Today is the birthday of The Marine Corps. Even as I write this I know that several of my friends and buddies I went to boot camp with are in Afghanistan. They are part of the continuing presence there determined to deny the Taliban and Al Qaeda safe refuge in that country. I think about these guys often and worry for their safety. It’s not just them though but all the men and women overseas. Tomorrow is Veteran’s day. Originally created after the First World War to commemorate the day the armistice was signed and fighting stopped it would eventually become a holiday to honor all those who have fought and served this country’s military.
I think now is a good time to point out the superhuman effort the people serving in our military put forth everyday as part of their job. Most of these young men and women never wanted to go to war or thought they would. Yet when the call came they went and some died and many more have been wounded. Whether they agreed with the reasons for going these people continue doing their best in environments and situations that would make the average American cry. If you think it’s tough walking across a parking lot in the heat of summer, try walking fifty miles across mountainous desert terrain carrying a hundred pounds of gear on your back with little to no sleep for days on end, all so when you do arrive you can be shot out and mortared relentlessly by an enemy you can’t see or fire back at.
Never mistake that the young people serving in our nation’s military are warmongers, bullies, or brutes. They are people who have learned that freedom has a price that must be paid. In America today we often forget that there were no super powers crossing the globe handing out democracy in 1776. The colonist of The United States had to fight to win it. Then just a few years later fight again to keep it. It was not given to us and no true freedom can be given to any people. Violence is not always the acceptable course of action and today we like to tell ourselves that we are above such things and that violence itself is never the answer. To those people I say it’s obvious you know little about the world at large or history as a whole. Regardless of how you feel though tomorrow I think you should thank the veterans you meet. Shake their hand and tell them thank you for the sweat, and blood. These people stood up when so many won’t and defended your right to disagree and to refrain.