Follow up to Someone Else
Seems as if my last note struck a chord. A positive, agreeable one with some, and yet, a negative, “I’m a Whiner” chord with others. So, this is for the latter part of the group.
To clarify, I’m not complaining. I am most certainly not whining. I “get” that HE “signed up” for this. I get that I agreed to put up with the military—-come what may—-when my butt was swatted with a saber on August 16, 1997.
But, do you honestly believe that because I shop at the commissary and use the NEX occasionally that it somehow offsets the fact that the modern era military has been used as both a political pawn, AND reduced to a shell of its former self due to sequestration and nearly 12 years of constant war? That our $40 grocery savings makes the fact that he’s been shot on a consistent basis for the entirety of all three of our sons’ lives somehow ok? ‘Cuz, and now this might be a bit of a newsflash, and I will only say this one time more: BENEFITS. ARE. PART. OF. OUR. COMPENSATION.
What that means is that somewhere along the line the government decided they could pay us less in actual hard-earned cash, and throw in benefits packages to make us consider joining, and by default STAYING in, the military for longer periods of time.
Whether you agree some of those benefits need to be abolished or revisited really doesn’t matter because as of call-of-business YESTERDAY, those benefits were STILL IN PLACE. So, if THAT is your argument, please stop now because, much like the USS Cole on 10/12/00, your argument holds no water.
We all see different parts of the last 12 years. Some have been to combat upwards of 6 times. Some have never stepped foot in Iraq OR Afghanistan. Some have been to countless funerals for those who have died, some have never even seen a flag folded and handed to a wife or a husband. Some have had to help fellow families get their wounded warrior up a ramp at church. Some have never seen a BK or an AK (and, I’ll wait while you go Google that) amputee in person. Others have seen so many, they no longer notice them.
The bottom line and what I was saying in my first round here, is this:
We are a weary military. We have not had a chance to recover from these wars, and our budgets and personnel have been SEVERELY cut with sequestration and forced draw down. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the testimony on Capitol Hill. Listen and read what our military leaders have said over and over again.
The key component here is that WE were not attacked. WE were not invaded. WE are not supported by our military allies.
And, finally: We have a DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. Not a DEPARTMENT OF WAR.
We all have opinions. Myself included. We are allowed to have them, even when they are not popular, liked or wanted. We should all have a place to openly share them, discuss them, learn from them. One of the core tenants when MSM was founded shortly after 9/11, was that we all be able to have honest and respectful discussions about things that are of importance or relevance to all of us. And, we’ve remained true to that tenant every day since. It’s very important not to begrudge another person for their own perspective, opinions or especially their feelings on something that relates to us all. We all look through own life’s lens, and are shaped by our experiences. We should EMBRACE that.
THIS should be your comfort. THIS should be where you come for information, support, and solace. Not a place you avoid or fear because it adds trouble to your life. THIS should be your sanctuary. There are so many different experiences within this community and so much to learn from each other. We won’t always agree. But, I can promise you that even after 12 years at this, I will never stop advocating for US. N.E.V.E.R.