Jewish World Review
August 28, 2000 / 27 Menachem-Av, 5760
There's something about Rudy
RUDY BOESCH, 72-year-old retired Navy SEAL and the nation's most famous
grumpy old man, may have lost the $1 million prize on CBS's adventure show,
"Survivor." But he won millions of hearts. At a town hall meeting hosted
by Bryant Gumbel this week, Boesch showed why Rudymania is all the rage.
Explaining why he cast his final vote for "Survivor" champion Richard
Hatch, a gay man whose lifestyle Boesch objects to, but with whom he had
allied, Boesch said plainly: "My word is my word, and my word is good."
The Internet is clogged with websites and message boards devoted to
Boesch's biography and blunt quips (dubbed "Rudyisms") on everything from
corporal punishment to out-of-wedlock birth. The reasons for Rudymania are
America is sick of draft dodgers and word benders and promise breakers.
We're sick of character chameleons.
We're sick of political leaders whose lips quiver on cue.
We're sick of know-it-alls who filibuster when they should just admit, as
Boesch often did, "I dunno. "
We're sick of men who use hairspray. And men with manicured hands. And
men who don't know how to salute.
If my generation learns anything from Rudy Boesch, it is that we owe men
like him – veterans who risked their lives for their pampered grandkids --
a lot more than a paycheck and 15 minutes of fame. We owe them praise. We
owe them respect. We owe them eternal gratitude.
The producers of "Survivor" presented Mr. Boesch as an irritable slacker
who rose from his hammock only when it was time to cook rice for his young
fellow castaways. Anyone who knows the Navy SEALs (Sea-Air-Land) knows
that the depiction was a gross distortion. Mr. Boesch -- Master Chief
Petty Officer Boesch to his colleagues in the military – dedicated 45 years
of his life to actively serving others.
The SEALs, who trace their heritage all the way back to the Minutemen, are
the ultimate survivors. And Rudy is the ultimate SEAL. He dropped out of
high school to join the military, and in the early 1960s was hand-picked to
become a charter member of the SEALs in Vietnam. The Atlantic Fleet team
was renowned for its unconventional warfare tactics by air and by water.
Boesch battled communist Viet Cong guerrillas on 45 missions during two
combat deployments. He earned two Bronze Stars, 22 service ribbons and 11
gold stripes for his valor and leadership. And he wasn't done yet.
In the late 1980s, the military named Boesch a Naval Special Warfare
Community "Bull Frog," awarded to the SEAL serving the longest time on
active duty. He was honorably discharged in 1990, and then quickly went to
work volunteering for the Red Cross, the Virginia Beach Police Department,
and the 1996 Summer Olympics. Never one to do things the easy way, Boesch
traveled to the SEAL museum in Fort Pierce, Florida recently for an annual
Veterans Day event by taking a raft down the Intracoastal Waterway from his
home in Virginia Beach, Va.
In the era of PETA and political correctness and President Clinton, it's
refreshing to see a man who makes no apology for eating steak for dinner.
Who doesn't let Bryant Gumbel bully him into changing his mind about what
he thinks is right and wrong. Who says without blushing that his favorite
dessert is apple pie. Who says if he had to choose one person from whom
he'd like to receive a letter on a deserted island, it would be his wife.
Who says he'd miss the simple things the most, like his living room chair.
One of the island castaways from "Survivor" said, dismissively, that Rudy
Boesch is from the "old school." It's a shame he would never change, the
The shame is that we take for granted the special, immutable qualities of
the retired SEAL next door, the aging Marine down the street, the Army man
in the family.
"The only easy day was yesterday," a favorite SEAL slogan goes. Rudy and
his comrades in arms possess an unbending honesty and honor, decency and
dedication that seem quaint and entertaining. But it is their public
service without fanfare that allows today's Whatever Generation to enjoy
easy freedom and its endless
JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
08/18/00: The party of Maxine Waters
08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line"
(or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes
© 2000, Creators Syndicate