The Coward – Part V


Smash over at The Indepundit has some details about his recent run in with the coward himself, Pablo Paredes:

SAN DIEGO?S ANNUAL EARTH FAIR always brings out a fascinating cross-section of humanity. Corporate sponsors provide services for an event attended by the Green Party. Radical environmentalists rub elbows with conservative NIMBYs. Atheists set up a booth between the Quakers and the Buddhists. The ACLU is across the street from the FBI. Vegans sell carrot juice downwind from the Cajun barbeque pit. Long-haired hippies avert their eyes from the Navy?s exhibit on preserving tidal marshlands.

But amazingly, everyone seems to get along. Well, just about everyone…

I ALMOST walked right into him. He was standing across from the Unitarian Universalists, in front of a makeshift Iraq war memorial.

It was Pablo Paredes, in the flesh.

Other than a handful of his anti-war buddies, nobody was paying him much attention. He stepped away from the gaggle for a moment, and pulled out his cell phone.

It was an irresistible opportunity. Before he could dial, I stepped in front of him. ?Hey, are you Pablo??

He put away his cell phone and flashed me a half-grin. ?Yeah.?

?Mind if I ask you a question??


I looked him right in the eye. ?Do you know the name of the sailor who replaced you on Bonhomme Richard?”

The grin was gone. ?No, you see, that?s a common misconception people have,? Pablo lied. ?Nobody had to replace me. I only got there a few weeks before deployment, and my LPO (leading petty officer) didn?t even know I was coming…?

?So they just stretched out the watch bill to fill the gap, then.?

?You don?t understand. There was no gap. Sending me to Bonhomme Richard was a cheap shot.? the lies continued. ?The Navy wanted to get back at me after I dropped out of MA (master at arms) school because I was politically opposed to the war in Iraq. So they sent me to the first ship headed to the Gulf.? It was classic Lefty Logic ? paint yourself as the victim, and all your sins will magically be forgiven.

At this point, I could have set Pablo straight about how the detailing process works. I might have explained to him that every ship in the US Navy has a manning document, called an Enlisted Distribution Verification Report (EDVR), that spells out precisely how many sailors of each rating and subspecialty will be assigned to that ship. I could have told him that ships preparing to deploy have top priority for their vacant billets, and that sailors with certain specialites (such as expertise on the NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System) often get pulled at the last minute to fill critical jobs.

I could also have explained to Pablo that when he voluntarily dropped out of MA school because he didn?t want to accrue three more years of obligated service, his detailer had no choice but to send him to fill the highest-priority vacant billet on his list, aboard the about-to-deploy USS Bonhomme Richard. I could have further informed him that his billet would have only gone unfilled for thirty days after he abandoned his post before his detailer had to start looking for a replacement.

But all that would have been a waste of breath.

Instead, I edged closer, and lowered my voice a fraction. ?You?re a selfish bastard, Pablo.?

He blinked. ?Well, you?re entitled to your opinion, but??

?You?re a selfish bastard,? I repeated, and turned to walk away. After taking a couple of steps, I spun halfway back around to deliver a parting shot over my shoulder. ?And your day of reckoning is coming.?

And for perhaps the first time in his life, Pablo had nothing to say.

(Pablo?s court martial commences on Wednesday, May 11 at Naval Station San Diego. His supporters have promised to stage a ?rally and mock trial? outside the main gate on that day. They will not be alone.)

What a fool this guy is. His new socialist friends will be leaving his side soon after he enters his new home…the brig.


The Coward – Part IV
The Coward – Part III
The Coward – Part II
A True Hero – Part II

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