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Major General Paul D. Eaton Headshot

Breach of Discipline

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Retired Colonel (Representative) Joe Wilson's conduct last night is a breach of military protocol and represents a further departure from the historic good order and discipline I expected, in the past, to see from the GOP, pre-conservative talk show entertainers. Recent GOP performers have proven embarrassing to the New Republican Party.

As a retired Soldier I expect better from our Soldiers, to include South Carolina National Guardsmen. But, those rallying in the blogosphere to Wilson's defense claim that he has reason 'to be stressed out' because he has children in the military. Interesting defense.

Fully one third of Army General Officers have sons and daughters fighting in our Armed Forces. Every parent whose children are serving -- as all three of mine are -- can respect the strain retired Col. Wilson might be feeling, and thank him for his sacrifice. Yet I would never expect to hear anything but the greatest respect for the elected President of the United States from these men and women, regardless of their political persuasion. 'Stressed' or not by having military doctors and intelligence officers in the family.

I would also highlight Colonel, Retired (Professor) Andrew Bacevich who has proven a brilliant communicator on behalf of men and women critical of those incompetent warfighters who have handed off serious military dilemmas to President Obama and his administration. Colonel Bacevich lost his son in combat in Iraq a few years ago, and I doubt if the good Colonel would ever embarrass the United States Army or Armed Forces as did Colonel Wilson.

I expect Minority Leader Boehner to police his ranks and help get his GOP colleagues back into a regimen of good order and discipline.