published Friday, October 18th, 2013

Wamp: Two very different standards

By Weston Wamp
  • photo
    Actors Tom Hanks, right, and Barkhad Abdi, of "Captain Phillips," in pose for a picture New York.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Last Friday night my wife and I started the weekend like millions of other Americans. We took our parents to see Tom Hanks in Hollywood's retelling of the Navy SEALS' legendary mission to save the captain of the Marks Alabama from Somali pirates. And we got what we were hoping for, a reminder that even during a prolonged government shutdown we have a lot to be proud of in the United States of America. Most namely, our men and women in uniform.

With courage and professionalism Navy negotiators aboard the USS Bainbridge and a dispatched team of SEALS analyzed a complex situation and responded with surgical precision. They were composed and confident, mature and fearless. We left the theater with the feeling that no situation could shake the nerves of these steely eyed, finely trained Americans. And even more, the feeling that these brave men and women should be put in charge in Washington.

Then on Tuesday, the world was introduced to U.S. Army Captain William Swenson, who became the sixth living soldier awarded the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His actions in the Battle of the Ganjgal Valley were no less heroic than General Washington crossing the Delaware in 1776. It is also the kind of stuff that finds its way to the silver screen. After exposing himself to heavy gunfire to save a friend, Swenson made himself an easy target in an attempt to flag down a medevac helicopter. After loading his injured comrade aboard, video from helmet mounted cameras shows Swenson reach down and kiss Sgt. Kenneth Westbrook on the forehead and pat him on the side of the head before he was lifted out of combat.

Now that is love. That is courage. That is patriotism. Frankly, that is what defines the United States on our very best day. And it is proof that some people in this country still have what it takes to serve their country and their friends before themselves. That grainy video shot four years ago in the dusty Ganigal Valley represents everything Washington no longer does.

At the same moment Captain Swenson was being awarded our nation's highest military honor, much lesser men on Capitol Hill were making a mockery of the form of government Swenson and others risk their lives to protect. From the publicity stunts of Texas Senator Ted Cruz to the close-mindedness of Harry Reid and other Obamacare promoters, the contrast between our political leaders and our military leaders has never been greater than it is at this moment.

Regardless of Wednesday's do-nothing agreement that emerged from the Senate to temporarily end the government shutdown and lift the so-called debt ceiling, the impotence of our leaders in Washington is now as striking as the bravery of our men and women in uniform.

It doesn't seem possible that one arm of the same federal government could evoke such pride from the American people through its courage yet another could evoke such frustration through its timidity. Maybe one group simply takes their job and their oath to the Constitution more seriously than the other. Or it could just be that those in the military are held accountable by higher expectations than the politicians.

Either way, the American Voter has the authority to force a higher standard in Washington. A standard that has already been set, time and time again, by men and women like William Swenson.

Weston Wamp is communications director of the Lamp Post Group.

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csharp said...

Weston, are you familiar with the word "subtle"? Your blatant self-serving comments are obvious. You pick two incidents (that you watch on Hollywood's silver screen) that you believe showcase American patriotism and bravery. You then sully those acts with a cheap shot at Congress. From the mouth of a priviledged son of a Congressman (turned government influence peddler) comes the suggestion that Congress be replaced. Replaced with whom? Weston! Son of one of Congress's biggest pork barrel politicians, a politician who shut down the Nation - but that was a different time - right? You critize government spending but when Congress stands up to say to the Democrats - "Enough!" - you cry - "Why can't we just be friends? Let us hold hands and sing Cumbaya?" Do you think we are going to solve these difficult problems by going to Washington and simply holding hands across the aisle? You speak of "fearless" but write with the naivete of someone who lacks real world experience. Oh yes, that's right - you lack real world experience. You speak of military bravery. Have you served in the military? You are certainly young enough. My neice joined the Army after graduating from college. She served two terms in Afganistan. You have no right to speak of bravery - fearlessness. And by he way, try getting your historical perspective from reading. Don't lecture us on what you watch on the "silver screen". Read David McCullough's 1776 and Joseph Ellis's His Excellency and come back and tell us how Captain Swenson's action rise to the valor of Washington's crossing of the Deleware. Do us a favor, keep you grand thoughts to yourself until you do something on your own. Your not-to-subtle shots at Congress are not fooling anyone. Are you setting up another run for Congress?

