Honor, the budget deal and Kanye West

(L to R), Bernard, Kanye and Allen West

I sought to refrain from commenting on the ridiculous remarks made by Kanye West, but in light of the way our veterans are being treated by our own elected officials in this budget fiasco, I felt the need to weigh in.

How is it that we have devolved so in America to disrespect and dishonor the service and sacrifices of those who serve and protect us, willing to make the last full measure of devotion?

To hear Kanye West state that performing on stage is as dangerous as being a police officer or being in combat, perhaps I should laugh. I’m disgusted.

Let me tell you the story of a different West family.

Herman West Sr. was born in 1920 in Ozark, Alabama and for whatever reason, jumped the Chattahoochee River and grew up in south Georgia. He answered his nation’s call and served in World War II. He deployed as a supply/logistics soldier landing in North Africa, and then moved on to Italy. He went into Rome after its liberation. While he was running dispatches on his assigned motorcycle transport, he was blown off during a bombardment and suffered severe head trauma. I remember as a kid feeling the lumps on his head. He went on to serve the remainder of his life as a nursing assistant at the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Atlanta. Herman West Sr. did not sing or dance, but he put his life on the line for America.

Then there’s Herman West Jr., call sign “Pootney”, a real doozy of a fella but when his nation called, he volunteered — not drafted — to serve in Vietnam as a Marine. He shipped out in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment — assigned to a distant place called Khe Sanh.

Pootney was an infantryman, a true Marine grunt, and it was there during an NVA bombardment that he was injured and received severe back trauma. I recall as a kid watching the CBS Nightly News, knowing my older brother was right in harm’s way. I remember our family getting notification of his being wounded and treatment at a hospital in Okinawa.

Herman Jr. was medically discharged and when he came home, it wasn’t to cheering crowds like Kanye West feels are so dangerous. Instead, he and his brothers in arms were called names that dishonored their brave service.

However, my older brother still had more to offer this country. After serving on the front lines, he wanted to stand with the “Thin Blue Line” and ended up becoming a City of Atlanta police officer. We were so proud. He eventually became a detective. He never did prance around on a stage and make rhymes to music. Herman Jr. just put his life on the line for America, and Atlanta.

Lastly, there is Herman Bernard West III – Bernie — an Artilleryman and Paratrooper like his uncle and a proud graduate of North Georgia State University already with a couple of trips to Afghanistan under his belt.

In January of 2014 I will be honored to host his promotion ceremony to Major at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas where next summer he will attend the US Army Command and General Staff Officers College, just as his uncle did from 1996-1997. Bernie earned his right shoulder combat patch in the same Airborne Artillery Brigade where I served at Ft. Bragg North Carolina. My nephew has embarked upon an honorable career in service to our nation.

And by now, you know about my service in uniform.

Herman, Pootney, Bernie and I belong to a West family that has given its all in combat and service to this Republic. That other West? Just a shallow court jester and a minstrel. The fact that he is so deluded as to think his comments have any credence shows you what is happening to the culture of this nation.


  1. I would so dearly have loved to have Kanye West in my unit in the Marine Corps. We would have slapped the stupid right out of him and straightened him up. But since we never had the opportunity, he’s a punk thug with a wise-ass attitude. Semper Fi

  2. Allen, your family represents the “real America” and I can assure you millions of us are proud of them. The Liberal Media will never acknowledge them but who cares? We know who the real heroes are.

  3. Colonel you Sir are a man while the other West has no clue what it takes to be a man. Sadly I believe to many youth today suffer this same illness.

  4. Your family and so many others have contributed to the safety and honor of this nation. My Uncle served in Nam as an Army Ranger and I have always been proud of his choice to volunteer when most were waiting to be called through the draft. Kanye is a little boy playing rock star, his lack of maturity, common sense and read world education are evident every time he opens his mouth. We can only hope the young people who buy his music don’t follow his disrespectful ways.

  5. Thank you for your courage and patriotism and to your family who has given so much, you have my respect and gratitude. As for that other fellow, he should apologize and quietly leave the stage.

  6. Thank you Sir, I consider you an officer and gentleman of the highest order. And I would consider it a priviledge to serve in the military under your administration, even though I have been retired from the military since 1975.

  7. Sir I am honored to make your acquaintance even if so far it is via Facebook. You and your family are heroes. Kanye West is a joke so full of himself that he believes what he says. And incredibly he has people who go to his shows. That amazes me actually because I like certain hip hop songs but he has no talent. He uses that mechanical sounding thing so what comes out of his mouth is pure fake. If I am ever in a distress situation, I want your Wests nearby to help. This cartoon character would have to check the mirror and pull his pants “down” if he even took the time to help a fellow human in need. He might grow up some day. Miracles happen. God Bless you and your brave family!!

