Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

The U.S. Navy announced last week that it will name its newest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 10) after former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. I admire Giffords, and I believe she has handled her situation with grace and courage; and if Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus wants to name a ship after her, that’s his prerogative. Nevertheless, is it a good idea to name Navy ships after young, living former politicians, no matter how much we may empathize with them? (Read the full column at EWRosss.com)

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39 Responses

  1. LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    That is nearly as ridiculous an idea as a Senator who has not even finished his first term; a Senator who has never held any other Federal public office, running for the office of President of the United States.
    What’s next? USS Harvey Milk? USS Occupy?

    Ms Giffords got shot. That’s all. It is a most unfortunate thing to happen to anyone, but in her case, she was a victim–nothing else. She was not where she was that day because she had volunteered to place herself into harms way to defend her country like so many other men and women have done.
    There are so many others who have accomplished so much more than simply being a victim of a madman named Loughner.

    I wish Ms Giffords a speedy and complete recovery, and although I oppose much of what her party stands for, I hope she is able to return to politics and take up where she so undeservedly was halted.

    Posted by Jim Grindstaff CPP PSP

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    The US Navy abandoned its naming convention decades ago (subs: Glenard P. Lipscomb, the Seawolf-class which has fish, state and presidential names; carriers: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Carl Vinson – still alive at the time of CVN-70’s commissioning; cruisers: the state-named nukes, Thomas Gates of the Tico-class; etc). It’s all political, as equally evidenced by the USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The LCS class in particular is a mess. As brother Rick and I agree, it’s not our Navy anymore…

    Posted by Mark Morgan

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    With absolutely no disrespect to Congresswoman Giffords,who is she? Seriously, who honestly, other than probably people from Arizona, knew of her before the shooting? She is married to an astronaut, ok. Like I said, I do not mean any disrespect but Naval vessels should be named after historically significant Americans. Carl Vinson was a long serving Representative from Georgia. He greatly supported the efforts of the Navy.The same with John Stennis. Huge supporter of the Navy and had a lot of pork barrel projects that went to Mississippi. Especially influenced the ship yard in Pascagoula. When it came to voting on legislation, he made sure to vote in favor of the Navy. Obviously the presidents are named for their service. Why not vote some of our true heroes, such as Medal of Honor Recipients? Or the Navy or Marine Corp Cross?

    Posted by Aaron Garner

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    I have to agree with Jim and Aaron. No disrespect to Giffords, but I would like to see the name of a historically significant person on a naval ship.

    Posted by Patrick Shayne

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
    I don’t think that it’s ever a good idea to name anything after a living person, regardless of how great. My fellow Coloradans learned that lesson a few months ago. After naming a county correctional facility after the best sheriff ever, they now have him incarcerated there. Oops.

    Posted by Bruce Boevers

  6. Tom Rumsey says:

    I doubt that there is anything I or anyone else could say to more accurately depict this event.
    BZ ED,
    Tom in Benicia

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    It’s a good idea to name ships as the Navy always has. They are named after war heroes, combat veterans, distinguished US Presidents and States and Cities.

    Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords has done a great job recovering from personal tragedy. Someone that has done as great a job or better was Helen Keller and many others. Personal tragedy to an individual is replicated countless times by others in this nation that receives no such distinguished help, assistance nor recognition as Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Her distinguishing feature is that she was a Representative whose tragedy was captured by the national press.

    While I congratulate Representative Gabrielle Giffords in her recovery, I know no reason for that distinction to be awarded with a nameplate on a combat vessel of the United States Navy.

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    I kinda get the feeling that if they’d waited a few more months we might have the USS Whitney Houston. I think I would have supported that more.

    Posted by Bob Schecter

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Former Representative Giffords should be recognized for her recovery from a tragic incident. Name a Post Office or Street after her. If a Naval vessel is to be named after a person, that recognition should go to our Service members who deserve much more than our Congress or our media gives them.

    Posted by Ed Underfinger, CPPA

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Prior to the unfortunate incident, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) took Afghan Commander, General David Petraeus, to task for what she characterized as “willful disregard of the environmental impact of our war effort.” “There is no policy, no plan to minimize carbon emissions in our military activities,” Giffords charged. “Bombs are dropped and bullets are fired without considering the environmental impact.” Giffords insisted that she was “not demanding an immediate halt to current military operations in the Middle East. I’m just saying that battle plans should include an environmental impact assessment as a regular part of the process before attacks are launched.” She also suggested that the Army “put more emphasis on less environmentally damaging methods, like stabbing or clubbing enemy forces in order to minimize the carbon output.”

    Perhaps instead of naming a ship after the poor woman, we should name a bayonet or baton in her honor?

    Posted by Thomas Morrison

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    The sequence with Gen Petraeus came immediately to mind when I heard about the ship-naming for Rep Giffords (Ret). God bless her and the others who were caught up in the shooting, particularly the families of those who died, but this goes back to the basic point: She

    Posted by Mark Morgan

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Thomas Morrison- I was against naming the ship after Giffords by principal. Now that I heard that story, I’m definitely against. I had no clue!

