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Ernie's House of Whoopass! December 08, 2010
December 08, 2010

And That's All I've Got To Say About That.

Let me begin by saying that I was a little unsure of posting the story of Airman Doe at all, or at the very least, not until after this year's campaign had finished. Again -- broken record time -- that situation unfolded in a rather unusual and unpredictable way, and is anything but the norm. But then I remembered something. That despite the fact that LBEH has taken on a life of its own -- own domain name, tax id, bank account, debit card, Amex card -- it was brought into this world from EHOWA's loins. And while I no longer dedicate each post during the month of December to how LBEH is doing, I think it's important I keep you the EHOWA Army, up to snuff on how shit plays out. Ultimately, it was this realization that finally convinced me to turn the Ballad of Airman Joe into a full on blog post, instead of just an obsure Facebook reference.

Below is some of the feedback I've gotten regarding the issue. If I haven't posted yours, it's not because I don't think you're cool, it's because at some point there's only so many different ways you can say, "Good call." I also tried to include everyone who is currently in the military, since this whole thing kind of happened in your neck of the woods. Of the two people who didn't see eye to eye with me, I'm also taking this opportunity to further explain my decision.

Ernie - as an air force vet and LBEH contributor, I support your decision on this 100%. You don't do lbeh for the gratitude you get, you do it OUT OF gratitude for the service of our young men and women, but when someone acts like this, even after the multiple hints given, you have to take a stand for the volunteers and do what you have to do. Scott

Glad to know that not 1 penny of my $100 contribution will go to Airman Doe. Guy

Ernie, Long time reader, first time responder. And while I’d like to act like I read the site *every* day without fail, that’s bullshit. I sometimes don’t even open a browser in a given day, depending on how hair-on-fire the job is. But I do look several days each week, honest. As a father of two young boys, my feedback to you is “well done, sir.” I don’t think everyone appreciates the gift horse, and since life is inherently unfair I believe it’s reasonable to show people both sides of the unfair coin - which you did for Airman Doe. I expect the next time a gift is bestowed upon this particular person, it will invoke quite a different response given their recent experience. Some of the most useful lessons I have learned in life have come on the heels of serious suffering. Way to not pussy out and let this one slide. All the best, Bill

Ernie, I applaud you for the restraint shown in dealing with the douchebag from Okinawa. I would have eyeball raped him with his own monitor the next time he checked his mail. You are a gentleman sir. Kaycie, Former Sgt of Marines

Ernie, Just sent 200 in. I have been out of state and just got caught up on the site. I am doubling what I planned to give just because you canceled that guys ticket. I laughed a good one at that. I left the Air Force after a little over 10 years, and spent the last 4 stationed in Misawa, Japan. I missed a lot of holidays/birthdays and wish you could have flown him home, but if he doesn’t have manners now, he never will. Thanks. Justin

Hello Ernie, I enjoyed yesterday's post and understand your entire side of the story. "Beggars can't be choosers.", is something I've heard growing up in a family of five children. You got what was provided. If you didn't like it, tough shit. Go get a job, and buy what you want yourself. It taught me self reliance, and help build character. "Some people will piss and moan if they get hung with a new rope.", is one I'm going to have to borrow. My Dad would have enjoyed using this one for sure, if he had not known it. What I'm really trying to say is that if there's just the tiniest shred of second guessing or remorse on your decision the cancel that ticket, I'd like to squash it right now. If that fucker had an ounce of character he'd have thanked LBEH for what was provided and that would have been the end. But, no. "Almost" what he wanted for free wasn't good enough. He had to have "exactly" what he wanted for free, and was manipulative in going through other channels to do so. Fuck him! I want you to sit back this Christmas with your pups snuggled up, enjoying a Sammy, watching endless loops of "A Christmas Story", with a twinkling tree in the background thinking nothing but fuzzy fucking thoughts. Warmest wishes, John. P.S. That bastard gives us Pittsburghers a bad name. He was probably flying into the 'burgh, but lives in some outskirt where shit was handed over to him like he deserved it.

