Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Choice to Serve

Vietnam War Memorial 

I COMMEND THE SOLDIERS AND FELLOW VETERANS WHO SIGNED ON THE DOTTED LINE TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY IN COMBAT SHOULD THEY BE CALLED TO DO SO...NO MATTER WHAT IT MAY COST THEM. Unfortunately, the definition of "national defense" is no longer the seemingly straight-forward, mostly honor-bound, purpose it was in days of yore. Because of that the associated "cost" to the individual soldier may be even higher than what was once considered an "acceptable" risk....
Though the risks for the individual soldier are clear and still dire in combat situations, the present mission is often hazy. It gives new meaning to the concept of "signing your life away." However, if NOBODY was willing to "sign their life away" who would be there, ready to move at a moment's notice, when National Defense is the true call to action? 

Saw this shared article shortly after seeing "Heroes don't wear capes they wear dog tags" on a T-shirt  and thinking. "True but it doesn't mean ALL people who wear dog tags are heroes". 

It is dangerous and misleading to assign any population with unanimous faults or attributes. Doing so implies that all in that population have the same motives, intentions, and goals...including those in a position of leadership. 

The article also discusses the antiquated use of the word "hero" to promote enlistment. Perhaps it is better NOT to "market" our soldiers at all (for the purposes of increased enlistment) but, to let individual integrity, or lack-there-of, stand for itself.

 As a nation our citizens must be ready to serve when called and must be equally able to realize that the call-to-action also means acting like responsible CITIZENS, capable of acknowledging our own power to control leading entities, instead of as a collective of tenants at the mercy of its leaders.
Service does not ALWAYS mean armed-combat. 

Fortunately...thanks to the soldiers who came before us...we have the right in America to CHOOSE if we are willing to be on call for that National Defense moment...Soldiers who do so now, are not only potentially putting their lives on the line for an honorable cause. They are also subjecting themselves to all of the questionable motives/consequences/incidents discussed in this article...so that they CAN be ready if/when they are needed for the "other kind" of "war" that WOULD inevitably occur if they were NOT. 

Also, thanks to the numerous soldiers who came before us...our citizens can CHOOSE not to make that commitment...and/or we can choose to be active, educated, informed, citizens who participate in the selection of our leaders who make these decisions. ...we can even choose to BECOME one of those leaders.

Lastly, thanks to those soldiers who came before us...If it be their truest heart's desire; our citizens can even CHOOSE to exist as inactive apathetic couch potatoes...and they can complain about all of the wrongs in the world that have been imposed upon them by the people who are not on the couch. 

Thanks to the American Soldiers who came before us, we own these choices.  

Other issues which effect these choices: 
A former Army Ranger says he doesn’t want to be thanked for his service—he wants politicians to stop sending young soldiers off to die.
Why the United States should spread democracy (1998)

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