October 18, 2013 at 7:04 a.m.
gypsylady said...

I pretty much agree that it's as subtle as a freight train but we got the same nice, nice piece from Robin Smith last week. It's going to be a trend, I predict.

October 18, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
soakya said...

I agree Weston, I hope the voters force a higher standard by keeping the likes of you away from Washington. And lets not forget your father was one of those you call lesser men.

what you call a publicity stunt he called representing those who sent him there. it's the weak willed moderates like McCain, Corker and Alexander that is joining in with the liberals that is destroying this country. so do us all a favor a put aside your pompous self aggrandizing ego and stay put.

October 18, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

It seems that the populace has caught on to Weston Wamp early. Another self-serving politician, son of a self-serving politician, promoted for his ability to say nothing in 500 words or more by other self-serving politicians.

Weston Wamp is brought to you by the same group of con-men, thugs, and big business cronies who owned Daddy in Washington.

October 18, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.
adolphochs said...

"His actions in the Battle of the Ganjgal Valley were no less heroic than General Washington crossing the Delaware in 1776." Captain Swenson's actions were heroic and worthy of the Congressional Medal of Honor but comparing them to George Washington's defeat of the British at Trenton is the definition of hyperbole.

I know when I was running this paper, Weston Wamp would be lucky to be delivering it, not writing in it! Standards have certainly dropped.

October 18, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Gee Weston, can't you get a buddy to write a nice comment about your weekly drivel. As it is, you are taking a well deserved pounding every week. Maybe your plan to keep your name in front of the public until the next election isn't working so well.

October 19, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.
csharp said...

I greatly appreciate the TFP, we are fortunate to have a viable daily paper. The decision however to run Weston's articles each week is a mystery. Very poor logic combined with atrocious writing skills combine for an embarrassingly awful result. Each missive has one objective - criticize Congress and promote Weston's second run at our Congressional seat. Weston tries in a truly pitiful way to hide his intentions. It is an insult to anyone who can fog a mirror. However, it showcases Weston's lack of experience, judgement, and character. For that, we thank the TFP.

October 19, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
SaraB said...

Someone I work with has frequent contact with Weston.I was told he spends more time preparing to run for Congress again than anything else. I'm not sure how I feel about someone my age deciding he's qualified to be a congressman.But I won't vote for the current guy.Looks like I'll be writing in my idea of a great candidate. Too many people who like themselves too much.

October 19, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

It's embarrassing that Weston Wamp, who claims to be in a career of communications, has such poor abilities in writing and presentation.

Equally embarrassing is that the University of Tennessee gave him a degree in Communications.

Would you hire Weston Wamp to write your public relations report, ad copy, company brochure, bills for Congress, and Federal laws?

October 19, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.
SaraB said...

I'm a graduate of Communications at UT.I think writing fell secondary to talking in his communications pursuit. Clearly.

October 19, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
csharp said...

Cum Laude no less. Since a job as Congressman would be his first real job, Weston should share his transcripts. Weston should also share copies of his tax returns for past three years. He claims to be gainfully employed but apparently spends much of his time chasing his dream to be a US Congressman. He reminds me of the old saying "born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple".

October 19, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

csharp said...

"Cum Laude no less."

What's the going rate in dollars to purchase a Cum Laude and do Congressmen get a discount for "special services" rendered?

Time for the TFP to start investigating.

October 19, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.
csharp said...

Imagine this scenario - Young Weston is the Congressman and Daddy Zach is an unregistered lobbiest (paid influence peddler). Zach sets up virtual base of operations in Weston's congressional office. Now you can understand the urgency for the Wamp's to get the office. Think Fords of Memphis - now imagine Wamps of Chattanooga. Once in, 3rd District held hostage for next 30 years.

October 20, 2013 at 1:08 p.m.
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