Posted - 06/02/2013 : 12:08:17 PM
Something to think about.
Received from a friend and I think very well done:
I remember the day I found out I got into West Point . My mom actually
showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get out of
class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she had opened up
my admission letter. She wasn't crying because it had been her dream for me
to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I'd worked to get
in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be an infantry
officer. I was going to get that opportunity.
That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me
the following: Nick, you're a smart guy. You don't have to join the military.
You should go to college, instead.
I could easily write a tome defending West Point and the military as I
did that day, explaining that USMA is an elite institution, that separate
from that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military
than it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a
challenge that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of
reasons, but I won't.
What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that
attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous
disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what
kind of burdens our military is bearing.
In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years.
In Vietnam , 4.3% served in 12 years.
Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in the Global War
These are unbelievable statistics.
Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the
burden and it is only getting worse.
Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10%
veterans with only one person having a child in the military
Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold.
Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice
nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the
goodness of their hearts.
The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families.
The volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend this nation.
You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You've lost
relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart
from kids you'll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even
professional athletes don't understand.
Then you come home to a nation that doesn't understand.
They don't understand suffering.
They don't understand sacrifice.
They don't understand why we fight for them.
They don't understand that bad people exist.
They look at you like you're a machine - like something is wrong with
you. You are the misguided one - not them.
When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political
science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU
WERE THERE and can't understand the macro issues they gathered from
books, because of your bias.
You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at
that. Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and your pay,
while they ask you to do more.
But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your
country will never pay back what you've given up.
You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or
appreciate what you have done for them.
Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than
normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the
greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 - YOU SERVED.
Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.
"Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." - Winston Churchill
The government has no rights. Only the PEOPLE have rights that empower the government.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.
Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It is they way it is. The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference.
All comments posted here are my opinion as expressed via the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.
United States Army ~ USARSUPTHAI 1967-1968