Over the last several weeks, TRUE, I have, and still continue to be, attacked by some Quarters, and sadly these criticisms are coming from my own Gambian brothers. Fair enough, I take their Criticisms in good spirit, BUT over the weeks, I have not had the time to respond, due to many factors and reasons, among which were mourning the passing of my mother, and the Eid holidays. SO, forgive the Late response, but I believe you will rather have a LATE RESPONSE from me, than no response at all.
I want my CRITICS to ask around and try to find me any Gambian-American, dead or alive, who earned and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, commonly referred to as the CIB, the Badge of HONOR. I bet you my last dime that you will not find anyone, dead or alive, other my Humble Self.
IN SHORT, other than my Humble Self, you will not find any Gambian American, dead or alive, with a CIB Badge of HONOR on his Chest. Some of my Gambian brothers, as my Critics, are fond of saying “BUT what was your rank”, implying that because of my rank I cannot earn and be awarded a CIB or a Purple Heart. These Critics of mine are just Jealous, Envious, Childish ad Plain Stupid.
OF COURSE, these Critics are going to jump on this and downplay this Medal/Award, and will claim, what we used to call when I was in the Army, “pulling rank” on me. They will claim that “that Gambian American” was a “Captain”, a “Major”, a “Sergeant Major”, a “General” or “whatever”, BUT my Friends, I have told you this before, time and time and again, that the US Military DOES NOT give or award you Medals because of your Rank. You Earn it. SO, just because you are “this” or “that” in rank DOES NOT translate to “experience of combat” or “Award of Medals”. Got that? SO, don’t “pull rank on me”.
In other words, Earning and Award of Medals and “Ranks” are two separate and distinct items. DO NOT confuse “Ranks” for Award of Medals, especially the Award of Combat Infantry Badge and or the Purple Heart. SO, do not “pull rank on me”. “RANK” does not mean “CIB” or “Combat Experience”. AND earning and being awarded a CIB means that I have first-hand experience that your “General”, or “Colonel” DOES NOT have. Got that? What part of this my Critics do not understand? Watch how my Critics will NOW attempt to “downplay” this CIB Medal/Award, like they tried to downplay my Purple Heart Medal/Award.
There are countless Gambians out there who Honor, Admire and Respect my Medals/Awards and Selfless Service to not only the Gambia, but to these United States of America. I sincerely and truly appreciate their Support, Love and Care. However, I hope and Pray that someday in the Future, there will be a Gambian American in the US Military who will be equally or more DECORATED than me. I don’t want to be the only one. I would like another Gambia American to match and or beat my Honorable, Distinguished and Outstanding Military Awards/Medals.
Ohh, by the way, Google the words: “Combat Infantry Badge” and read and find out anything about it, and come back and tell me what you find out about this Revered, Distinguished and Honored Badge of HONOR, called CIB (Combat Infantry Badge). Can you do that?
AND my Retirement from the United States Army translates into thousands of dollars every month (when converted into Dalasis it is more than the monthly salary of the President of the Gambia, and there are tons of Gambians out there, especially Overseas, whose monthly incomes are more than the salaries of the President of the Gambia). I will continue to get my Retirement from the US Army for the rest of my Natural life, and I intend to enjoy every penny of it. Thank God.
AND ohh, FINALLY, before my Critics jump on and start attacking me as a War Veteran, I want them to think about and ponder over this FACT:
The Greatest Contributions to Mankind came from and are coming from War Veterans, such War Veterans as the Prophet of Islam to present-day John McCain. Do you know that the Prophet of Islam (SAW) was a War Veteran? Remember ALSO that many of the FREEDOMS you enjoy today, such as this Freedom to talk CRAP on Facebook and social media was fought for with the Blood, Sweat and Tears of War Veterans like me.
AND don’t forget that for years, I was the Leading Journalist in the entire Gambia, working with the then ONLY independent, daily newspaper in the country called Daily Observer, and this was long, long, several years, before you came to know what is Facebook, what is online radio, blogs, or even before social media. You may or may not like me, BUT one thing, and ONE THING ONLY you will not deny, take away from me, twist, bend and or dismiss is the FACT of my Selfless Sacrifice and Service to two Nations, one of which is the Greatest Nation on earth. SO, after all is said and done, I spent Years fighting for your FREEDOMS both through the “Pen” and the “Sword”. You might not like my haircut, my looks, my last name, or maybe even me, BUT you will not deny, sweep under the rug or downplay my Selfless Sacrifice and Service to two Nations.
I will never seek NOR accept any position from the Government of the Gambia, not today, tomorrow, or never, ever. You do not have to work for the Government of the Gambia to contribute to the development of the Country. I will continue to do just fine and contribute by being in the Private Sector.
By Abdul Savage
Retired, US Army
Honorary Judge, State of Texas
Member, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars