Purpose of a Soldier
It seems that it is considered morally wrong to not support our troops. Americans are expected to unquestioningly respect and admire the troops for their service. What purpose are our soldiers serving these days ? It seems obvious to me that the U.S. is not in Iraq or Afghanistan to fight evil Nazis or protect innocent people. In fact many of those people hate the soldiers and don’t want them there. .However, year after year thousands of people are killed and billions of dollars are lost . This is why I don’t and many other people don’t support the war. Therefore it would seem logical that you can’t support the troops if you don’t support the war , right?
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@ortezjp, I joined the service to fight for and defend my country. Part of that is following the orders of my superior officers, primarily the Commander and Chief. I didnt sign up to kill babies, slaughter civilians, or bomb churches. But I’m over here anyway doing what I’m told. Luckily, my job doesnt involve killing people on a regular basis. In fact, the odds are extremely high that I wont fire a single shot where I am right now, and I’m glad about that. Most people in the military have no desire to kill unless they have to. The ones that enjoy killing are in private military contracting, like Blackwater. Hell, if you ask every soldier in Afghanistan why they joined, the vast majority would tell you education, job stability, and wanting to defend their country. Not killing Arabs, because that usually involves you or the person next to you being killed or injured as well, and that is not fun. As far as money goes, yes, we do get paid. And I’m not gonna lie, its a decent paycheck. If you’re a family man/woman(which I am not), you can live a fairly comfortable lifestyle without worrying about next months bills. I’ll never be able to afford a brand new BMW, but I’ve got a good truck.
I dont expect you to understand how we think, because its a very different life from civilians. Hell, I went home on leave for two weeks and I felt culture shock. When we’re not deployed, we do our job, go home, and lead as normal of a life as possible. When we are deployed, we usually live in conditions that people on food stamps wouldnt enjoy. I’m lucky enough to be in a built up base in Kuwait where I dont have to worry about being mortared on my way to dinner.
I’m not saying we’re perfect individuals, I’m not defending killing or our current campaigns, but we’re the ones doing it. Only because we’re ordered to. I wish we werent here. We all do. But we have an objective, we were told to complete it, and dammit if we wont do everything we can to get it done. All this being said, please dont spit on me when I walk through the airport. Because after going through what i have, which isnt even that much compared to many of the others, I’m no more fond of the uniform than the people with picket signs.
Soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen are all trained to fight. However, it isn’t their jurisdiction as to WHO and WHY they are fighting. It’s the ultimate decision of the President, Congress and House of Representatives.
I can understand that people wouldn’t support the current war, or the troops involved. But consider this: if the government makes the military force’s decisions, then should you support it [the government]? After all, it is the American people that voted these guys and gals in office. If you feel shame towards warriors, then you should also feel shame to your fellow citizens, as they played a part in the ultimate decision-making by voting representatives into office.
Just a thought.
@ortezjp, “In fact many of those people hate the soldiers and don’t want them there”
Can I ask where you get this ‘fact’? Is it from experience? Or is that what the media tells you? Certainly the Taliban and their supporters aren’t fond of us, we’re there to get them out. In fact my Battalion’s sole mission was to remove the Taliban from 1 town in the south. Say what you want about our Government’s underlying purposes for being there, we had nothing to do with any of that, ours was to protect civilians, and push the Taliban out. The only reason I bring it up is because every local Afghani that I had the pleasure of meeting was very grateful, and helpful. We built wells, protected schools, handed out school supplies and water. I can’t speak to the rest of the areas in either conflict, but in ours, they were definitely better off with us there instead of the Taliban.
@zonetti, Why don’t the presidents fight the wars? They do. They are the commander in chief of the armed forces. If you’re asking why don’t they fire a gun, it’s because that isn’t their role in the war. If you’re going to chastise the president for not being a grunt (and remember that many historical presidents are veterans), you had best chastise yourself for not lacing up your boots as well.
So have I volunteered for service? No, seeing how the military doesn’t want to pay for my medical bills (guess that means I’m 4-F). However, I still hold onto a set of principals that says that those who can fight but choose not to are lower in society than those who fight only for themselves. Those who fight for the sake of others, such as soldiers, are among the highest in society.
