Actually, You may be surprised as to exactly how many years I've been boating. For the record, while I have never been part of the armed forces I too have served on behalf of the United states, (USCGA). Not in the same capacity as you, and in a much smaller and more limited scope, but I too am proud of my time spent and served. Regardless, I want to personally thank you for your service and allowing us both to make our points in an open forum such as this.
I also agree with you in that idiots will always do stupid things. He11, even smart folks will screw up once in a while. But a safety lanyard is no comparision to things like seat belts and motorcycle helmets. I won't replay the sad events and traumatic stories you've already read. I won't even pull out any boxes, soap or otherwise. But make no mistake, I'm not the slightest bit ambarrassed by my stand on the subject or my position I take.
So, just for the sake of "counterpoint", Let's say a family member that is the most near and dear to your heart is killed by a runaway boat that has lost its Captain, who BTW, refuses to wear a safety lanyard.
Simply ask yourself this question...
What point would you want to "communicate" to that captain?
Now let's take it a step further, what if you were that captain?
Call me whatever you want, but don't think I'm embarrassed because I stand up for what I think is right, or against what I think is wrong.