- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 1, 2004

He is a genuine patriot, selfless and disciplined, living in an antithetical universe from the one that celebrates the younger brother.

Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan is his own person, trite as that observation is, forever impervious to the intoxicating vapors that have enveloped Michael through all his basketball incarnations.

In the cliche of the day, Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan would have been the lead member of his younger brother’s posse or entourage, or whatever is the favored lexicon of the hangers-on who follow on the heels of the overactive pituitary glands.

Instead, he is coming up on his 30-year mark in the Army. That, of course, is his time to leave the Army and pursue a second career less fraught with the tension and dangers of the post-September 11 world. Yet he has decided this is no time to leave his band of brothers in the 35th Signal Brigade, consigned as they are to complete a one-year deployment in Iraq.

It is his desire, his duty, as he sees it, to stay beyond his mandatory retirement date, in a place that could end his 47-year-old life. The request is stunning; he owes the Army no further service and his band of brothers no apologies.

“We are currently at war,” he says. “We are doing things, and it requires leaders to do certain things. That’s what I am, a leader.”

This is the sturdy stuff of the red states that inevitably baffles the tofu-eating bluebloods ensconced in the urban jungles along both coasts. They are inclined to mock and ridicule that which protects their right to wallow in death-wish diatribes, which left-wing political cartoonist Ted Rall embodies in vulgar fashion.

Rall, if you recall, railed against the heroism of Pat Tillman, the ex-NFL player who gave his life to the cause in Afghanistan. Rall said Tillman was a “cog in a low-rent occupation army that shot more innocent civilians than terrorists to prop up puppet rulers and exploit gas and oil resources.”

His meanness is more pronounced than his psychotic break from reality.

Rall and the likeminded, no doubt, are puzzled anew by the old-fashioned loyalty and honor of Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan, who encapsulates a raw spirit that still lurks in the parallel America. It is a spirit far removed from the cultural rot that emanates from the old media and Hollywood.

The disconnect leads to a serious dose of disdain on their parts.

The Hollywood of World War II would have embraced the strong character of Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan, as only the Hollywood of yesteryear could. In the Hollywood of today, he would be depicted as a mentally unstable gunslinger, a delusional cowboy, part victim of the antiquated military system that is only there to further the imperialistic objectives of the Bush administration.

This is the reflexive cartoon of the sagging, slothful, burnouts of the ‘60s who have not had the courtesy to go away yet, or die, preferring to hang on like bad dinner guests who bore their hosts with tales of their worthiness and all-knowingness.

We can be thankful for Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan and his kind. They do not ask to be praised or cheered or compensated in just manner. All they really ask, and deserve, is our everlasting respect and support.

Meanwhile, we will spend weeks discussing the behavioral inadequacies of Ron Artest and what the tempest in Auburn Hills, Mich., all means, as if it really means anything more useful than teats on a boar hog.

We barely will spend a moment to acknowledge the sacrifice and courage and grit of this Jordan, the anonymous one who could have dropped his younger brother’s name to curry favor years ago.

He merely forged a life that was his and came to an unyielding position in his 47th year.

Wedged between a 30-year retirement date and a one-year deployment in Iraq, Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan, in so many words, says: “Bring it on.”

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