seawasp (seawasp) wrote,
seawasp
seawasp

A Salute to the Veterans...

They chose, or in some cases, were chosen, to serve our country in many capacities. A lot of them in the capacity of placing their lives directly in the line of fire of other people. Even those not specifically in the line of fire were still targets of the enemy, and remain so. They often work long hours at jobs most of us comfortable people at home would avoid like the plague, and none of them are paid what they're worth. For those who lived but were badly wounded, often there's no pay sufficient to make up for the loss. Many of them, of course, never came home again.

Whether you agree with the war or conflict that they're sent into, you should salute those who are being sent, or who have been. A country can, and does, make mistakes. Soldiers are the ones who pay first -- both for our mistakes, and for our freedom. Do not blame them for the first, for they are fighting for the latter.

I could not make it in their ranks; I tried [EDIT: To be clear, I did not make it through basic]. Ironically, twenty years later I probably would have been able to handle it, but it was a bit late by then. But that short attempt taught me what kind of a man or woman is needed to be a good soldier -- one who can take orders, even nonsensical or dangerous orders, without flinching; one who can give orders quickly and decisively; one who has accepted that no matter what their position in the military, they may one day be asked to hurt or kill another living human being with gun, or missile, or even hand to hand, and even die doing so; and one who may, if that terrible choice comes, have to with full knowledge of the consequence decide to question or disobey an order because it is not a lawful one.

I salute the men and women of our armed services, present and past, for what they have given us, and continue to give us, and wish them well on this day.
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