Thursday, July 17, 2008

By Our Efforts to Honor, We Mock

Driving across campus today, I noticed one fraternity now has a Blue Star Banner hanging in it's front window with 3 stars.

I kinda looked quizzical at that. Because the current DoD regulations I think bar the fraternity from participating in the banner program.

Family members authorized to display the Service Banner include wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, stepparents, parents through adoption, foster parents who stand or stood in loco parentis, sons, daughters, stepchildren, children through adoption, brothers, sisters, half brothers and half sisters of members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

It's a fairly common thing for a frat to bill itself as a family for it's membership - and many young men, some of whom have issues with their own family, often consider the fraternity brothers better siblings and even fathers than they grew up with prior. In many houses, the peer pressure to adopt one's peers as family is tremendous, resembling almost a cult atmosphere. It's no surprise then that a fraternity would want to honor it's sons serving overseas. But fraternities often honor their pledges and even members with unusual displays . .

What surprises me is that the campus ROTC or city recruiters haven't asked for the fraternity to respect the regulations, much less how the house was even able to lay its hands on a fairly difficult-to-obtain decoration.

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