  8. Your family has much to be proud of. My dad was WWII and Korea. Our men and women should always be honored. Unfortunately to many Gov. officials are to self centered to know this. May God bless you and your family and the entire U.S. Military!

    Allen West for President!

  9. Mr. West, may I thank you and your family for your service to this country and say that I support all our troops 110%. I may not support why they’re there, but I support them, because their country called and they went. They deserve our highest respect and honor and all the benefits they can get, because they put it all on the line for their country. My own son served 13 months in Iraq as a combat engineer in the Army. He came back in one piece, thank God, but not the same person. People just don’t know what war does to a person. That’s why it should be avoided at all costs. God Bless our veterans, past and present.

  10. Much appreciation to you and yours. You are the finest representation of what we Veterans hope for in our leaders, and have translated that into being an outspoken statesman I am grateful for (and wished represented my district)…

  11. I am so proud of you and your entire family. My father and 3 uncles served in WW2 and 2 of my brothers served 2 terms each in Viet Nam. I don’t think the people of today know what it is like to have so many in the Military at one time. Mr West God bless you and may he bless America again!!!

    • Linda (and all):

      My grandmother (father’s side) had a large family of seven boys and one girl. Her husband had served in WWI. When WWII hit, all seven of her boys went at one time and her daughter served as a nurse. That went from a house too full to nothing because my grandfather had already passed.

      Every single one of them returned. Every single one of them was kind enough … and tough enough to make it to a ripe old age and all, including my grandmother had many wonderful years left to spend after WWII. No one was made dumb by that war.

      We should not be dumb now and I hope more of this type of patriotism shows quickly. We are really going to need it.

  12. Colonel Sir. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you and your family have done to serve our once great country. Not to say we won’t be great again. But first, we need to get rid of the incompetent clown in the Whitehouse that strokes the egos of people like Kanye West. They feel so entitled that they actually think their existence is more important than brave, good and decent soldiers as yourself. As for your older brother that so honorably served his country and had to return to the hate speech and ignorance of liberals that have no honor, don’t sweat it. Those liberals words had just as little meaning then, as they do today. Only the words from people with respect count. Again Sir, thank you and your brave family.

  13. I too wish to express my sincere gratitude to you and your family for their service to the Republic and the Nation for which it stands!!! Who is Kanye anyway or the Kardashians?

  14. From one West family of soldiers to another, thank you for you and your families service. Us honorable Wests hafta make up for lame ones lol

  15. You said it all! Kayne is just a court jester while the men in your family deserve all or our respect and appreciation for all you have done for this country (and continue to do)! Thank-you so much for all that you have given.

  16. My husband served seven years in the army and did a year in Vietnam. We fully appreciate the service and sacrifice of you and your family members AND your conservative presence in America.

  17. Allen West sir. Thank you for your continued service and loyalty to our great nation. To anyone who calls me a racist for disagreeing with Barack Obama, I say I’ll support Allen West for president before ANY white liberal, any day. God Bless you and yours sir.

    • I quite agree! Mr. West, is an excellent choice to lead this nation, to what it once was. ….the very best !! ….semper fi

  18. My deepest appreciation for you, sir and your honorable and distinguished family legacy to us. Your honor and code are duly noted! I have not had the privilege of service but my dad served 21 years in the Army. Korea and Vietnam, and I understand in my core the value of service and devotion to the higher cause. I am moved and inspired by the personal code and the call to serve and the need for us to contribute in whatever capacity we can today, here and now. And so we do – faithfully. Brothers in Christ.

  19. Kayne West is an entertainer who says all kinds of provocative/foolish/outlandish things as do a lot of other entertainers.

    West can’t find something else better to write about?

  20. Colonel West, I was really hoping for the oppurtunity to vote for you for president as I think you’d be as close to perfect for the job as our nation can currently summon however your remark that the next president needs to have executive experience will only serve to support Chris Christie rather than yourself; darn.

    • Colonel West was a battalion commander in charge of about 700 soldiers and before that, a battalion executive officer, who assists the commander in running the unit, including thorny nitty-gritty stuff like logistics, budgets, personnel matters and the like.. Okay, it’s not a governorship, but still, it’s at least the equivalent of having civilian experience running a sizable business. It’s certainly more executive experience than Obama,, Biden or Hillary Clinton had before they became politicians, and probably at least equal if not superior to that of most big-name Republicans.

