T his question has been put to our club a number of times, and frankly, we find it humorous and annoying that people will attempt to become part of us, but then try to dictate their definitions of terms to us. Every year, we get some idiot who follows the same crash-and-burn cycle of trying to demand that his service makes him our brother. This really gets a bit old, so before you make yourself look foolish, read this. We have a motto: “Brothers in war. Brothers in peace. Desert Era Veterans for Desert Era Veterans.” We coined this motto for a reason, and it has a meaning to us.
If you don’t like our meaning, we’re not particularly concerned - it only goes to prove that:
YOU ARE NOT OUR BROTHER.
We don’t care if you served one day or spent the last 40 years in service to our great nation – you are not necessarily our brother. You may be the most decorated Soldier/Marine/Sailor/Airman in the service, but you are still not our brother! We truly respect and admire your service, and we recognize that we can only exist as we do because of the sacrifices you’ve made. However, although you’re someone we admire, your service simply makes us fellow Americans and fellow veterans.
But, you are not our brother. If you’re truly interested in being our brother, you need to go through the same process all of our brothers have gone through. To assume you have a free ticket to our patch because of your service not only attempts to cheapen our patch, but indicates your complete misunderstanding of the concept of selfless service – you’re looking to profit from your sacrifice. If this is the case, you’ll probably never be our brother. Hell – just because you WANT to be a Marine, doesn’t mean you don’t have to go through boot camp! There are plenty of organizations that will let you in simply because of your service. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars are two fine organizations that will let you do so. Go whine on their door before you whine on ours.
For those who have spent some time in service, especially those who have gone to war together, the concept of brotherhood means something. However, even in that environment, EVERY service member is not your brother. Your brothers are limited to your unit, while everyone else is a fellow service member. Each of us who have served have brothers in the service, and there are those in the service who, no matter what they do, will never be our brother. That’s the way of it.
Likewise, in the Desert Knights, there are those who are my brother. You can tell who they are because they wear our patch. There are those who want to be our brother and are in the process of demonstrating their commitment to this brotherhood. You can tell who they are because they wear a portion of our patch. There are those who aren’t completely sure if they want to be our brother or not, but we’re mutually checking each other out. You can tell who they are because they’re always around and helping out at our events. Then there are the guys who want a patch because they think they like what it stands for. They don’t REALLY want to be our brother, they just want a patch. You can tell who they are because they don’t have any part of our patch – instead they’re standing somewhere off to the side whining about their definition of brotherhood.
While these questions specifically mention Desert Knights, they could just as easily be any member of the Red & Tan Nation, whether they are Desert Knights, Desert Riders, or Desert Warriors.
Well, “brother”, we think you get the point: like the vast majority of folks, you wouldn’t do a thing for any of these guys coming to you for help. Why? Because you don’t know him, and HE’S NOT YOUR BROTHER! To you, he’s just some guy at your door. Likewise, we don’t know YOU, and YOU’RE not our brother!
If you have a problem with our definition of brotherhood, we don’t care. As mentioned earlier, go whine on someone else’s doorstep. You will NEVER be a part of us because you will NEVER understand us. Join the veterans’ organization listed above, join HOG – hell, start your own club. We don’t care. Just don’t come our way demanding something you haven’t earned.