The Modern Soldier

Today is Memorial Day, so in addition to thinking of departed soldiers, take a moment to think of the sacrifices made by our country’s soldiers. They are people like you and me, torn from their daily lives and deposited on the other side of the world. There they have been put in a dangerous environment, their lives constantly at stake, with insufficient training and equipment. Upon their return, they will see their veterans’ benefits cut by the very same people who put them in that situation and claim to support them. The very same people who are more than willing to send these soldiers into combat to fight, but were unwilling to do so themselves and are unwilling to send their own children.

In addition, these fighting men and women are placed in a situation where they are ordered to perform tasks that most people would find abhorrent. Our leaders have decided that torture is just dandy, and leave it to our soldiers to perform this task. When such actions are exposed, the same people that gave the orders feign shock and happily serve up the soldiers as scapegoats.

All of this is done in the name of a war which was predicated upon not one lie, but several lies. All of the reasons we were given for going to war in Iraq have turned out to be lies — not changes in emphasis, not misstatements, not poor choices based on faulty information, but flat-out lies. Perhaps the only true thing said was that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant who was cruel to his own people, although his tyranny and cruelness was not a problem when Donald Rumsfield was selling him weapons so that he would fight people we hated even more.

Memorial Day, however, is intended to remember our fallen soldiers, who have died in the line of duty. In our current climate, though, recognizing their sacrifice is considered “controversial“. Apparently soldiers should be killed and not seen. Even when the fallen soldier is famous, his death is to be lied about. And yet, these are the people who claim to support the troops because they have yellow ribbon magnets on their cars.

The best way to memorialize our deceased soldiers is to make sure there’s no more of them than need be. To not send them in unless absolutely necessary, to make sure they have the proper equipment and training once they’re there, to give them an honorable cause for which to fight, to remove them as soon as possible, and to thank them for their work with proper care and service once they return.

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One Response to The Modern Soldier

  1. Lanf says:

    Yesterday, I found out that a friend of mine had been “activated” – his unit is being shipped off to Iraq. They gave him 2 weeks notice where he’s supposed to get 4 months. 2 weeks to get his stuff in order and report for duty. He’s oddly gung-ho about it. He said during our phone conversation stuff like, “Iraq isn’t gonna change me – I’m gonna change Iraq.” Further along, he admitted that he’s going to be disappointed about all the movies he’ll miss for the 12 months he’s gone…and that he was “gonna kill me a Hajii for every movie I miss.” I guess basic training did its job on him.

    This kind of thing has to stop.