  21. America is still a great Nation. It’s our so-called “leaders” and idiots like Kanye that tarnish her. America is still the greatest Nation to ever exist on Earth. We just need to make some serious coarse changes in short order.

  22. Lt. Col. West: I so agree with you on this. The thought that any performer, be it Kanye West or Tom Cruise (or any of them) would ever compare themselves at any level with our military, is repugnant. For those that have, know that you no longer have at least this one …. following you anywhere.

  23. we as Americans need to continue to show the positive influence that we as a nation have done in so many years in the past. Today in counties like the Dominican Republic, political science students are looking at what has made America such a great and exceptional place. It comes down to a basic questions most students are asking. What has made America the most powerful nation and society in the last two centuries?
    What changed in America?
    When did America lose her independence and her spirit?
    And when did it start going ALL wrong?

  24. I respect the brave men a woman who served and sacrificed for this country. I do have one question. what about the men and woman who served in the military and because a bureaucracy in the military said they did something wrong, they are not honorably discharged? what happens to those veterans? they are still veterans. Do they deserve assistance to transition back to civilian life? we are going to have a huge problem with our veteran population when my generation get older.

  25. Kanye and anyone honoring him needs to be sent to the front lines in Afghanistan with nothing but a microphone to defend himself…

  26. Wow, sounds like my family: both grampas in WWI, Dad and uncles in WWII, myself, older brother and 2 cousins in Viet Nam (all at the same time), youngest brother in Iraq and one nephew currently a Navy recruiter in FL. Proud to serve, all of us.

    Incidentally, one cousin, a member of SEAL Team One was killed when the helo his team was in went down in the Mekong Delta.

  27. Bravo Colonel! My Dad, David (Dave) S. Bushay was a Sgt in the US Army during WWII, he was recalled when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because he had served in the Philippines during his first hitch (1926 – 1930) he wasn’t there a month when the patrol he was ambushed by a Japanese machine gunner. He was seriously wounded so they evacuated him off the islands and he wound up spending a year and a half at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, while the carved all the lead he had taken out of his legs. My oldest brother Byron was a S/Sgt attached to the 82nd ABRN Div, 504th P.I.R. Geronimo Co. He was KIA by friendly fire in Vietnam 4 Nov. 1966. I’m 9 years younger than he, and he was my hero! I served too in the US Navy (1 July, 1971 – 5 Nov. 1981) Thank you sir, for yours and your family’s service!

  28. I remember in 2001 watching a young black rapper on TV state, from the comfort of his multi-million dollar home ‘I wouldnt fight for this country. Look at how they treat our people!”. Yes, I listened to this smug BS from my 2 bdrm $600 a month apartment after years of working 2 and 3 jobs at a time till I finally could make a living at 1 job. WOW! It seemed to me that it was ‘I” and people “like me” who treated pretty damned bad While a 19 yr could glean millions off a song and dance from “people like ME”. And here is the ever ignorant Kanye West. How smug and ungrateful!

  29. so why tell us. we know this to be true. why do you not write him a letter i would love to hear his response to you. now that would be interesting. so start writing.

  30. thank you all for your service to our country –to keep our country free –and thank you mr allen west (lt colonel retired) for caring on the fight to get our country back –may god bless you all

  31. If song lyrics by artists are not important, than why should their commentary be? Unless his stage presence and songs are not inciting derogatory thinking or the use of guns at his shows, then how can Kanye think a war zone is comparable to his stage presence. He is using the military image incorrectly for personal gain just as the GOP did during the shut down…..IM sure the veterans should be thinking about more important things than getting in a memorial to read about themselves. How about feeding caring for themselves, something the GOP led shutdown and benefit cuts tried to do.

    • According to the Congressional Record, the recorded daily actions of Congress (I don’t care what the media told you) the GOP lead House voted on three separate occasions to fully fund the government prior to the shutdown. All of those votes had a condition attached. The first defunded the ACA. The second asked for a delay in the ACA, the third asked to remove the exemption from the ACA for Congress. The democrats turned down the full funding and would not negotiate. It kind of like I decide to give you an all expenses paid trip to a tropical paradise as long as you don’t take the ferry out to the blue lagoon. It’s a bad place. And you tell me no thanks. Then you go to your friends and say I stopped you from going on the trip.

  32. I give no credence to Hollywood or pop stars or the brainless feathers that idolize them. There is probably only a handful in history out of Hollywood that I respect. Reagan and John Wayne are two of them. Nobody said they were perfect but they knew the core values of this country from way back and respected and upheld them.
    My cousin is back from Afghanistan. He was part of a crew that blew up roadside bombs. Now he suffers from constant debilitating headaches. Too many concussions I guess. I really hope he recovers.

