These Marines did nothing wrong at all. Their mistake -- and that's all it was -- was in not knowing what the stylized double S stood for in history and, by their ignorance, they neither dishonored history nor the millions of civilian and military victims of Hitler's SS. Perhaps what is dishonored is an education system that can graduate young people from high school without the students knowing about the symbolism used by atrocious actors in history. In any event, this presents nothing more than a teaching moment for those young men -- who, never forget, put their lives in harm's way every day -- and for the military community as a whole. As a former Marine who served in combat, I can assure America -- including each and every Jewish American -- that these heroic young men were simply flexing their muscles in front of initials (regrettably stylized somewhat like the Nazi symbol) that represent their job in the Marine Corps: They have trained hard as Scout Snipers and live their life as Scout Snipers. They are among America's best. They are our sons and neighbors and kids' team mates; they are America's heroes,and are neither bigots nor purveyors of hate. So I would suggest that every American sit back and relax. And I would urge the Commandant of the Marine Corps to have the back bone to stand up to SecDef Leon Panetta. If it remains true, after an investigation, that no harm was intended and no Marine even recognized the stylized SS as a Nazi reference, the Commandant should be prepared to resign his commission in standing up for his Marines and refusing to punish young men who did absolutely nothing wrong in every fair sense of that word. My two cents worth.
Snakey Tricker Charlie