Saturday, February 18, 2017




Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

(#2, Dec. 29, 2016)

Contents of Grassroots Newsletter #3
Northwest Arkansas Regional “Our Community” Phone Directory/Yellow Pages 2016-2017, the Cover for Veterans
 The Rise of the Military Welfare State by Jennifer Mittelstadt

Local Newspaper Record of Grassroots Militarism
Memorials, Monuments and Museums to Celebrate War and Militarism (2008-2017)
American “Valor” and Honoring “Heroes” (2009-2016)
State of Arkansas Tax Support
State of Arkansas Medical Support
Benton County Support:  Veterans Services Office
Local Military Industrial Complex
Militarism Promotion in Schools and Universities
Businesses and other Institutions Supporting Militarism
Public Officials Promoting Militarism

Northwest Arkansas Regional “Our Community” Phone Directory/Yellow Pages 2016-2017: 
No attempt is made to explain what service is provided, what has been the sacrifice.  That’s the hidden point of this prominent cover: the organizer of the Directory assumed all readers would share that assumption; that is that nobody would question the necessity and the value of the interventions and invasions of  several dozen nations by the USA.   An informed and critically thinking citizenry is not expected.  Essential questions are never asked: Is it admirable service to attack and kill large numbers of civilians who have not attacked the USA, nor had their governments?   Have the volunteer soldiers sacrificed, or have they been sacrificed?   Have the consequences of this service and sacrifice been beneficent for the world, or have more wars and increased chaos ensued?    Here in the pro-war, automatic thinking is the groundrock upon which US militarism is constructed

The issue of sacrifice deserves more comment.
For example, the new book, The Rise of the Military Welfare State by Jennifer Mittelstadt  (Harvard UP, 2015) tells us about the extraordinary social support system the Pentagon provides its volunteers.  “Since the end of the draft, the U.S. Army has prided itself on its patriotic volunteers who heed the call to “Be All That You Can Be.” But beneath the recruitment slogans, the army promised volunteers something more tangible: a social safety net including medical and dental care, education, child care, financial counseling, housing assistance, legal services, and other privileges that had long been reserved for career soldiers. The Rise of the Military Welfare State examines how the U.S. Army’s extension of benefits to enlisted men and women created a military welfare system of unprecedented size and scope.”

     As you see the subject of US militarism is enormous in scope.  I treat it therefore under a variety of topics hoping to touch upon at least many of the main subjects.
For example, see: 
PENTAGON BUDGET NEWSLETTER # 2.  APRIL 18, 2014.    This is only one of a dozen newsletters on different aspects of the Pentagon.
 “What Service Were You In?” Newsletters.  Here’s #4:   
     Nevertheless, grassroots militarism—military promotion from the towns and states as distinguished from federal militarism—is an important subject, particularly because it is so neglected, so unobserved, so taken for granted.  If it means that the public assumes the necessity of a thoroughly pro-military nation just as important as public schools, then we are in danger.

What follows is a sampling from the local newspaper of grassroots militarism.  No wonder the editor of the latest phone directory assumes strong public consensus regarding the service and sacrifice of our volunteer military.   The assumption saturates the newspapers daily.     
Memorials, Monuments and Museums to Celebrate War and Militarism (2008-2017)
“Farmington City Council offers help for veterans’ memorial” (NWAT, 10-14-08)
“Veterans Monument Unveiled in Farmington” (NWA Times, 5-31-09)
“Winter Preparations. Story on cleaning Bella Vista Veterans Wall.” (ADG, 12-2-09)
“National Guard to get new center” (1-24-2010) Bentonville center, no cost given
“North Little Rock Library selected for memorial site” (ADG, 2-1-10)
“Military Park is Worth Enhancements.” (NWAT, 2-17-10)  Pea Ridge park.
“Post office takes name of Vietnam War hero.” (ADG, 8-12-13)
“Budget cut puts Jacksonville military museum in a pinch” (ADG, 1-16-17)
“Gold Star families memorial sought at Capitol” (ADG, 1-30-17)
“(Arkansas Military) Museum Seeks Greater Interest.” (NWAT, ?)