@bongodeburrito, It’s OK. The majority of people who crucify soldiers for supporting an agenda they disprove of support the same agendas as a civilian all while feeling morally superior.
The purpose of a soldier is to serve and protect. All men should be trained, but never follow an order other than their hearts. I know this sounds dumb and possibly naivly unviable as there is no time for such matters when immediate action is life or death, but I believe there is something underlying what I’m saying that is founded in truth.
And as the guy above me reminds me. Soldiers think they are morally superior, as they put on the facade of martyr, for people who don’t ask them to.
I think were getting too bogged down specifically in warzones like Iraq and Afghanistan that are surrounded in controversy.
How about the air superiority campaign in Libya that allowed them to at least try their hand at democracy. The US Naval Hegemony in the Asia Pacific and South East Asian Region has meant that many of the governments there have seen no need for military build ups, distrust, and military competition in their region. Meaning because the US military is present there as a dominant humanitarian (Yes Bitches I said Humanitarian) and peacekeeping force those countries haven’t seen the need to fight eachother.
During the tsunami’s in Asia a few years back US Carriers hooked their generators up to the power grids of cities who’s power generation was destroyed by natural disaster. Hospital ships can be parked off the coast of an impoverished country to provide them with humanitarian assistance and health care they’d normally have to travel half the world for.
The genocide in Rwanda was possible largely because the international community was unwilling to pledge military support to stop it. Between 800,000-1,000,000 million humans were butchered with machete’s over a course of 3 months. I bet they would’ve appreciated a few soldiers at that point.
I don’t support everything the military does, but if we all put on our critical thinking caps and get past our cognitive bias, the answers you come up with may surprise you.
@alexa They chose to join, that means they agreed to the terms, which included being given orders without the rights to resist.
And at any given moment, they have the option to desert and terminate the deal. Sure it’s illegal and frowned upon and might lead to penalties, but it’s still a perfectly good option nonetheless if one looks beyond the excuses.
There are only two kinds of people who take on the soldier role: monsters and puppets who serve monsters. In both cases, the agenda is malignant all the same.
They know what they signed up for, the rest is just a bunch of excuses and attempts to justify their own nasty actions.
@manimal, it’s good to have you back. I don’t want to just assume that you have no first hand knowledge, so I’ll ask, have you ever been part of any military?
“Sure it’s illegal and frowned upon and might lead to penalties”
Actually, if I’m not mistaken, desertion during time of war is still punishable by death. As is assaulting or willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer (again, during time of war)
“They chose to join, that means they agreed to the terms, which included being given orders without the rights to resist.”
Actually, not only do you have the right, you have the obligation to disobey any unlawful order. That would include killing civilians or innocent people. In the end, the decision to pull the trigger is entirely up to you, and you know full well the strict rules of engagement (ROE) that you are under. The ROE that we were under when we were there very much favored the enemy, but that’s for another discussion.
If all you’re going off of are assumptions and the media, then I can understand this line of thinking, but I can assure you, if you’ve never been in uniform, you’ll never understand. So to hear people try, makes me laugh a little.
@manimal, Also, your laughable oversimplification of the types of people who join the military is great. I would argue that there are a few more. Myself, for example, I don’t identify with either of the groups you mentioned. I would call myself more of a ‘game player’. I didn’t join because of any inflated sense of patriotism, although I love my country. I didn’t allow any recruiter to blow smoke up my ass, I knew full well the hand I’d be dealt. There was a steady paycheck, they’re going to pay for my college now, and let’s face it, got to do and see some cool shit and shoot some kick ass weapons. I played the game, I did nothing that went against any personal belief of mine. I came out, if only slightly worse for the wear, formed some very close relationships, schooling is paid for, paycheck for the rest of my life, maintained, what I feel to be, the proper amount of patriotism.
Point is, make any judgement you want, any wild accusation or assumption, I promise it won’t affect anybody who has experienced it for themselves.
@smalls Way to discuss in a civilized manner, immediately going for the ad hominem bullshit like an 8yo ADHD kid. Very mature…
If I’ve been part of any military? I served a while in Kosovo and later in Afghanistan, it wasn’t very long ago that my contract ran out.