Ernie, Hey, Ernie. First of all I am in the US Navy and I am currently stationed in Kings Bay, GA. I just finished reading your most recent post regarding the Airman that was less than grateful for your generosity. While I am fortunate enough to be stationed close enough that I can drive home for the holidays, there are countless other servicemen and women who do not have that luxury. Also, as I am sure you are more than aware, the ones lucky enough to be afforded leave during Christmas don't always have the money to spend on a ticket home. I remember, very well, the financial constraints of being an E-1 and I can't imagine having to buy a plane ticket from overseas on that salary. At any rate, even though the Airman from your post may have seemed to be taking your organization for granted I just wanted to let you know that your efforts in bringing military members home is appreciated. I try to tell as many people as I can about LBEH and do my what I can to get the other members of my command to support your efforts. I am not sure how much of that translates into donations to your site, but I know that everyone I speak to about it is really appreciative of the fact that there is someone out there looking out for the little guy. So, just let me give you, Kat, and Bibi a heart felt THANK-YOU from my corner of the armed forces. You three really do make a difference in the lives of so many people, so please keep up the good work. Have a happy holidays, and I hope you all get to enjoy what you are trying so hard to provide to the complete strangers you help every day. FT1/SS Shore, USN

Ernie, I am gobsmacked!, this bloody idiot quite probably will never comprehend the umbrage his attitude, his arrogance, and his 'superior that thou' attitude has generated. I feel sorry for any serving members he may have authority over, in the Australian Defence forces, pricks like this eventually get some 'one on one' counselling, usually behind the barracks or late at night in the latrines, it usually 'sorts' them out. I would say to him, "Mate, wise up your attitude, you're not God's gift to anybody, the sooner you realise and accept it, the better off you'll be, currently, you're just a dickhead heading for a punch in the mouth". Erns, many thanks for your site, it is required reading every day here, you do a good job. Regards to you and your helpers, Stu, ex R.A.A.F.

As a current US Air Force member I find this completely disgusting and not at all cool. The kid should have been grateful that you were able to get him a ticket home without a dime coming from him. Yes I understand that he wanted to be home for one more day but from a financial standpoint i understand not wanting to spend $1100 more. I do think you did the right thing and hopefully can take the money from this ticket and give to a more deserving and grateful individual. Sad thing is I see it more and more every day with the newer people coming in. Some never had to work a day in their life and expect things to be given to them. They don't understand that not everything will go the way that they want it. Thanks for all the hard work and support. Jeremy, Pave Low Crew Chief

Ernie, As a long time reader of your site, I’d like to say thank you for everything you do, both for the troops and for the everyday reader. I just read your post about the ungrateful little prick stationed at Kadena and I want to say that it’s a damn shame that this had to happen. You and your staff at LBEH have the hearts and patience of saints. Had it been me in your position, I am not so sure I would’ve handled it so “calmly”. Either way the little bastard got what he deserved. Keep up the good work brotha. Milton.

Ernie, Thank you for helping so many with LBEH. I don't blame you for canceling that guys ticket i would have done the same thing. It is not easy helping other people you will always get some type of jackass like that in every group. I am the guy who sent you the pictures of R. Lee Ermey from the 17Th Annual Glock Shoot. I don't do anything as nice as you do with LBEH but i volunteer as a Range Officer with the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation and despite that everyone there is a member of GSSF and all the ROs are volunteers we get our share of jerks also. Why someone would want to be a jerk around a bunch of people with guns is beyond me. People complain about how long they have to wait most matches you do not wait long but the Glock annual shoot is the largest one of the year not to mention all the people who come to see R. Lee Ermey the company celebrity spokesman. But you can only move so fast safety first we have over 700 people come through everyone of them with a gun. They always book twice as many ROs as they actually need because we are there to shoot the match also. But it never fails i think some members assume a RO is a paid employee of Glock and they feel they can be your boss and talk to you like you are a slack ass employee that is not doing their job. Now all the information is in the member guidelines if they had bothered to read it they would now that the ROs take a break and shoot the match to. But i always get someone who wants to be jackass and try and put me in my place. Now a RO can request a shoot through so they can get back to work they do not have to wait but I was trying to be a nice guy I do not like people pulling rank on me so i choose to wait in line like everyone else. There was this woman in the front of the line she was next I was 3 shooters behind her. She was about four feet nine inches tall and had no neck she approached me and said a RO has absolutely no business shooting the match and she expected me to leave immediately. I said nothing to her as she approached to shoot next i stepped up and said i am requesting a shoot through the RO said of course so i took her spot and she had to wait until i finished. Boy was she mad but she never said anything to me again. LOL! Sincerely, John

