Date: May 26, 2014
In my mind, probably the most somber U.S. national holiday in existence is Memorial Day…
This is, of course…a national day in memory of all soldiers who have lost their lives, in service to this country.
It is hard to really reconcile a lot of things in this complicated world…I consider war to be a crime against humanity, and yet…life is not so simple, as to be able to imply that the people sent off to these wars, “deserved their fate”.
…In fact…our fallen soldiers…all fallen soldiers, with few exceptions…are every bit as much victims of this crime against humanity…as anybody else impacted by it.
I wish the solution to this crime against humanity, were as simple as everyone refusing to take part in it…The ambitions of some, have refused to allow this…because so long as there are violent aggressors in this world…there must be credible, substantive force to defy them…to stop them, from destroying order in this world…to stop them from brutalizing and murdering the defenseless and the weak.
Soldiers come in many different styles…Of all I have had the privilege to serve with, a miniscule few have I even suspected to be serving for reasons of malicious and vulgar blood lust…Overwhelmingly, I have found that soldiers serve for all the right, upstanding and ethical reasons…and that most of them never want to take another humans life.
For some, it is easy to set out there…with idealistic viewpoints…point fingers and throw rocks at soldiers…It is easy to act, as though “they deserved it”…It is easy to ignore everything going on in this world, and say the soldier “just should not have been there”…that they “should have defied the government”…that they “got what they deserved”, when coming back dead or crippled…Some have even suggest, that allowing yourself to be sent off to war is…”cowardly”, in comparison to serving time in prison, or deserting and living as a criminal fugitive.
…As soldiers…when we take an oath of service, it is not only our bond…but what we do when faced with the moment of truth, is what defines our true integrity and character…
…There is no act committed on this planet, which displays more pure, raw bravery…than to walk into a theater of chaos, where you know your own death is looming in high probability. Facing your fate when you know these are the stakes…when you know, you are not that good with a rifle…when you feel you are entirely out of place…when you just know, that in the middle of this chaos, you are likely to end up amongst the dead…there is nothing more sobering…than facing this type of a pending death sentence.
People who lay their lives on the line in defense of others, deserve nothing but the utmost of respect. Their personal flaws fall by the wayside…and it makes me personally ill, to witness anybody disparage these people, or belittle them as human beings…or even devalue the numerous sacrifices they have made…
The people who speak in dogmatic, idealistic terms about this issue…virtually none of them have ever had to walk this path. If they ever had…they would not even consider behaving in the way that they do…because they would know what it is like, to live the many realities of a soldiers life…
We face a lot of really horrible things in this world…and while on some level, many of them don’t seem to make any sense…they are still the realities we find ourselves thrust into, even when we want nothing to do with them.
Soldiers are people forced to make the hardest choices imaginable…with the steepest consequences imaginable…this is a very harsh road, which deserves empathy and respect towards those traveling it.
…And the fact that we no longer have the draft in the U.S., is no excuse to attack U.S. soldiers…The draft was done away with, for many sound reasons…One major reason, is that it raised the over all standard of quality, in soldiers being brought in. The draft was fraught with problems, including the infamous issues of Vietnam…where in, the war became a trade off for prison, in the case of many violent, even mentally ill criminals [some of whom were sociopaths]…We will never even know, how many of our own were sent off to be slaughtered by our own soldiers, who never even had a chance because someone who rightly belonged in a prison cell was “dumped into a fox hole” with them.
No…the U.S. soldier has been spat upon for far too long, and from far too many corners, by ignorant people…when the individual who is that soldier, is just trying to make the right decision in an impossible situation.
Nobody has standing, to judge these individuals for their service…Nobody at all, anywhere…and those with arrogant chips on their shoulders, who fancy themselves right to throw stones…they should hope, and pray to anything they are inclined to pray too…that they are never forced to face this brutal choice, themselves…
Many people lack the courage and strength of character, to face this with integrity and dignity…Those who do face this, never come out of this experience the same…if at all.
This demands respect…especially for those who lost everything.