When John Glenn Stood Up For The Military, The World Listened

We lost a great American hero this past week—John Glenn.

Most remember him as the first American to orbit the earth, but his military record, covering 23 years in the United States Marine Corps is as admirable as his time with the NASA Program and his three terms as a U.S. Senator.

The real character of this man is unquestionable. Yet, that character was challenged by the one-time Democrat Senator, Howard Metzenbaum, when John Glenn ran against him for his Senate seat in Ohio. It was during the anti-Vietnam War period and Metzenbaum, recognizing the growing anti-war sentiment in the country, started addressing Glenn as Colonel Glenn, to make him unpalatable to the electorate. In one debate he suggested that Glenn had never met a payroll, implying he had never held a real job.

John Glenn, in that debate with the sitting Senator, responded to that specific comment the Senator made about him. This video shows Glenn’s response. It reveals Glenn’s character as one above reproach, even by the anti-war standards at the time.

Oh yes, like every man or woman who has worn the uniform and served in the military, especially in time of war, he could hold his head high and say to Senator Metzenbaum, “you should get down on your knees knowing that some men, some men, held a job. I held a job.”

In this one statement he not only honored his own service but that of all who have served.

God bless John Glenn. May you rest in peace noble warrior.

Semper Fi

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.