Friday, August 24, 2007

I support the troops, etc. etc.RANT!!

(click to enlarge the picture)
Preface to rant..I was a soldier for 20 years. I served my country with honour and with respect.
Rant mode on....I keep watching the news, and see people who say "I support the troops but I don't support the mission". Like all sloganeering, this one carries a seed of truth which has grown out of proportion, and resulted in a complete reversal of reality.
Every soldier is there because he volunteered to serve his country. He is acutely aware that unlike some yokel who only votes once in a while, he is putting his "vote" out there every single day since his enlistment! More than any other person in the nation, he IS the government, he IS THE MISSION.

The nation that got invaded swore that there would be one dead soldier every day there was a foreign presence on his soil. They kept their promise. You gonna tell me that an army of Iranians invading New Jersey would not face the same, or greater? I thought so! And the Taliban over in Afganistan are proving to be a tougher nut to crack than we thought due to this somehow overlooked opium mafia which is supporting it!

And if you look at the statistics, you will likely find that because the boys in theatre are not allowed to drink, drive, or go boating, motorcycling, surfing, or any of a thousand other things which attract young, horny boys with active cajones that there are fewer casualties at the end of the year than there would be if they stayed in garrison! I feel for every mother that weeps for a wounded or dead son, BUT you can't keep these fellas down, they ain't momma's boys! They gonna raise hell.

Promotion possibilities are much more likely in theatre than back home pounding a parade square. And no, it is not because of casualties, (remember, there are fewer than when they are home!) but because they get a chance to show their stuff, let their supervisors see how good they are, and to show themselves just how darned good their training has made them! Personal development has its own price.

Rant mode off.

Ahhh, I feel better now. I just had to get this off my chest. I know, its hard to imagine that a soldier actually WANTS to do his job, and will happily do it for the real and perceived rewards. Men I know that learned welding, teaching, mechanics, computer technology, and believe it or not, film making from the military are always prepared to give back. The "Mission" as perceived by civilians is so vague, unfocused, and spun with political bias as to be nothing more than a straw man.
(I hope I am using that phrase right...grin! I hate using buzz words wrongly!)

email me at if you disagree, or feel free to comment. I only delete spam comments! Or visit my blog I just posted a bunch of pictures from my trip to Ypres which put things into perspective for me.

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