  33. American heroes, one and all. God bless the West family. They make me proud to be an American. Thank you all for you untiring love and devotion to our country. You are what make us a great nation.

  34. It is unfortunate that Kanye has the same last name, if indeed, that is his real name. Thank you Lt. Col. West and your family for your distinguished service to our country. This other guy that goes by the name of West, like most of Hollywood, are way out of touch with reality because of their sweeping egos. I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear that garbage that he and some of these others call “music”. It is an insult to call it that. I pray God raise up more of the West families such as yours. And I am pretty sure that West IS your real name. Keep up the good work!

    • Well Michael…..the real difference between Ltc West and Kanye West is that Kanye, as his last name implies, has no sense of direction. Oh correction he does have one direction and that is a one way ticket to hell and all others like him in the entertainment and sports industry that make such ignorant statements and act like such spoiled, entitlement orientated, no sense of human decency, no ethics, has no moral compass, greedy, selfish, ruthless people that even look like they are ambassadors of ole Lucifer himself, And we all know that he has no direction whatsoever and why Kanye and Kim would name their kid Northwest is a total farce, another child that will lack total direction and will also be as dangerous as a misguided missile. Ltc West on the other hand has a sense of direction and knows what is right and wrong. Ltc West is a total opposite of Kanye and others like him. Can’t stand what their culture stands for!!

  35. Thank you sir’s for your service multiple times to our country. The thought of jackass’ like Conyay and Cruize making statements comparing themselves to our soldiers is SICKENING and DISGUSTING!!!! These idiots NEED to be shipped to our front lines and see EXACTLY what it is that our service people actually do before they even begin to compare themselves. Conyay and Cruize are PATHETIC JOKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Amen Allen West! Very very well said. A proud Nam Vet thanking your and yours for the service to our nation, but unfortunately a society that is fast becoming unworthy of that honor.

  37. Bravo Zulu to You and Your family for maintaining an Even Strain in the defense of OUR country..
    Its you and those like you/us that give me hope that all is NOT lost in America today..
    Keep on keepin on Lt. Col. West!!!!

  38. Him and Tom Cruz both think alike, I say, give them some bot camp, Marine or Army, then ship them of to a hot-spot somewhere in Afagan and se If they still think they are beter than our brave soldiers

  39. Thanks go out to you and your wonderful family, you have given much more than most and continue to stand up for our once great country. You, your family and many others like you are the only reason I believe this country will rise again to the top!! God Bless you and have a very Merry Christmas!

  40. Commentor Roadmaster hit the nail on the head with starting his post with “Wow, sounds like my family…” That’s EXACTLY how many of our Veterans, including Allen West can be described…”as family”….as if we already know they share the same values, honor, love and respect most of Americans still have for this Country. We need our family of Veterans to represent us in Wash DC and in the White House.

    We need to get you into the White House, LTC West and yesterday wasn’t soon enough!

  41. Having served in the USAF and seen the wounds of those on the front lines, I know how dangerous it can be. I have a deep seated respect for our Soldiers, Marines and Seals who fight on the front lines. I cannot imagine how anyone could be so deluded to compare a stage performance with them and I find it more incomprehensible that others would agree with him.
    Thank you for those who care enough about our Constitution and nation to risk so much for so many.

  42. Can’t even imagine being so vain as to compare being a recording star and performing to the number of adoring fans and earning the huge sum of money for it to being on the front lines placing your life in danger day and night for your country and little money. Yes, Kayne West, you are one real hero all of us Americans should stand a salute. With one finger that is.

  43. I cannot imagine how anyone could be so deluded to compare a stage performance with them and I find it more incomprehensible that others would agree with him. THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE LOST IN AMERICA with liberal education and Kanye West is a prime example of that delusion. As a retired Marine artilleryman and combat veteran, I would have to disagree with him and his idiotic statements. Your family represents the epitome of true American heroes. The willingness to serve without reward or thought is truly heroic and is needed in our society. Whether it was in the military or here at home as a police officer, EMT or fire fighter.
    To serve (whether in combat or not), you and your family wrote a check to defend the people of the United States with your life if necessary. He has only wrote a check for things that he wanted. He will never reach this level of sacrifice unless he gives it up and serve (Like many others in the past did; i.e. Elvis Pressley, James Stewart, and many others). Kanye West isn’t worth the time to explain to him the what it is like to be in a combat zone, or for that matter to truly serve without reward. For him to learn, he must volunteer to travel to the combat zone without fanfare to experience it…which he won’t. HE IS ONLY AN ENTERTAINER, and not much of one at that.