Hey Bud, I'm very proud of you for the whole ticket response to the bunghole in okinawa. The reason i donate despite my financial means is because i remember those few holidays stationed in Germany where , because i couldnt afford a ticket home i had to stay on base and "enjoy" CQ. And truth be told, I remember crying too. I know there are men and woman who'd GREATLY appreciate something like that. I forwarded your link to most of my contacts awhile back and explained to the non-vets that just because you GET to go home doesn't mean you can afford to. GO ARMY! MERRY CHRISTMAS! and KEEP KICKIN ASS! The LT.

Outstanding job with that thankless prick. Probably the first time he has had to pay the ‘price’ for not just accepting a gift and saying a simple Thank You. If you’re into wasting more time with him, you should send a copy of the e-mail conversation to his command so when he starts bad-mouthing you they can also tell him to SDSTFU. Thanks for what you do for our service men and women. Great web site, keep up the good work. Navy Chief

Ernie, I served over 10 yrs in the Navy and during that time I spent 5 Christmas’ and Thanksgiving’s overseas. As far as I’m concerned you went above and beyond with Airman Doe. I know you’ll find a deserving soldier or sailor who’ll more than appreciate this gift. Merry Christmas!! Joe

Hi Ernie: For what its worth, I agreed with your handling of the whining Airman Doe. I completely agree that much more good could be done with the cost of his ticket with more servicemen who would probably be appreciative. Thanks for handling my contribution wisely, O great one! John

Ernie- Long time reader, sometime contributor to the site that keeps me comming back for years now. I hope the Dodge is still running strong. It's fucking freeeezing up here today, your old stomping grounds of Boston area. My Email address has since changed, and I expect to re-authorize my new one with your spam aware software. But to the point: Is it too late to donate to LBEH? Funds are tight, my wife just got laid off, and we are expecting our first kid in feb, but DESERVING service men and women should come home to visit with those that love them for the holidays. I presume a small donation is ok? I will click on the LBEH link tonite when I get gome and do some reading to lend a hand. Anyhow.. Your post today, PRICELESS. Not being thankful. Its a major fucking problem with our society now. No one is thankful as much as they used to be and it really really gets under my skin. I blame it on selfishness as you so eloquently stated. Keep on rocking this site. Any old car purchase or new bike comming up??? All the best. Peter

Ernie, I am a longtime lurker of your site. I really enjoy what you do and find you to be an intelligent and entertaining guy. I felt I had to respond to yesterdays post, which , if you knew me would surprise you. I'm the guy that hates to 'bother" people. Anyway, I agree with your decision to revoke this guys tickets. Although he is serving our country and I owe him respect for his service, he is an ungrateful,self centered prick.His attitude of entitlement and, as you said "hooray for me, fuck you" outlook, is, quite frankly, disgusting. I hope he enjoys his shit on a stick Christmas dinner. Hopefully he learns something (probably not) and adjusts his way of thinking. Keep up the good work. Paul B. PS I live in Massachusetts, someday I'll smarten up and bail out of this freezer like you did! LOL

