Thursday, June 16, 2005

Not My Son...

The Boston Globe is at it again. This piece describes a mother's fear and discouragement of her son joining the military.

I don't want to be here. Duty is why I am here. I know that is a foreign concept to some people. You support your nation. Especially in times like these.

I really miss my family. But they understand why I am here. Have you ever had to explain to a five year old boy that you are going away and may never come back? Have you had to put it in words that he would understand? Take out WMDs, Take out global politics. It boils down to this:

“Daddy has to go to a place called Iraq. It is very far away. There are bad people there. Daddy is going to kill them, and they are trying to kill me. Daddy is one of the good guys, and the good guys fight the bad guys. Sometimes the good guys win, and sometimes the good guys get killed. But daddy doesn't want the bad guys to come here and hurt you and mommy and Adelle. I love you too much to let that happen. Even if it means that I may die.”

So discourage your son. Tell him there are other ways to "serve." Tell him to carry a sign, protest, do whatever he wants, but stay at home and be safe. Be a sheep, because other men will take it upon themselves to be sheepdogs and protect you from the wolves.

Feel free to question their methods and motives. Feel free to burn the flag they wear on their uniforms. Feel free to do what you want to do with your life, because they have bled, they have sacrificed; they have given more to you than you will ever give to them.

Just don't ever look them in the eye and call them brother.

Don't ever consider that you are a peer of these men and women. Because they know what sacrifice means. They know what freedom is, and what it costs. They know what it feels like to be scared to their very souls and continue to fight.

I would like to talk to her son. I would not glorify or even try to otherwise recruit him. I would simply tell him that in a couple of years, he will have the option to join. He will be able to make that decision of his own free will, which, in and of itself is a freedom that was guaranteed by the blood of so many others like me. He will not be pressed into service; he will not be forced to serve. He is able to make the choice, like so many others, to do what he wants to do. To do what he thinks is right.

If able to serve, do so. If not, support those who do. Protesting doesn’t support the nation any more than not voting supports a candidate. Simply, I don’t like what you are doing so I am going to protest it to show that I don’t support what you are doing. Because I live in a free country, where I can say/do what I want, I will protest, which shows my support for my rights, and in turn, the country. If you represent my county, and I don’t support you, I still support you by protesting you, because my protesting shows how much freedom I have.

I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense. I can’t make it make sense no matter how many times I write it.

There’s a rant in here somewhere. I’ll make it very brief, as I have a meeting to get to.

Stay at home and protest all you want. Don’t support me, or my government. I would be here regardless of who was in office, if not here, then elsewhere doing the same thing. Be safe, be happy, live your life. But don’t ever think that I will consider you equal, because without me, you wouldn’t be able to do any of it.

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)


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