    Posted by Patrick Shayne

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    …didn’t accomplish anything to warrant having a ship named for her. If anything else, her exchange with the general a) disqualified her for any recognition by the US military, save for any efforts she may have made towards supporting DMAFB (along similar lines, John Murtha’s public trial and conviction of his fellow Marines should’ve prevented the naming of an LPD for him), and b) proved a long-held conviction I’ve held about the caliber of people we keep electing to office.
    But enough about Guam tipping over (I know, I know, different Congressman…).

    Posted by Mark Morgan

  14. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community (IC)

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    I have had an aversion to U.S. military vessels named after living persons. It had historically been an honor reserved to those who had served the country in some distinguishing way, and it was done posthumously. All that changed a few years ago.

    Where’s the USS Smedley Darlington Butler?

    Posted by David Phillips

  15. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    I can think of many many others that deserve a ship named after them but GG is not one of them. Presidents, War hero’s, Medal of Honor and other Honor winners would be the correct pick. Not slamming GG but I know my brother who has one silver star and two bronze medals with three bullet holes in him from Vietnam deserves this honor more than she does. Semper Fi…

    Posted by Gary E Taylor

  16. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Whether former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is deserving of the honor of having a Navy ship named for her is up to the Secretary of the Navy. I’m not really familiar with the traditions surrounding the naming of Naval vessels, but I do know this: Gabby Giffords was wounded in the line of duty while serving her country. She was shot by an assassin, just like Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy. Good luck and advanced medical technology saved her life, and of course, the media gave a lot of coverage to her recovery. That’s why we know just how hard she has worked at it. In resigning her seat in congress, she put her service above herself. Those are some of the characteristics we hear about when the actions of service members are cited during the awarding of medals. If the Navy wants to name a boat after someone like Gabby Gifffords, I’m all for it. Better that than a ship named the USS Whitney Houston.

    Posted by Michael Teaster

  17. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    HMMMMMMMMMM Michael …there were deaths too during that attack…who did you say gave more? The United States has no shortage of Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who have given their lives, have become permanently disabled, scarred and unemployed in return by their country that have given far more than Gabby Gifford.

    Do not get me wrong; I do have respect and sympathy for her injuries and recovery but this is a woman that because of her election was eligible for the finest health care and retirement bonus for the rest of her life…something denied to the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that have fought 1 war for Independence, 2 World Wars and several “ARMED CONFLICTS” that contributed to her the ability to be elected to the position she resigned.

    My thoughts may not be the same as yours…I happen to be unemployed, 70% Disabled and in in the Navy during every armed conflict from Viet Nam to Desert Storm.

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    No, Jon, your thoughts aren’t the same as mine. The facts are the same: Rep. Giffords was wounded in the service of her country. Her health care benefits are not a factor in whether or not she is “fit” to be honored with her name on a Naval vessel. As to the deaths, I would say they gave more, and if the SECNAV wants to name a boat after them, it’s his call. It’s not the number of bullet holes or the effect of those bullet holes that makes the person worthy. I’m not saying that Rep. Giffords is worthy. All I said is that I would be okay with the Navy having a boat with her name on it. I don’t question that vets have gotten a raw deal, either. This country has a long history of taking the sacrifice of its vets for granted. I am a 17- year veteran who didn’t make retirement for medical reasons,and I feel like I got a raw deal, too. That still doesn’t have anything to do with the Navy naming a vessel for Rep. Giffords. Sorry that you disagree, but this is America, so free speech rules, right?

    Posted by Michael Teaster

  19. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    She is not being honored for her work, or her sacrifice, or for her battle scars. A non-descript public servant – a Democrat who unimaginably is liked on both sides of the aisle – who just happens to have a husband who is an astronaut and on the last mission of its kind no less – who takes one for the county (so to speak). No doubt they are dabbling with the script in Hollywood right now. Who better to serve as a DC poster-girl amid a peer group whose public rating is lower than at any other period in our history. Indeed SECNAV has the right – but SENAV got it wrong.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  20. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Micheal, I must say I totally disagree with you. Just like Jon here I’m an Unemployed 70% Disabled Vet who was injured in Iraq. If our United States Navy starts naming ship after congressmen and women then that is a huge issue. Navy Ships have always been named after great leaders, and other items that fall into that arena. the question that I ask is what has GG done for the American people? Has she made a great impact on our lives? Did she die in service of her country? Although I agree that her personal struggles was great but in this day and age that is just that a personal struggle. As a Veteran we did not get elected to a position we volunteered, for this make our struggles grater because we struggled for our country, Leaders and our Constitution. Point Blank.

    Just my to cents and by the way I love my freedom of speech.

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  21. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    You know I have found something really informative. Here is a document for the SECNAV.

    http://doni.daps.dla.mil/Directives/05000%20General%20Management%20Security%20and%20Safety%20Services/05-00%20General%20Admin%20and%20Management%20Support/5031.1C.pdf

    It tells you everything about what the SECNAV has a right to do Make sure you read Appex A.