Ernie, I was stuck with a detachment of Harriers on Kadena AFB in 1999 when my wife was about to give birth. I did not have the money to get home. Some of my buddies helped me out and got me home to MCAS Yuma, AZ. I barely made it, but I made it. I would have done something strange for some change outside of an AIDS treatment facility to get home. You were more than patient, gave him enough chances and he was still a prick. I hope you can use the 1,800 to get someone who appreciates it home. Sounds to me like he wants to get trashed for New Year's with a recovery day before he returns. My wife Kareena just dropped LBEH another $25.00 after she heard the story. Keep up the good work and thank you, Kat and Bibi for your continued service to our Military. Kevin

Okay, DAMN. There are times when I simply want to say "thank you" for some of the things you do -- this is definitely one of them. Hell, I'd kiss you on the mouth for reminding that guy that good people are donating for GOOD people. Thanks, Ernie -- and as I've told you before, if you make it through Birmingham AL, I'm buying a couple of rounds. Ho Ho Ho, Joel

Ernie- I just read your post today about the ticket cancellation. I don't always feel like the school of hard knocks approach is the way to go, but in this case, the kid (assuming age here) had it coming to him. Attitude is everything. Speaking from some law enforcement experience, sometimes you just have to ruin a persons day to get the point across. As a LBEH donor this year and last year, I'm pretty glad to see that my money is going to good folks. This action will keep my on the donors list for years to come. Well done, sir. Jon in Tulsa

Ernie, I've wanted to contribute to LBEH before but two things stopped me: 1. Too many charities waste contributions and are inefficient and ineffective. 2. I was forced into early retirement due to a disability. I have two children still in college and money has been pretty tight. However, after reading your summary of the selfish bastard and how you handled it, I know that you are making the most use of your contributions! I hope my small contribution helps another service man/woman get to come home for the holidays! Thank you and Kat for your work on LBEH. Louis

Hi Ernie, I'm a big fan of the site, and after reading your musings for years I've come to figure that you seem to be a guy who has passion for what he believes in. I also think that while I don't agree with your opinions every time, I do appreciate your reasoning. I work for a company that provides housing for folks who are mentally ill, physically challenged, or brain injured. I also volunteer for a brain injury treatment organization. Most of our clients are very appreciative of what we provide, but that leaves the odd one who is at the other end of the spectrum. Our company's mandate is to help these people, no matter their dickish behavior. I personally believe if you don't appreciate what you're getting, go fuck yourself because we've got a mile-long list of other people who could use the help. That's why I wanted to give you kudos regarding Airman Doe. I've been on the giving and receiving end of charity in my life, and polite gratitude is the LEAST someone should expect. By the way, thank you for your website, sir. I find it quite enjoyable. If you ever find yourself in Calgary, beer is on me. Sincerely, Lance

Ernie: Long time reader, contributed once, still looking for good stuff to send your way. I just read today's post on Airman John "But-but-but I want it NOW" Doe, and all I've got to say is GOOD ON YA. As someone who grew up in hard times, I can't understand how anyone could look at a free plane ticket back to the family for Christmas and say "That's great and all, but could it be a day later? Oh, it's how much more? Okay. So...can it be a day later?" THREE TIMES. You and your staff were a hell of a lot more patient than I would have been. I've got some friends in the service who would KILL for an opportunity like that, and be huge smiles and "thank-yous" all the way through. So, just wanted to say, nice work handling an asshole, great writing as per the usual, and I'm setting up a paypal as soon as I can so I can chip in for LBEH. Y'all do some damn fine work. Cheers, Barron

Hi Ernie, It is unfortunate that jerks like Airman Doe "ruin" things for all others. The fact that one is flying home at no expense to himself, should make oneself extremely grateful. You did the right thing about this matter and you showed much more restraint and compassion than I know I would have. I would have canceled his ticket immediately and probably contacted his C/O. A person can stand on a street corner giving out $100 dollar bills and some jerk will try to manipulate the system or complain about it. I'm sure Doe will complain that Ernie and LBEH are a bunch of "AH's" and probably tell his buddies so, if he has any. I have donated to LBEH, and only wish, I could do more. I am thankful everyday for our service men and women, and what I donate is only a small token of the gratitude I have for them. I thank you, Ernie and your LBEH staff, for what you do for the troops. It is a selfless thing you do. Take care, Bo

