I have opposed wars. I’ve supported wars as well. Either way though, wars are fought by men and women. Usually, they’re young kids who have enlisted for a variety of reasons, most of which never involve wanting to go and fight a war, even if they know it’s most likely going to happen.
However, regardless of my stance on a war, or even the troops’ personal stances, they go. The spend months on end in hell holes of various stripes, be it desert or jungle. They do as they are ordered to do, often scared beyond belief.
There are all kinds of phrases people use to describe the sacrifice so many of our veterans have made. There are comments about how a veteran has written a blank check for “up to and including his life” for his nation. There are tons of others. All of them that I have heard have some basis in reality.
I served during peace time. Many of my contemporaries stayed in and have been deployed to war zones in the Middle East. Others, like me, got out for a variety of reasons. All of us still essentially signed away our constitutional rights while stepping up to serve as bricks in the wall that keeps our nation safe. Those of us who didn’t go to Afghanistan, then later Iraq, can only imagine the sacrifice required.
Many people are off work today. Enjoy that. Kick back, relax, and do whatever it is you feel like doing, but remember one thing: There are people elsewhere in this nation who don’t get those kinds of choices. Our veterans who have pulled triggers and kicked butt for Uncle Sam whenever and wherever it’s needed made sure we could.
I will never ask anyone to support war in general. I certainly understand opposition to wars. I’ve opposed more than one in my day. I will never oppose the men and women who fight them. It’s like I told someone when I was in the Navy, “We are not the makers of foreign policy. We’re the instruments of foreign policy.”
The warrior does not pick the wars. They just don’t. That message was lost during Vietnam, and our vets paid a high price. Worse than that was the fact that a significant percentage of the troops who fought in that conflict were draftees who were treated just the same.
Americans who oppose various wars have, thankfully, learned from that. They oppose the politicians who decide who fights and where they’ll fight. That’s fine. From time to time, some idiot blames the troops for the war, and thankfully public opinion has been firmly against them.
Opposing wars is our God given right. Blaming the troops who have no say in the wars is simply the sign of a complete moron who is lucky to muster enough IQ points to breathe.