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  22. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Yes, Michael….I am certainly not arguing free speech etc etc etc…and again…I DO NOT DENY she had a terrible wound and has done a lot to recover…but …there were a number of people who died in that shooting and I certainly put their names for nomination before hers. ITS a political move…just the same as a very unpopular President making a guest appearence in Arizona to make the very correct political speech to recover from a dismal approval rating he enjoyed at the time. I am verey positive this is not America bestowing their appreciation on her…I am quite convinced it originated in the White House and would not be very surprised to hear of plans for the
    USS Whitney Houston from the same source. AGAIN the VETS take another slap in the face.

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  23. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Jeffery…what you found is not new nor a state secret….but the actions of the SECNAV have not been a popular action ..now or in a few of the past names dropped ….

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  24. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Jon I never knew how the Ships are named I just found that by doing a web search. Now I know and maybe able to try and get names submitted for future ships.

    I think this is a good Name: “The investment has been return to the American Service Members that have Died in Combat.”

    What do you think a good name for a ship?

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  25. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Jeffery, while I’ve always been fond of the Good Ship Lollipop, I think in this instance I’d vote for the USS Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  26. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Well Bob I can agree with that, but I have a better one. I would place my vote for USS Robert E. Lee.

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  27. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    LOL..WELL said Bob….

    Jeffery…though I come from down south and I admired Robert E. Lee for being a master tactician and a very fine General his greatness came in service against the United States and I couldnt support your vote.

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  28. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    John,

    I just put his name out there because there is alot of West Pointer, and Annapolis cadets that go over many of the battles that he fought in and still use some of those tactics today.

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  29. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    I too am against naming a naval vessel after Rep. Giffords, while I applaud her recovery and service to our country, she was the victum of a lunatic and will not have to worry about medical treatments and how to pay for them or worry about an income for the rest of her life. That is more that I know about the others who were affected during this shooting. I say there are many young men and women who wrote a blank check and gave all for their country and our citizens, such as Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, just to name a couple. Lets keep our Forts, Bases, Camps and Ships named for the true heros.

    Posted by CSM Glen Talley

  30. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Good Morning CSM,

    I agree with you. Do you think that we need to write something to the SECNAV and express our disapproval?

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  31. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Jeffery…a good idea but I cant think of why the SECNAV would listen to some VETS not happy with naming a Naval ship after a non vet now…besides….he’d have to get the ok from the White House on a decision like that…..

    Posted by Jon Hatcher

  32. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Jon according to the information I saw yesterday the SECNAV does not need approval from the White House when doing the Naming of Ships.

    Posted by Jeffery Howard

  33. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Well, gents, now that you are all through with grinding your personal axes, bitching about the politics of the Obama administration and trashing a very honest and honorable former member of congress, let’s return to the fact of the matter. The SECNAV, who makes the call, has already made it, and the USS Gabrielle Giffords will float. Personally, I’m OK with that, because I have always admired Gabby Giffords. She didn’t write the blank check the way those of us who served in uniform did, but she got shot anyway. Now, she’s being honored. Why not just be happy for the poor woman, instead of using the issue to complain about how Vets are treated? Here’s an idea…Write to your congressman, but do it before some lunatic shoots him/her. AND for CSM Talley, what does the type of medical treatment available to GG have to do with her worthyness or the lack thereof? Let’s stick to the issue, gentlemen.

    Posted by Michael Teaster

  34. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Interestingly enough Michael, this never turned into a political debate, though some always tend to interject something a bit off topic just to get some inane point across.

    Gabby has always stood for the type of representative this country should be electing, and is worthy of praise and honors for that. I don’t think anyone has argued otherwise. The point that Ed made in his very eloquent post and the topic being opined about, is whether she stands as a symbol of our country’s honor and strength, much like the ship upon which her name will now be emblazoned.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  35. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    While I personally would not name a ship after her I am not going to protest to the SECNAV about it. He has better things to attend to like how to re-build our wonderful Navy back above a 400 ship Navy. I was fortuntute to serve on Active Duty when I did. We had close to 550 vessals. How about adding a USS Colorado, its been a while since my state had a ship named after her.

    Posted by Tobey Brown

  36. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran
    Discussion: THE USS GABRIELLE GIFFORDS

    Okay, guys, I get that there are tons of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who may be more deserving of being honored by having a ship named after them than Rep. Giffords. I get that us military types want to see the names of our brothers in arms on our ships and bases. Tobey, I get that you would like to see your state’s name on a ship again. I get all this stuff, and I feel the same way. What I don’t get is that so many people are so against the naming of the USS Gabrielle Giffords. I don’t know what an LCS10 is, and I don’t know what goes through a combat soldier’s mind when he comes under fire. I did, however, train for combat the entire 17 years of my AF career, and I think I would have been proud to go into battle aboard a ship named for Gabrielle Giffords. She has been, as Bob puts it in his post, a “symbol of honor and strength” to me for a long time. That said, I move on to other subjects.

    Posted by Michael Teaster

  37. Marianne says:

    Ed, finally something I agree with you on!!!! I enjoy reading your articles – but, being a left coast resident (and a proud liberal), am rarely in agreement.

    • EWRoss says:

      Marianne.

      I knew if I kept writing long enough I’d find something a left-coast liberal like yourrself could agree with.

      All the best and thanks for reading my columns.

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