Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans' Day 2014


The reasons for joining the military are usually more complicated than patriotism, love of country, and sacrifice. The reasons for going to war are usually more complicated than protecting freedom, spreading democracy, and right versus wrong or good versus evil. Someday, we may live in a world where a military is not necessary, and a world where our leaders don't use their military personnel to achieve wrong-minded and immoral goals. We don't live in that world today. With mixed feelings and troubled mental waters around the broader issues, I will say this, the people I knew in the military were the absolute finest sort of people. My time in the military taught me the extent of what is possible in all aspects of life, friendship, loyalty, self-sacrifice, work ethic, determination, goal-oriented-living, success, satisfaction, insight, sadness, despair and loss. I learned so much about the real world in the military, that I would never unmake the choice to join (unless I somehow could've been born with all the knowledge I have now). There are few roles in the world that can take a person into such intense circumstances, where the good, the bad and the ugly are all wrapped up in one flag draped generation's memories after another. The prayer that I have is that we veterans can teach future generations that there is at least as much honor (if not more) in civilians' preventing our leaders from sending men and women to war, when that war is unnecessary or unjust, as there is in military personnel offering their lives when that sacrifice is truly called for.