Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Our" Troops

Bring home "our" troops. Or, send more of "our" troops. I no longer look at the US military personnel as "ours." I see them more as ordinary government employees that do what the government tells them to. They're not much different from social workers, mailmen, building inspectors or highway workers.

I don't mean any offense to those who "serve" in the military or to their relatives. I'm sure some would take offence, though. I have a number of family and friends who either have served or are currently serving. But our culture seems to have placed a higher view upon the soldier than most other jobs. Almost a worshipful deification. Ironically, though, active military personnel during a war often work long, grueling hours overseas in terrible conditions risking death for almost no money. Some appreciation from those who claim to support them. Whatever happened to soldiers plundering the enemy and keeping the booty? Now that's an incentive to fight.

I don't quite understand those in the military - even reservists - who object to being sent overseas, such as in the case of Iraq, or of their families who complain that the President is breaking a promise that they'd be home by Thanksgiving or Christmas or whenever. Are they completely ignorant of repetitive history? "Gee whiz, I never expected to be called up." Huh? Did you really expect the President to keep his promise to have the troops home by a certain date? He's not even in control of the outcome of the war, let alone the enemy. The enemy fights back.

Military life - love it or leave it.


  1. The only thing that disturbs and annoys me is that the Guard are treated as if they were the Reserve. It seems to me that they should have different functions and roles.

  2. James,
    I agree. As I understand it, each Guard is under the authority of its own state, so when the President calls up the Guard, he's using it for something it wasn't intended.

  3. I reckon the glorification of soldiers is mostly in the abstract. Many harbor a secret contempt for them, but one is ecpected to praise them and call them heroes whenever one can.. Otherwise, they might start to demand more money, and recruiting might be even harder if the "prestige" factor didn't at least appear to exist.

    And see what support for the troops consists of in reality: chintzy ribbon magnets on cars.