Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Updated 9:55 am November 13, 2013
Our military is not our government
by Allison Williams Nov 10, 2013 8:19 pm Tags: freedom of speech, government, Military, respect, right to freedom of speech, Veterans Day
As a ‘90s child, a nation at complete peace is basically a foreign concept. I hardly remember a time when war and the military haven’t been issues or made headlines.
I have only known a country that has had a military presence in another country.
Political debates about the next military action and casualty counts flash on the news and in the papers.
What was once front-page news has slowly become a footnote. A quick “Oh, by the way” before people part ways.
I can remember after Sept. 11, a patriotic fervor planted itself in nearly every heart across America. And as the years have passed, I’ve noticed the change in sentiments.
Patriotism has turned into something similar to annoyance. Now, I see a large portion of people who don’t support the war. Unfortunately, I often see this coupled with an unpleasant view of the military.
Not agreeing with a war shouldn’t equate to not supporting our troops.
I may not agree with the actions of our government or the invasions and wars they declare, but I can’t assign blame onto the men and women they send to fight for them.
Whatever my political beliefs are, I am always thankful I live in America.
Do we have our problems? Yes, but in comparison, I don’t think ours are really that bad.
I may not be proud of every decision the national powers make, I confess that I’m not, but I think I’m blessed.
I’m blessed and thankful for the many men and women who have lost their lives throughout our history and the many others who risk theirs to protect the freedoms that many of us take for granted.
Our freedom of speech is something that we highly regard and respect in America. We can speak out against our government, usually without any fear. We can critique and be vocal about what we think is going wrong in our nation, and we hold hope that our voices will be heard.
It’s almost turned into an excuse to speak before we think.
It’s unfortunate that this freedom has resulted in some people turning their spiteful words toward the people who risk their lives to defend our right to do so.
In order to not support our military, we would have to believe that every single person was of the same mind and belief as the government.
According to the U.S. Census in its 2012 statistical abstract, there were 1,088,465 active duty military personnel in 2009. Add to that the 819,318 people in the National Guard and the reserves. That’s a total of 1,907,783 people, not including civilian personnel.
To think that almost 2 million people (more than that if you consider the 709,265 civilian personnel) all have the exact same thoughts about a war or invasion as the government is far-fetched, to say the least.
These men and women put aside their personal viewpoints and risk their lives. I doubt all of the people who have lost their lives in a war wholeheartedly agreed with the war, but they did what they were ordered to do. They put their own lives on the line for something they may despise, because that is their job.
They didn’t sit down with the president or Congress to decide what to do. They are told what to do.
Many of us go to a job every day, do what we’re told and go about our day.
It’s the same thing with military personnel, only there is a lot more on the line with their job.
It’s one thing to disagree with our government, it’s our right, but we should be careful to never confuse our unhappiness with our government with our respect for our troops.
You can disagree with a war and still support the men and women who fight it.
Ted Rudow III, MA ·
You can call the U.S. the world's leading champion of peace, considering how many wars and conflicts it's been involved in and considering how eager it is to sell arms to those who would start new ones or keep old ones going!__ Ask the Palestinians, who are being tear-gassed by American-made chemicals, shot by American weapons, and bombed by American missiles, how peaceful the U.S. is. Ask the Latin Americans who died at the hands either of governments or guerrillas wielding American arms how peaceful the U.S. is. Or ask the millions of others who are involved in conflicts in Africa, Asia, the Mideast and Europe, fueled and kept going by low-cost American arms, how peaceful the U.S. is.__ If the U.S. would export half as much peace as it does weapons--working on feeding the poor, clothing the needy, and providing jobs to the destitute--then it would make the world a far better place!