    Thank your family for their service to our nation and devotion to duty…truly you are blessed. Thank your father for leading the way…Semper Fidelis.

    • There is so much that is wrong with the attitude that everyone is owed and not earned. This is so idiotic that I have no words. Thank God for men and women who have what it takes to shed blood for what this country is.

      If not for the people who did, this little twit could not rise to the level he has. All he has is money and nothing else. I had rather have honor,respect, faith,and a feeling for the nature and my fellow man.

      Thank all who served, all the men in my family have also.

  44. God Bless You and Your Family, and thank you for your service and sacrifice. I consider it an honor to be the daughter of one that served his country.

  45. Thank you….I am English/American and my family name is Allen…so I feel a special bond with you..Had it not been for people like your father my husband and I would probably not have made it out of World War Two alive. Thank you for your service and for the brave service of your wonderful family.

  46. To be fair, when you reach the age of 62, the law provide that you will receive a one time repayment of all the COLA you lost. Whether the Chinese are willing to write that check is another matter…

  47. The reason is simple and sad, out of sight, out of mind. When the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor and the German U-boats were sinking ships off of Jacksonville Beach, we felt threatened. The wars we are in right now are TV wars. (/11 is fading into memory and few realize the current danger from an invisible enemy like terrorism…until the next building blows up.

    A great movie between Fredrick March and William Holden in the movie “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” sums this attitude up well. “Son, you act the way you do and do the things you do because you’re here. They act the way they act and do things they do because they’re there. It’s as simple as that”.

  48. He should have been named Conner, because he cons people into believing he has any brains! Yelling bad words with music as a background and prancing on stage holding his genitals is not very “heroic” but appealing to the basic instincts of the masses. People let themselves be conned by those people who their only achievements have been to have a porno video or badmouthing others. It’s their only claim to fame. Other than that, they have made no other contributions of value, and in comparing themselves to the military or to police forces, they try to raise themselves from the mud they live in, however golden that mud is. But, respectability is only achieved by actions and they can never be respectable like our beloved Military or our Police Forces just by comparison.

  49. Kayne is an entertainer. Let the public decide his fate. If he fades he fades. Don’t waste your time in a debate. He thinks to much of himself. yes.

  50. Thank you, and your family for their service.

    PS: How did this clown Kayne get “famous” in the first place. Who are these people & why do we care!?

  51. First, let me say thank you Sir, for you and your family’s service to this Nation. I think it starts with the family and community; schools, churches, etc. Military service is not and has not been encouraged for quite some time. That is my own experience as an Army Recruiter from 2001-2005. It seemed to me that, unless it directly affected them, people didn’t care as long as “someone else” was doing it, that is to serve their country. Serving your country involves selfless service. Selflessness is a virtue, I feel is not taught at home, in schools or in the community. At one time I feel it was, but no longer. “It’s all about me”, is what is being and has been pushed. We called it the “Me Now” generation. Again, this only experience I gained as a recruiter. Gained while walking the streets, high school and college campuses. I have talked to thousands of kids, parents, teachers and community leaders and that is my overall consensus. I am only trying to answer the question you asked “how has America devolved……” As far as Kanye West is concerned..well I don’t really know or care who he is. I have heard of him, but to me, he is just another celeberty making money off a system they claim to hate and seek to destroy. They will say and do things that keep their names in the headlines. Tom Cruise said something similar recently as well I believe. I do know that while deployed to Kenya (2008-2009), I was told his name in their native language means something that isn’t very nice. I kind of got a kick out of that. Thank you again Sir, for your continued service to this great nation. A Platoon Sergeant that I admired and respected as a Section Chief once told me “No one takes care of a Soldier like another Soldier”. It always stayed with me and I taught it to my Soldiers throughout my career. Even after retirement it still proves to be true.

  52. Bravo, Bravo, and Hoorah, and a Huzzah. Redlegs, King of Battle. I was a Redleg, but switched over to the Arm of Decision (DAT) promotions were really slow in the early 80’s. 21 years baby tossed to the curb as an SFC got a steel plate in my neck. Enjoyed being a soldier and will never regret it either. God Bless the United States of America and to hell with the rest.

  53. To All of you WESTS,as a Vietnam vet,MY HATS OFF TO YOU…Kanye is an IDIOT,with a skank girlfriend,,,who REALLY cares what he says? certainly NOT ME !!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. HEY KANYE,PLEASE don’t join ANY of the US Military services,I would hate to have to have you,FOR A FOX HOLE BUDDY…


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