US Combat Valor and Honoring War Heroes (2009-2016)
Jack Stephens, owner of the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, arranged for writers in the chain to recount the stories of  “American Valor,” US troops in combat.  Fifty-four were published in 2009, twelve more in 2010 in the NW Arkansas Times.   As a whole, the series is a major effusion of patriotism for war.  I responded to the series in 2010.   “‘We Are Winning,' Two Wars, Two Colonels, and a General.”   Free Weekly (January 28, 2010).  The editor of the Free Weekly at the time was Susan Porter.
The following includes samples of Stephens’ Valor series, and miscellaneous reports.
Wesley Millett.  “Man’s Cover Fire Saves Lives.” (NWArkansas Times, 11-13-09).
“Countdown to Christmas.” (ADG, 12-18-09).   Support the troops editorial.
“Local chapter of military officers honored” (NWAT, 12-27-09).
“Honoring Military Heroes.” (ADG, 12-13-09).   Wreath laying event in Fayetteville.
“Navy Doctor Saves 30 Lives Close to Fighting” (NWAT, 4-19-10).
“Convoy of Military Vehicles Planned.” (NWAT, 4-30-10).  Veterans parade.
“Guardsmen Save Two: Veteran Snipers Rescue Green Berets During Shootout” (NWA Times, 5-31-10)
“Run for the Fallen to Be Saturday” (ADG, 8-20-10).    Run of remembrance for killed soldiers.
“Event Thanks Guardsmen, Families” (ADG, 10-4-10).
“Marine Stays Calm During Fighting (NWAT, 10-25-10)
“Soldier Wins Silver Star for Combat Heroism in Aghanya (NWAT, 12-27-10).
“Christmas Honors Set in Fort Smith “to place wreathes on the graves of soldiers”. (NWAT, 12-5-12).
“Ceremony Remembers 47 Arkansans Killed While Serving in Wars-“who died doing Their Patriotic Duty” (ADG, 5-6-13)
“Let’s Honor Our Heroes“ (ADG, 10-21-16).   “A small Perryville, Ark. will now bear the name of a soldier..”
“Korean War Veterans Honored.” (NWAT, 11-14-16).  “Homage to the Slain: Ark. Veterans Honored for Service.   (NADG, 11-3-16)
“Forgotten no more: One parade that remembered Arkansas Grunts.”  (ADG, 11-21-16).
     Korean war soldiers honored.

State of Arkansas Tax Support
“State income-tax exemption for military pensions backed” (ADG, 1-27-17)
“Push for tax exemption, senator says to veterans.” (ADG, 1-12-17) income tax exemption proposal for veterans

State of Arkansas Medical Support
Hunter Field.  “Facility for Vets Opens.  State-run Nursing Home to Accept First Resident Today.”  NADG (January 31, 2017).

Benton County Support:  Veterans Services Office
Patrick Robinson appointed to head the VSO.

Local Military Industrial Complex
“Huntsville Plant gets F-16 Contract.” (ADG, 5-21-10)

Militarism Promotion in Schools and Universities
“War Stories Shared:  Students Read Poems, Letters Thanking Veterans” (NWAT, 12-22-13)
Publisher ranks UAFS ‘military friendly’ (ADG, 11-27-16) University of Arkansas “Military Friendly”
Letter from Clark Taylor, Military Science at UA Fayetteville. No date.

Businesses and other institutions supporting militarism
“Appreciation.” (NWAT, 1-10-10) TME Inc. Presented with award for support of the Marine Corps League.
“Discounts, freebies offered to vets and voters in Little Rock.” (ADG, 11-8-16) Businesses offer discounts and free goods or services to veterans
Soldiers on Service Dogs. Bank of Fayetteville. No date.
AETN Salutes Arkansas Veterans. No date.

Public Officials Promoting Militarism
“Officials pledge support for local military” (NWAT,  11-17-09) Bentonville public officials make pledges of support.
“Senator: Spending Cuts Needed: Boozman Speaks at Rotary Club.” (NWAT, 8-31-11) Cuts to social programs, but not military.
“Work for Veterans Highly Appreciated” (NWAT, 11-21-13).    Sen. John Boozman Letter Praising Veterans’ Parade.

Contents:  Grassroots Militarism, USA, Fayetteville, AR, Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Newsletter #2

Context: US War Budget 2017
“$611 Billion Defense Policy Bill Signed.” NADG (Dec. 24, 2016). 

US Culture of War the Capillaries of Militarism and Empire
Keeping War Alive: Institutions, Activities Supporting the Wars
Battle Re-enactments in Arkansas
Naming Post Offices:  Navy Seal
Vets Stories Archived
Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame
Armed Forces Honor Day

Keeping Veterans Alive,
Veterans Administration Hospital in Fayetteville, AR

JROTC at Ft. Smith
Honor Flight
Statue for Col. Darby
Keeping Ark Military History Alive
Patriotic Corporate/Business:  Wal-Mart
Casino Gifts to Vets
Commodification of Vets
Google Search

Hastings and Dick on “Service”

Television:  Militarism in Homes
Television: GO ARMY Advert Campaign
Mittelstadt, The Rise of the Military Welfare State

PBS in Arkansas, Pentagon Propaganda Machine in Our Living Rooms
PBS Pro-Vets, Pro-War, Pro-Empire
     Lidia Celebrates Vets “Defending” “America”
     Two Silver Star Medal Winners “Defend” “America”


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