Hi Ernie- You know around the time you were an airman I had the ole flying meatball on my sleeve at Yokota AB, Japan. I saved all year to fly home, was about $200 short. Back then there was no LBEH- but I did (at my Mom’s begging) go see the Air Force Aid Society. They had pity on me and gave me the cash. I flew home, had a great Christmas, then when I got back in January and got paid, I made a $200 donation back to the aid society- because I’m not a self entitled douchebag. What you, Kat, and Bibi do is a wonderful and selfless service- not just for the men and women in uniform, but the lowest ranking who need it most. Thank each one of you for what you do for our finest citizens. And thank you Uncle Ernie for the boobies. You sir, are a gentleman and a patriot. You exercised entirely too much patience- Airman Asshole deserved the full Ernie treatment three emails in. Perhaps he learned a valuable lesson and will mend his ways- but I doubt it. On the plus side there’s another $1,800 for people who would appreciate it… Cliff

Now, not everyone had positive things to day, or perhaps wanted to urge me to exercise a little caution in the future. Speaking of, here's a nice story from last year. Ticket gets emailed out. No reply. Kat tries, Bibi tries, no reply. I try, no reply. We try calling, no reply. Gets to be a few days before this sailor was supposed to fly out, so we're looking at losing the ticket... non-refundable. So I write this bullshit angry email to him and his supervisor. Supervisor writes back. Sailor has been sent out to sea, can't reply, will be back in time to make his flight. Now I feel like an asshole. So I kept an eye on his itinerary and after giving him a few days home to unwind, called him at his parent's house and apologized. I still felt like an asshole, but least I had a clear conscience. Anyway, that weighed heav on my mind as this Airman Doe shit was unfolding, so trust me I didn't go off half cocked.

I do not question your decision to yank that douchebag’s ticket, but do think it was improper to announce it during the campaign. LBEH’s public fund raising is a feel good campaign, it plays on the better angels of its donors. Its public face should only sweetness & light until campaign is over. Should something like this happen again, let controversy happen after the season. Bad vibes can hurt fund raising. Just my $.02, I will continue to support LBEH in future years. Dave. Multi-year contributor

Over the past few days I've bounced a few emails back and forth with Dave, letting him know that I had the same concerns as he did, and ultimately why I decided to post the story anyway. And as it turns out, doing so was actually a beneficial thing as people stepped forward (a) wanting to make up for the donation I refunded to him and (b) feeling confident their donation wouldn't be mishandled or handed out in conveyor-belt fashion. Between the Ballad of Airman Joe on Monday and a plug on Fark yesterday, we've pulled in almost $11,000 in the past 48 hours. Dave's final response? "Fucking Awesome!"

