Monday, November 11, 2013

New Post: “Veteran’s Day, Military Service - The Appeal and The Turn-Off”

First off, we love your commitment,
to our freedom through your service,
the willingness to put yourself in harm’s way,
for our benefit at your sacrifice.

We also recognize the pain your families face;
at being separated from you,
the fear of risk to your harm,
and the stress of living with your loss afterward.

It is hard to comprehend the dedication it takes,
to daily give up your own freedom and pleasure,
to protect and serve those who have not asked,
but which you give - voluntarily.

So what is the appeal?
What makes someone “want” to serve in the military?

Is it the uniforms?
They can be sharp-looking,
and if you have never owned “nice” clothes,
these may be the best you come to possess.
But alas, no, it is not the clothes.

Is it for the paycheck?
Sure, if you have no job, then the steady money can be nice.
And job security is fairly guaranteed.
But after a few years, we all learn
there can be more income earned as a civilian.

Is it for the pride?
The honor associated with being part of this “group”??
Is it to be a part of the stories we have heard?
A desire to become a hero to others in history?

Is it for excitement?
Constantly facing with challenges too big for us to face alone?

Whatever the reason, it comes at a cost…
the high-price may seem like it is only paid in times of ‘war’,
but in truth there are physical is mental stress,
not faced in any other setting we may experience:
Nights without sleep.
Potential risk of harm, even during training.
The yelling and intensity of boot-camp.
A lack of freedom.
Having every decision made for you.
Yet, realizing that other people’s lives are in your hands.
Plus other small ‘civilities’:
Missing birthdays, holidays, and vacations.
Being “In-Country” when your team wins the championship.
Missing your child’s first steps.
The opportunity to vote in an election.
New movies we never hear about.

And then there is the “Stigma”:
People will be glad you are committed to their protection,
and in the next breath question your humanity
for accepting “orders” they disagree with…
especially for the decision to let some people suffer and die,
so that others might go on living.

It is a ‘two-faced’ society that celebrates your bravery,
but rejects the structure of an institution
because it seems too rigid and unbending.

And at the end of the day, 
you may be yelled at and called names,
until we learn that it matters not what the public thinks.

Then we decide that what we stand for
is the man and woman beside us,
serving our nation together,
even if the rest never can be honestly grateful
or truly understand what we go through.

Veteran’s day is for one another,
and I thank my fellow service men and women,
for all you have gone through.

No comments:

Post a Comment