Patriots: For over 26 years, your generosity has made it possible to offer The Patriot Post without a subscription fee to military personnel, students, and those with limited means. Please support the 2023 Year-End Campaign today.

June 10, 2014

The Importance of Knowing

Words matter.

Let the whole Susan Rice/Bowe Bergdahl debacle serve as a reminder of the value of having a firm command of a vast vocabulary.

Bless her heart, I’m not sure Rice does and she’s not alone in that regard, today. Perhaps, there was no intent to deceive but, instead, merely a weak understanding of the words, themselves. That, combined with complete ignorance of the fact that, in the military, words like these have almost legal definitions when applied to a soldier’s behavior and, therefore, should be used properly and not loosely.

This week, when given the opportunity to clarify remarks she made on Sunday talk shows, Rice addressed her use of the word honor, in describing Bergdahl’s service. But, when pressed by the reporter to continue and clarify her use of the word distinction she became frustrated, defensive, as though it was redundant to ask such a thing and pressing her for any further explanation was unreasonable, if not petty. I had to ask myself, Does she actually know the *meaning of the word?*

Additionally, I read opinion pieces written by paid professionals who didn’t seem to have a clear grasp of the words’ meaning. One of them admitted openly that he had only a cursory understanding of the term distinction, but that he “knows it when he sees it.”


The words honor and distinction are not difficult words people! Nor are they simply warm, fuzzy descriptors to be applied in general terms to every soldier in uniform. They, themselves, know the meaning of honor and distinction. Hence, their outrage by the party-on-the-patio in the rose garden, last week. And the two are not synonymous of each another. They have very clear and separate meanings:

Honor is carrying out and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.

Distinction is having a quality or performing a duty in such a way that it sets something or someone apart from the others in their group.

Technically, one could say Bergdahl did distinguish himself. But, he did so by deserting his platoon. And, we do not give out medals for that type of distinguished service.

Also, a note to the younger generation out there: As you can see, you will not always be able to whip out your IPhone and Google the definition of a word, like, for example, when you’re an advisor to the President and you’re on a Sunday talk show.

Sometimes, on rare occasions, you just might be called on to actually know your sh–. And, if you don’t … you’re sh–!

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.