Thank a Veteran  

Posted by Brock Booher

While I was in the military I didn't appreciate Veteran's Day like I do now. While still on active duty it often meant a parade detail or some sort of official function while everyone else was enjoying a day off. I guess I became a little jaded. Perhaps I felt that way because I viewed my own sacrifices as light or nonexistent when compared to those who lost life or limb. I didn't, and still don't, feel worthy of the praise that we rightly shower down on those who sacrificed so much on our behalf.

As a nation we should be very slow to go to war. We should seek every possible avenue to avoid the bloodshed and carnage that inevitably is part of armed conflict. We should endeavor to persuade our potential enemies by all the means available to us, and even be willing to accept a few political "black eyes" to avoid the bloodshed.

However, when and if we do decide to wage war, we must wage it to win!

I have never been a big believer in "limited warfare". The concept seems irrational to me. If the cause is worth waging war over, then let us wage it in all earnestness and with the full weight of our conviction behind it. Once we cross the line from heated verbal exchanges to armed conflict, we should release the "dogs of war" until victory is achieved. Too often "limited warfare" leads to a "limited victory". Too often a limited response cheapens the lives of those who have volunteered to sacrifice on our behalf.

John Stuart Mill said,

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), “The Contest in America.” Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 24, Issue 143, page 683-684. Harper & Bros., New York, April 1862.

Right now a soldier is putting their life in harm's way for you and for me. They do it for Democrats, Republicans, and Independants. They do it for hippies, yuppies, and generation X. They do it for Wall Street and Main Street. They do it for the common working man, and the tycoon. They even do it for those who protest against them. But best of all, they do it voluntarily.

This Veteran's Day, let us give thanks to those who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice on our behalf. May we be worthy of the gifts they purchased us with their blood.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 9, 2009 at Monday, November 09, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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