’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, where he had served his country for 33 years, he began his job search. Bookie was a bit anxious. The civilian world was new to him, as he had joined the Navy when he was 18 years old, beginning his Naval career as a plebe (freshman) at the U.S. Naval Academy. He had decided to make a career of the Navy as he watched Navy warships make port visits to New York City. The Book was around seven years old at the time. 

My husband began to send in applications for a job, and then started the routine of leaving the house in the morning for an interview. He would return later in the day, and, over a cup of coffee, I would ask him how it went. He always started by telling me what his responsibilities would be and ending with the salary he was offered.  A moment of silence, and then I would say something along the lines “Just to do that?”  He would nod yes. “Seriously, just for doing that?”  Another nod, and then we would look at each other in disbelief. The responsibilities of the new job were about one-half of the responsibilities he had had in his last job in the Navy. However, the Navy had paid Bookie about one-half of the salary the civilian employer was offering.

I believe this is why Donald Trump is calling my husband a sucker. Why would anyone choose to work anywhere for half the money they could make elsewhere?  

Mr. Trump knows very little about the men and women who serve in the Navy. To be fair, I also did not know a lot about the Navy when I was a newlywed, but in a those first few years of our marriage, I began to understand my husband’s sense of honor. His integrity when a decision had to be made. His reverence for the United States Constitution.  His commitment to his country. His belief in the American Experiment. Because of this, I understood his decision to leave the high-paying job he had landed upon his retirement. After seven years of all that, he wanted to teach a U.S. History survey course to freshman at Old Dominion University – as an adjunct instructor. Adjuncts clear about $50 an hour, and his class would meet for three hours a week.  Book was not thinking about the money. The only math he did was to calculate that three hours a week for sixteen weeks gave him 48 hours to lecture on the topic nearest and dearest to his heart – the United States of America.

However, men and women who have served their country in uniform are not the only ones who devote themselves to a cause regardless of compensation.  I am certain that most everyone reading this article has similar stories about family members who have done or are doing something for the greater good of the people around them. Fellow Americans. We do not call them suckers. We call them Dad, sometimes Mom, sometimes our son or our daughter. This is something about America that Mr. Trump does not understand. These people, Mr. Trump, are not losers. Nor are they suckers.  They are the people whose stories leave each one of us wanting to be a better person. That’s the story of this country.

No, Mr. Trump. The man I married is not a sucker or a loser.  He is the most remarkable man I know. You, sir, are the most unbearable.

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  1. Dear Susan,
    Like your husband, I served my 33 years in the U.S. Navy, and thank my God for giving me that opportunity. Unlike you, however, I do not believe that our president ever called anyone who ever served in the military a “sucker,” or any other similar epithet. If I did, I would refuse to attend the ceremony at which that same president is to award my daughter the purple heart for injuries she incurred in Afghanistan last year. Sadly, such stories are easily concocted, and even more easily spread by people who care as little for the truth as they do for this country. Bravo Zulu for your husband.

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