The Thought of the Day
The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and
bear the deepest wounds and scars of war - General Douglas McArthur
Please people, please, please, please stop talking about the American soldier like you know him. I understand that many of you have family that serve. But for you to say that any soldier would "gladly give his life for freedom" means that you likely don't understand the soldier at all. I, of course, can not speak for every soldier either. I will therefore concentrate on my own feelings for a moment. I am honored to be a member of the United States Army. We are a fine and necessary tradition. I follow the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me. So when They tell me it's time to leave my family, I do so. This is not something we as soldiers vote on, we do not get an option of supporting the fight, (the army wouldn't work if we did) we simply do as we are told. I will fight to defend my fellow soldier, and I know that this fight may cause me harm, but I never do so "gladly". I would gladly live in a world of peace, I would gladly sit down with our enemies and discuss a non-violent solution to our differences, but I would not gladly kill or be killed war. There are heroes that do give their life for others. These are the men and women that throw themselves on a hand-grenade or charge a bunker to protect their fellow soldiers. These men could be said to have given their lives, but the soldier that is killed by a roadside bomb placed by an insurgent would very likely say that his life was taken from him. And I believe that this is an important distinction. I think that perhaps the fallen soldiers families would think so too.
So I ask that in the future you refrain from speaking of soldiers giving their lives for freedom. If you must thank us, thank us for the sacrifice of leaving our families, thank us for the risk we take, or more importantly thank our families for the losses they incur. But the best support you can show is a desire for a peaceful resolution.