It’s Veterans day, commemorating the end of world War One, The Great War. It’s good that it ended, but because the politicians didn’t know much about psychology or economics, they ended it badly, guaranteeing a rematch. Ouch. In any case, just a few thoughts.
I volunteered and served in the Army Reserve. Drove boats for them – at the time is was MOS 12C (bridge crewman) a subcategory of combat engineer specializing in bridging. Also spent time packing an M60 around. I was in during the first Gulf War but not deployed. I did my six years and got out. My dad and his brother were both drafted around the Korean War, served their time, got out. My mom’s brother was career Air Force, and her dad was in during the 30′s (army, horse- and mule-back unit) and WW II (coastal patrol, kind of vague on navy vs coastguard). My brother in law is retired regular AF, now in the AF reserves as an E9, senior NCO on the airbase. A great uncle was in the Spanish American war. My wife’s “adoptive” dad was a gunner in WW II on a troop transport, saw kamikaze attacks landing troops on Okinawa. [Later edit: Oh, yes, I don't want to forget the great aunt that was a WAAC. She wound up in North Africa in WW II]
I always thought it interesting that there was never much talk about “duty” and all, no strong service rivalry. It was just sort of a “respectable thing to do if it was a good fit” sort of thing, but it still rubbed off on me that it was more of a “very good thing to do unless it was a very bad fit.” I know it’s not for everyone. But it is done for everyone, even those that hate the military – and I think that’s one of those things that galls the peace-niks on the left most. They can’t stand the idea that maybe the military where they couldn’t or wouldn’t serve MIGHT be necessary, and really MIGHT be doing it for them as well, and that level of selflessness from people they despise and look down on just totally rubs them raw. On the other side of the coin, for all the inter-service rivalry, trash-talking and competition, at the end of the day they all respect each others signing up and going through it.
But it seems like there are increasingly two Americas, one that doesn’t expect it deserves anything, and as a result it volunteers and serves (or at least supports and understands those that do), and those that expect to be given a lot, have a sense of entitlement, and at the some time don’t serve or honestly respect those that do. Not sure what it all means, or where that’ll lead, but it doesn’t strike me as a good thing.
Those those that served, cheers! To those that understand, thanks for your support.