Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Many American Lives?

From an anonymous source:

"The average age of the military man is 19 years.

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who,
under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop
or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can
apply first aid like a professional.


He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has
kept this country free for over 200 years.


How will Obama's actions affect the fates of these young men and women, who stay ever-vigilant to protect us? Will more enemy combatants ultimately end up back on the battlefield, getting their second chance to kill our men and women in uniform? Will Obama do as much to protect them as he has to protect the terrorists who would, if given the chance, think nothing of taking our lives, and the lives of our children? Does his notion of balancing our ideals and our safety come with a price tag of more American lives lost? Most Americans, and more importantly, those on the battlefield who have faced the enemy, would say yes.

So what will be his excuse when the terrorist he coddles kills a mother's son in battle, or murders scores of civilians on our soil? Will he still maintain his self-righteousness? My guess is that if he has regrets, it will be for the destruction of his own legacy, and not for Americans whose lives have been snuffed out.

2 comments:

silocybe said...

4 days in office and you're already writing this... rather presumptuous don't you think. The irony of it is, our soldiers get killed because they are fighting in an illegal war. War kills people, and Bush sent them there. So let's not jump to conclusions on who is truly responsible for American soldiers' deaths... because they wouldn't be dying if they hadn't been sent there in the first place. FYI, I have been in the military for 9 years (I just re-enlisted for 6 more) and voted for Obama so that he would bring our boys home... not extend their tours like those on the right. One could argue that America is a safer place due to the Iraq War, however, hindsight of course, is 20/20. Who's to say if we would have been attacked again if we hadn't invaded Iraq? After all, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Hussein and Bin Laden hate each other, and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (if they did, I'm sure we sold them to them).

silocybe said...

P.S. I enjoy the homage to the American soldier, I believe every bit of it... except of course the Obama bit.