It's Good To Know Someone Has Your Back
I understand you would rather not support any of us in the Armed Forces right now. Fine. That is your right as an American. I feel the premise of your article is flawed, but I will leave it to others to dissect that.
One thing I have to comment on, however.
You wrote: I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country.
Your implication is that those of us serving grew up poor, did terrible in school and serve constantly. I'll take the last point as a compliment. The other two, sir, are fallacious.
I believe I am fairly representative of the Army's officer corps (although I began my career as an enlisted infantryman).
Sir, I grew up quite comfortably upper middle class. I earned a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Illinois (both in History). I also earned a J.D. from Northern Illinois University. I have been an Assistant State's Attorney (more of that darn service again...) a private-sector trial attorney and currently work in the insurance industry.
So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.
"a fighting tool of American imperialism"? Really, sir, that is so 1968.
When I joined it was 1985 - perhaps you remember who our prime enemy at the time was - the USSR (remember them? Berlin Wall, The Gulag Archipelago, invading Afghanistan, the Czech Spring? Hungary in 1956? No? Doesn't ring a bell?) Since then I have helped keep the peace in Bosnia, helped Afghanistan try to rejoin the rest of the world, assisted in civil relief with the 1993 Mississippi Floods, helped after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If called, I will go to Iraq and I would gladly list that with all those other efforts.
And you needn't trouble yourself at all. I won't count on your support one little bit.
But it's really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I'm listed in the phone book.
How very brave of you sir. Listed in the phone book. I salute your bravery in joining all the other opinion columnists that have been beaten by American military personnel. I would love to know if you really think one of us would care enough to do anymore than turn the page (or click away from the screen as the case may be) after reading your opinion and say, "Feh". I did more than I thought I would by taking my lunch break to fisk your piece...
I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.Seriously, the traffic is insufferable.
Thanks sir, I would suspect your "we" doesn't live in my part of the country. If your little corner of the world doesn't want to throw a parade, dandy. The rest of us just might happen to ignore you. Oh, and thanks for not advocating spitting on us - big of you.