This is quite long but I implore you to read the entire text. At the end ask yourself: What am I today and what do I want to be. And please understand - there is no shame in being a sheep. Approximately 98% (if you believe this information) of the American people are sheep.
One is of course that I do not like pictures of "me". The second more important reason follows.
I did not write this but when I found the original article years ago I was deeply moved. Please do not misunderstand - I am not in the military.
This article discusses a mindset and way of life. We all choose, through action or inaction what we will be: The Sheep, Wolf or Sheepdog.
The following article was not written for the 2nd Amendment issue or conservative philosophy in general. Standing up means more than poking your head above the crowd to see what
others have done for you....
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs
Jill Edwards, a junior math major at the University of Washington. In
brief, Edwards, a member of the UW student senate, opposed a memorial to
UW grad "Pappy" Boyington. Boyington was a U.S. Marine aviator who
earned the Medal of Honor in World War II. Edwards said that she didn't
think it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She
also said that a member of the Marine Corps was NOT an example of the
sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce.
Gen. Dula's letter to the University of Washington student senate leader.
To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
Miss Edwards, I read of your 'student activity' regarding the proposed
memorial to Col Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I
suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative
folks like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices
of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and
your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of
youth and your naiveté.
It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a
sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are. Please take a
couple of minutes to read the following. And be grateful for the
thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who permit you the
freedom to express even bad ideas.
ON SHEEP, WOLVES, AND SHEEPDOGS
By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER,
Ph.D., author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so
because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things
that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time,
that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution,
or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth
defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William
J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most
of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle,
productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is
true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the
aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is
that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.
Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent
crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time
record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million
Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime
is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year.
Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat
offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less
than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation:
We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is
still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent
people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or
under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the
pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it
will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without
its hard blue shell.
Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, And
someday the civilization they protect will grow into something
wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves
feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out
there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it.
There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The
moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep.
There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to
protect the flock and confront the wolf."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive
citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for
your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.
But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your
fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone
who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of
darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep,
wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is
what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in
the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why
they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire
exits throughout their kids' schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police
officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more
likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire,
but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial.
The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard,
and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the
wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference,
though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm
the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little
lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way,
at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that
there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them
where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our
airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much
rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white,
and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries
desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high
school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have
had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they
just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack,
however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the
officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of
them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the
wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded
hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt
differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a
sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a
sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the
perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the
night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs
yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and
wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along
with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep
pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is,
most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those
planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could
have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference."
When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested
yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to
make a difference.
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but
he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able
to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the
There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted
of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory
crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement
officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims
by body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness.
They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select
one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can
choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and
more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was
honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall,
was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone
to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he
learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as
weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll,"
which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to
confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred
among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from
sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately
saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil
of evil men. - Edmund Burke
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of
police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep,
real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human
being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral
If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but
you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your
loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect
you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are
going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or
love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then
you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate,
equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment
when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well
concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt
holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some
form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police
officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there
is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears
to massacre you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the
break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church.
The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in
church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me
about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in
1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the
church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that
officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been
carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw
himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye
and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with
yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was
carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would
probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and
would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in
their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire
sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact
that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be
safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often
their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog
quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live
with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had
to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically
destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is
counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and
horror when the wolf shows up.
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when
you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't
train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy.
Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically
survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness
and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11
book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to
terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but
it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think
they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new
violence is all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in
small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on
some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all
aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.
If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you
step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending
that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a
lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a
weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and
say this to yourself..."Baa."
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy.
It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of
degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep
and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist
completely on one end or the other.
Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in
America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took
a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the
warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which
you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the
degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and
psychologically at your moment of truth.
"If It Weren't For The United States Military"
"There Would Be NO United States of America"