Desertion is punishable by death in some backwards countries, and long prison sentences in others. Yes, it is punishable, but that’s a risk a person must be willing to take in order to be free. If you can’t take a risk like that, you don’t really want to be free that much, and then you might as well serve. Freedom is something a man must take, it will never be given to him. If you sacrifice freedom for safety, you deserve neither.
I never said you don’t have the right to disobey unlawful orders. Correct orders must nonetheless be obeyed, that’s the deal. Pulling the trigger is indeed your choice, and so is staying or leaving. It’s all your choice, there’s nobody else to blame.
A game player? You gave your time and attention to someone else’s cause, just because they offered money and some other stuff. You got your strings pulled, mate. That makes you a puppet. And you could have ended up in situations where you more or less “had to” kill people, just for some payment, so it looks like there’s a bit of monster in the equation too.
Being a patriot is another puppet trait, and the rulers of the US are monsters, so you just validated my claims anyway.
They say war is hell, and it’s easy to see why. Being surrounded by death is no fun at all, anyone with real experience knows that.
@manimal, where was the ad hominem? I said I didn’t want to make assumptions about you, so I asked if you ever had served. Maybe it’s not so nice to have you back, things were nice while you were away.
“You gave your time and attention to someone else’s cause, just because they offered money and some other stuff. You got your strings pulled, mate.”
Hmm… that sounds like every job, or are people in your world just doing shitty jobs they hate out of the kindness of their hearts? My point was that I wasn’t delusional about what would happen, or what I might have to do, I knew full well what it entailed, and I thought the benefits outweighed the costs (still do).
Being a patriot is a “puppet trait?” I didn’t say I thought my country was perfect, we can do no wrong, and everything we touch turns to gold. Just simply that I love the US, I hate the direction we seem to be going, but I’m happy to have been born here and I think we still have the potential to right the ship.
“Correct orders must nonetheless be obeyed, that’s the deal. Pulling the trigger is indeed your choice, and so is staying or leaving. It’s all your choice, there’s nobody else to blame.”
I completely agree with you there, but I didn’t stay in because I was afraid of punishment, I’m sure that may be the case for some people though.
@smalls How is beginning a post with an intended insult not an attempt at ad hominem? Sure, you edited it out, but that doesn’t change anything. And the two posts are still littered with pointless and uncalled for derogatory slurs such as “your laughable oversimplifications.”
Jobs are for puppets, I never said they weren’t. And while you might not have been that delusional about what the service entailed, you still got your strings pulled just because they waved a paycheck.
Being a patriot is a puppet trait, yes, there’s no denying it. How is surrendering to a system and letting it draw your boundaries anything else but becoming a puppet? If you have a ruler, you are a puppet, it’s that simple.
Are you not bound by societies laws and conventions? Do you pay taxes? Do you have a bank account? Do you have an apartment lease? Do you have a job at all? Are you in school.
By your own definition any of the following makes you a puppet. Besides you still have control over yourself. You can quit following what anyone tells you as a human. Just depends on whether or not your willing to accept he consequences of such actions.
@manimal, the only reason I edited is because it didn’t make sense, because originally I didn’t ask if you had served. But since I don’t know you I didn’t want to assume, no ad hominem there. And your oversimplification was, to me, laughable, not sorry if that hurt your feelings, so sensitive.
So then your argument isn’t that I was a puppet, so much as it’s that everybody is a puppet? Unless you’re living on some chunk of land that isn’t ‘owned’ by a government, in a house you built for yourself, eating food that you acquired and grew for yourself. Unless you are completely isolated and self sufficient, you’re a puppet? So I suppose, if that’s the way you choose to define it. So are you a puppet? I mean I know you were, because you said you served. I mean, are you currently not living under someone else’s system? Are you an expat? Have you given up all citizenship? You’re on the internet right now, so I’m guessing you’re on somebody’s system. Everybody is a puppet, even the people at the top are puppets to other people at the top. The only person who isn’t is the guy sitting in a log cabin somewhere, off the grid, patting himself on the back for ‘cutting the strings.’ But screw being that guy, not for me, I’d rather try to do some good for those who aren’t fortunate enough to have the opportunities that I have. You can call me a puppet then I guess, means nothing to me in that case.