Hello. I heard about your story on "Ernie's House of Whoopass" regarding the ungrateful soldier who messed up when talking to you guys and the punishment you gave him and I just wanted to leave a personal comment. I realize what he did was wrong. You guys are doing great work and are a fantastic organization (especially for being non-profit and doing this out of the goodness of your heart) but I feel like you made a mistake with this fellow. Yes, he seemed ungrateful in the segments you posted. And yes, he went behind Kat's back to ask Bibi but got roped in to responding ("please respond ASAP" and such) and clearly tried to distance himself once he realized his error. Was it worth it, though? You guys are committed to bringing troops home so that they can visit their families and when you tell someone that they have been chosen, they could have told their family that they got a ticket home. You might have made that guy realize his mistake but now he's not the only one to suffer for it... his family is as well. You state: "And just for the record, saying "I'm not trying to come off as selfish but..." does not absolve you from actually being selfish. If anything, it only sets the stage. But you also say: "Sometimes we forget there's a real person on the other side of that keyboard and we lose sight of that person-to-person communication. So again, my gentle reminder is usually more than enough to remind said person that Kat and Bibi put a lot of hours into this project so perhaps a few kinds words of appreciation are in order. " I don't want this to sound harsh but I'll try to explain it the best I can. Saying "Not that Kat, Bibi, or I do this for the ego stroking that comes with a heartfelt thank you..." but if you were so truly angry that you made a special effort to cancel this man's Christmas, that statement is less believable. The guy was trying to be nice and made a big mistake with you guys. I get that. But ruining his chance to be with his family doesn't just hurt him... it hurts them too. So I ask again, was it truly worth it? Kat's email seemed more than enough to indicate to this guy that he should have been more grateful... if he had mailed you back with an angry response, I could see that as grounds for dropping his ticket. But if the posts you linked were really all he said, was it worth it to cancel this guy's reunion with his family? And yes, I get it. It's your money (and all the kind folks who donate to you), not his. It's technically YOUR ticket. It just seems a little petty; your organization makes special efforts to send troops home, not give them and their families a false sense of hope and then dash it away because they weren't thankful. Your post didn't bring feelings of justice to me... it brought feelings of sadness and pity for the guy and especially for his family who thought they'd see him on Christmas. I would like to close again with how much I appreciate what you guys do. I have some friends in the military and they and their families (and by extension, I) really hold you in high esteem. Thank you! I would also like to state that I hope you do not take offense to this observation but rather treat it as something to think about. I felt really bad after reading the story and couldn't stop myself from trying to bring my perspective to the table. -Bear P.S. I really mean it when I say "don't take offense." I don't want you to feel as if I'm judging you with this email... I perfectly understand your reasons but thought that you'd appreciate another perspective on the whole story. Please don't be angry with me.. I would hate to incur the wrath of such a fantastic group of people. Have a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year!

I guess I can sum this up in the words of the great Mr. Spock. The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few. I think I had mentioned that if his ticket were around $300-$400 -- which is a relatively inexpensive domestic flight -- I'd probably have let him slide. But at $1,800 his ticket was one of the most expensive on our list this year. Airman Doe didn't seem appreciative at all. In fact, he seemed to feel he was quite entitled to this ticket. Come January or February, I don't think he'd have thought any more about the folks at LBEH, than he would have a month old magazine. To me, that means we've made no impact. And I've got a responsibility to the people who donate, to make sure their donations make the biggest as possible. I can appreciate your perspective but I'm not in the life-lesson-teaching business. I'm in the going-balls-out to get stuff done business. I'm in the stretching-the-money and the making-he-biggest-impact-that-I-can-with-what-i-have business. We always have more requests than we have funds for, which means I always have to tell people "no". I would much, much, much rather tell someone like this no because of how he acted, than someone who is honestly and truly deserving of a ticket because we simply don't have any money left.

And so, Ballad of Airman Does rides off into the sunset. Or to the chow hall, whichever visual you prefer. As for LBEH, we continue taking donations and ticket requests right up until until the new year. In fact, we've just received a fresh batch of ticket requests that we're working on. So as always... donate early and donate often!

hey you know how all the heavy construction equipment goes BEEP-BEEP-BEEP- as they're backing up? Yeah, here's why. not safe for lunch.

This is the result of three bucks all fighting for one lady. They had the bank of this creek all tore up. All together I estimated the deer to score well over 400 inches of antler. The biggest one was a massive 6x5, approx 165 inches. the other two were around 130 or so. What a loss. Rocky

Eva Longoria is back in the news, as if she ever left. This time, it is a stinging rumor from the National Enquirer that she was unfaithful in her marriage to Tony Parker. It seems that the Spurs point guard was not the only one to withhold some sexy secrets. The National Enquirer has rumors that Eva Longoria may have had an affair with Lance Armstrong. But it also insinuated there could be more co-stars and friends she may have been friendly with, namely Kiefer Sutherland, Justin Timberlake, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx. With that many interested parties, who is to say that she did not philander within the realm of sport. Let's put our gossip hats on and dish. Here are the athletes that Eva Longoria could have cheated on Tony Parker with.

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