This 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 one thing:
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.
Q:It’s 2:30 in the morning and you hear a knock on your front door. You tell your wife to stay in bed – you’ll handle it. As you walk by your kids’ rooms, you take a peek to make sure they weren’t awakened by the knocking. When you answer the door, there’s a guy you’ve never met before, reeking of alcohol, telling you that his wife won’t let him in the house. He tells you he noticed the military sticker on your windshield, and since he’s a veteran, he asks you if he can sleep on your sofa. What do you do?
A:You do what every other person does: you tell him he can’t sleep in your house. Why? Because you don’t know the guy. Veteran or not, he’s not your brother. But, if a Desert Knight knocks on the door of a brother Desert Knight in the same scenario, then that Desert Knight gets whatever he needs.
Q:You’re pumping gasoline into your motorcycle. As your pumping, a guy rides up next to you, shuts off his bike, gets off, and opens his gas cap. He tells he’s a veteran, and asks you to fill his tank, too. He then walks away to use the restroom. What do you do?
A:You likely finish filling your bike, leave his bike where it is, and ride off with a full tank of gas. Why? Because he’s not your brother. Just some stranger claiming to be a vet. But, A Desert Knight would unhesitatingly reach over and fill his brother’s tank.
Q:You’re sitting on your deck on a very pleasant Spring evening, enjoying a barbeque with your family. You’ve invited the next door neighbors over to enjoy the feast and have a few beers. Everything is going great when you hear the rumble of a motorcycle pulling into your driveway. Before you can get up and see what’s going on, a biker walks through the side gate to your backyard and walks up to the deck where you are all sitting. He doesn’t acknowledge anyone else, but when he approaches you, you can see the look of worry on his face. He puts his arm on your shoulder, and steering you away, he asks you in hushed tones if he can borrow some money. He tells you he’s in a bit of a bind and needs some cash. He says that since you were both in Operation Iraqi Freedom, although different branches of service, he knew he could come to you as a brother. What do you do?
A:You likely tell him to hit the road and warn him about disrupting your family in the future. You don’t know this guy, and because of that, you’re not very likely to just give this guy some money. But, if this was a Desert Knight, you’d be reaching into your wallet to help your brother out.
Q:It’s Christmas Day. The whole family is gathered at your house to celebrate. Since this will be the first time she has been able to spend Christmas with the entire family, your mother-in-law has made a special trip from out of town. There’s a knock on the door. As you open the door, in strides a biker who looks around the room and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. He then proceeds to tell you that his motorcycle won’t run, and he needs to borrow you and your truck to get it off the street – otherwise it will be towed in a few hours. What do you do?
A:Get real – you’re spending time with your family on Christmas. You escort him out of your house, and despite the holiday, you inform him that he needs to contact a local tow company. You’re certainly not disrupting your holiday for a stranger. However, a Desert Knight would drop what he was doing and come to the aid of his fellow Desert Knight.
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.