THE INTERNET — Following an outspoken Medal of Honor recipient's recent commentaries on politically-charged events, many veterans are conflicted over the acceptability of belittling someone who was awarded the nation's highest honor for bravery.
While acknowledging the willing self-sacrifice and heroism of his actions, sources say the man's Medal of Honor credentials and opinionated nature sometimes fail to overcome his lack of foreign policy experience, higher education, or expertise on certain topics.
"The guy is basically on Fox News every fucking day. I don't remember John Basilone running around telling you that the current president is a jackass," said one veteran, who refused to be named out of fear of reprisal from angry Veteran Justice Warriors. "Seriously, how is he qualified to weigh in on national defense policy? I went to Iraq twice and was hit by several IED's. Yet somehow no one in the press cares about my opinion on ISIS."
The veteran added: "Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye? I get it ... political science degree from University of Hawaii, law degree from George Washington, 50 years of experience in politics. Having your own t-shirt line and dating a prominent politician's daughter? Not so much."
While some veterans see the man's branding and marketing as cringeworthy at best, they still find it difficult to express any opinion on the matter without being crucified by their fellow veterans.
"Honestly, can I talk about how absurd it is to have your own hashtag even if the guy risked his life to save a crap ton of people?" asked former Army Sgt. Tyler Dembowski. "I'm not really sure if I rate making fun of this guy since all I have is a Bronze Star with a 'V' device. That gets me maybe one or two good jokes in a year at the expense of other veterans, but definitely not a Medal of Honor recipient."
Meanwhile, some fellow recipients of the nation's highest award have banded together to try and stop the inevitable downward spiral that could lead the hero into a future career as a failed politician or reality television star.
"I may have lost my hand throwing a live grenade back at the Taliban but if I have to knife hand him with my metal Ranger hand, I will," said one Medal of Honor recipient, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being called a hero-hater by the entire nation.
"Even if someone receives the Medal of Honor or some other award for bravery, I don't think that necessarily means they are untouchable," said another recipient of the Medal of Honor, who literally jumped on a grenade to save a fellow Marine.
"After recovering from losing maybe 50 percent of my internal organs to shrapnel, I thought I had faced the toughest challenge of my life. Now I realize what will be much tougher is preventing him from being brutally mocked by Saturday Night Live once he finally decides to run for office."