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 the insincere exaltation of the military

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PostSubject: the insincere exaltation of the military   Wed May 12, 2010 4:18 pm

One thing that always gets on my nerves is the undying love that everyone proclaims to have for the military. when they say this, what they are really trying to do is use the troops as a means to show how "patriotic" (they mistake this for virtue) they are themselves. Then they seek out any criticism of the military and act as if its unjustified, and an attempt to demonize the troops. i propose that the main reason for this over the top adulation comes from a sense of gratitude, mixed with some disdain for how anti-war protesters treated Vietnam veterans that returned from war, but more importantly, guilt. we realize that these kids are forced to make sacrifices that most people don't want to make, and in all honesty are usually not worth it, and we feel guilty. and to alleviate that some of that feeling, they build up the notion of war and duty to your country.
This annoys me for three primary reasons. one that they are ordinary people, not infallible, and therefore capable of mistakes, meaning that they should be closely scrutinized because of the power that they are given. I myself don't hold them in any higher regard than i do a regular citizen, except or until they prove themselves individually worthy of exaltation. which often means i am the heathen that is so reprehensible as to question the effectiveness or necessity of their use. The second reason this pisses me off is that it accomplishes nothing. If you do not want soldiers to die unnecessarily, then stop fighting unnecessary wars.
The third reason this pisses me off, and it is more to the point that i am trying to get at here, is the insincerity of the comment. i will start with small examples of actions that indicate the dishonesty in this statement and work my way up.
first, if the majority of people supported and believe in the nobility and sacrifice that they proclaim is the backbone of the military, why don't they serve themselves? or request their children to serve? why did we abolish the draft if giving your life for your country is the pinnacle of virtue? Why was the draft abolished? as a matter of fact, people don't believe in war, or nation building when it's their ass on the line. The draft was abolished (of course it wasn’t presented in this manner) to prevent wealthy people from having to risk their lives in combat. So what they are really saying is: this war isn’t worth risking my life for, but I’m fine with risking yours for it.
Then there are the even more apparent and contemptible examples of their “love” for the soldiers. This is in the form of their treatment of soldiers who return with mental and physical disabilities. The story about the VA hospital, Walter Reed broke about three years ago now, and it is a disgusting example of how much society cares about people who are out-of-sight-out-of-mind. The soldiers, who were in the care of this hospital experienced not only neglect, but also unsanitary conditions which in some cases caused their health to deteriorate (via infections). These conditions are not acceptable from any health care provider, so why would we allow people we supposedly hold in high regard to suffer in them?
Then there is the homeless situation. About twenty-three percent of the homeless population consists of veterans. Only thirteen percent of the actual population consists of veterans, so that is a very significant number. This number is influenced by wars, causing the numbers to rise because troops can come back with mental illnesses or substance abuse problems which are two main factors in homelessness. Once more I will ask if the sacrifices made by these individuals were truly appreciated, would we not do more to ensure that they get the proper medical treatment when they can home? which would go a long way towards keeping them of the streets as well.

Last edited by PlagueBearer94 on Sun May 16, 2010 5:50 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: But I bought a bumper sticker..   Thu May 13, 2010 10:49 pm

Excellent post. I agree for the most part, especially about the homeless population and medical treatment. However, I do not believe that anyone feels guilty at all for the soldiers, it is the opposite. The majority of people imagine life as a soldier as some grand and glorious life of doling out justice in some magically peaceful way. That is why everyone acts so appalled anytime they hear a story about an innocent dieing, or worse yet an enemy soldier being tortured. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind explains half of it, but the other half is the distorted version of reality people create for themselves.
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