I'm a bleeding heart liberal and a peacenik. I opposed the war in Iraq before it ever started and thought President Obama's escalation of the war in Afganistan was a huge mistake. But this Veteran's Day I want to express my gratitude to the men and women in our armed forces. In an age of increasing selfishness and self-centeredness, where so many people seem to have the shallowest of lives and values, these are people who are willing to dedicate their lives and risk maiming and death for a cause greater than themselves--their country and what this country stands for.
One of our values is democracy. In many countries of the world the military has the final say in things because they have the guns. But our military is controlled by civilians, who are elected by the people. They have taken an oath not to defend the interests of the military class but to defend the Constitution Of The United States. Our men and women in the armed forces trust our democracy so much that they will risk their lives following the orders of these elected leaders without hesitation and without regard to their own politics or opinions.
This Veterans Day I want all of us other citizens of the US to think about what we owe the men and women of our armed forces. We owe them the resources they need to heal the physical and mental wounds of battle. We owe them the care of their widows and orphans. We owe them the resources for a succesful transition to civilian life. Our response to these debts up to now has left a lot to be desired and we should be ashamed of our government's efforts in this regard.
Finally, we owe our military wise elected leaders who will work for peace and non-violent resolutions of conflict whenever possible and who will put them in harms way only in the direst necessity.
These things we owe our men and women in uniform.
Posted on Thu, November 10, 2011
by Arvid filed under