by pissed off patricia
Hey kids, hopefully you won't join the military, as it's a damned dangerous occupation. Almost 1,000 of their members have been killed just since we invaded Iraq, and thousands more have been injured. There are also soldiers being killed and wounded in Afghanistan.
Here's another reason not to join. If you do join and you see anything corrupt or just plain wrong that other military men and women are doing, don't tell anyone about it. That could get you in trouble for the rest of your life. For evidence of this, look at the young man who blew the whistle on the prisoner abuses in Iraq. He has had death threats, and he has to have personal protection because apparently someone thinks good soldiers should always keep their mouth shut, no matter what. See, it doesn't pay to be a humanitarian during times of war or even after. Look at Senator Kerry. He came home from a war, described what other soldiers said they had done, and presto chango, he is called a traitor to the soldiers for thirty some years. I guess you could call it a don't see, don't tell, don't ask policy.
I know it sounds confusing because you've heard that our troops are our finest treasure, and you would think that any soldier who served his country in times of war would be respected for his volunteer service, but you just might be wrong. See, the public will support you as a soldier as long as it benefits them and makes them look patriotic, but when they are through with you, they'll allow the press to grind you up.
Also kids, if you go to war and save a fellow soldier's life don't think that action will garner you respect, because thirty some years after you perform your heroic deed there may be some who will deny what you did and go so far as to call you a liar. It won't matter that your records prove you were a good soldier and did indeed save a life. See, the public is eager to question something that happened years ago because it's easier than questioning what is happening today. If they question your involvement, they won't have to face their own involvement in supporting a war that never should have occurred. The public will wrap up their own shame and blame and try to lay it right on you. People are fickle that way. They will go pretty far in order to avoid facing their own truths.
And finally kids, if you join the military and go to war don't think the military will always be there for you. If you get injured, they'll see to your wounds but once you're out of the military, well they aren't all that concerned about your future. Ask any vet, really ask them. They'll tell you all about it.
So kids, please think long and hard before you join the military. And if you decide to pass that recruiter and not sign on the dotted line, it's okay. No one cares if you don't serve. But if you do join up with the military, be prepared to have to defend yourself for the rest of you life. Ask Max Cleland and John McCain and Senator Kerry what it's like to have your military reputation questioned and disputed by the public. Ask them which war wounds hurt the most. Was it the ones they received in battle from the enemy or the ones they are receiving at home everyday from the so-called patriotic public, the other enemy?
Okay kids, it's up to you. If you join the military to fight for your country, that's your decision. If after you serve in the military, you pursue a political career in order to serve your country in yet another way, you may very well expect many in your country to actually fight against you. We honor dead soldiers, and ironically we can make a surviving soldier's life miserable by leveling unfounded, accusations at him for the rest of his life. If you die in war we'll give you a flag, but if you survive we just might give you hell. You might be willing to fight for your country, but don't be so sure that your country will always be willing to fight for you.