Reflections

Loving Veterans/Hating War

I am reminded today, Veteran’s Day, of an old dichotomy that I have never understood, and which still rears its ugly, hateful rhetoric quite frequently.

Why can so many NOT understand that it is possible to be both pro-veteran and anti-war at the same time?!

I mean, really people! Is that truly so difficult to understand?! So I thought I’d take one more stab at trying to explain, knowing full well that those who already get it will agree, and those who don’t won’t…

I, personally, love veterans! I mean that sincerely. I grew up in a military family. Most of my family members (and many of my male ancestors) are now enshrined in veteran’s memorial cemetaries. I am the only one in my immediate family who chose not to serve in that capacity, and that is because I have always been anti-war.

Which is not to say that all veterans must be combat vets to truly represent, but all active duty military must be prepared to face combat in order to serve. And that was a commitment I couldn’t make. I remember my father explaining to me that there were useful (and important) ways to serve the U.S. military without facing combat, but the bottom line for me was that, if all else failed, even those support personnel would be called up before civilians would have to “take over,” and I wouldn’t trust myself to serve adequately. Besides, I have never been one to follow orders first and question later, which is precisely the mindset required in emergency situations; my hesitation under those circumstances would cause undue hardship on my fellow soldiers…

But this isn’t really about me. I share these details only to emphasize my point. I know many men and women who joined because it ennabled them to get a “fresh start,” escaping lives of poverty, abuse, gangs, criminal cohorts, etc. I know some who joined out of a sense of duty, and a desire to serve our country. And I’m old enough to know some who were drafted against their wills. But in all cases, they made a commitment to serve, and they did so to the best of their ability. I can only honor and respect that. Always…

But war… War is run by moneyed interests, detached from the personnel and resources they exploit. War wreaks havoc, leaves scars that never heal, denies Life. I cannot respect or honor that. It is not in my nature to do so.

Are wars ever necessary? I don’t truly have the wisdom to answer that. I know I would not be living in this failing democratic republic were it not for those who took up arms against Britain to declare our independent status. But, by the same token, I know I would not be living in this vast, consumer-driven capitalist nation were it not for those who took up arms to annihilate the indigineous people of this land. And while I can tentatively support the first scenario, I can never (in my own heart and mind) justify the latter…

So… I know I lack the wisdom to determine the cause and/or course of war. It makes more “sense” then for me to choose the path of caution, to choose not to support any excuse for war. I declare myself anti-war.

But I have nothing but respect and honor for those who serve the military, in whatever capacity, and for whatever reason. Who serve in times of peace or war. I am pro-veteran to my core…

It is possible to be both, simultaneously, and without contradiction...

Enough said…

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26 thoughts on “Loving Veterans/Hating War

  1. Lisa, Tubularsock agrees with your antiwar stance.

    Tubularsock spent several years as an antiwar draft councilor during the Vietnam Killing Spree that our government created.

    Tubularsock too, like you, has “. . . never been one to follow orders first and question later”.

    And Tubularsock finds that an attribute NOT a deficiency. Even in the time of dangerous situations. In fact, in those conditions it may be even more important.

    But all this “sense of duty”, “a commitment to serve”, and serving as a “fresh start” are all examples of NON-thinking. And just following the other sheep to slaughter!

    That is not to say that there may be a time to stand up and fight BUT Tubularsock has yet to see any of the wars that our country has engaged in from WWI through today that were necessary EXCEPT to enrich a handful of people.

    EVEN saving the world from Hitler has only caused him showing up as our current President!

    WHY?

    Because of NON-THINKING slave minded sheep.

    The exact type that join the military!

    “Suppose They Gave A Way And Nobody Came!”

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hear you and understand (I think). But I also know people who literally joined the military to escape the lives they were facing, including jail, gangs and abusive families. It worked for them.

      At the same time, I know many who came back more damaged than before. So it’s a personal journey, and I cannot help but respect those who chose to see it through.

      As for obedience vs. free thinking, I believe there is a time for both. I have been in crises where there isn’t time to explain “why,” but when fast action is critical. An individual’s willingness to act on their own initiative at such times may be invaluable, but there are also times when being part of a group effort in crisis requires quick obedience.

      So, I’m not so sure we disagree so much as we are looking at different situations….

      And I already admitted to being useless in determining whether or how to go to war; I tend to agree with your assessment of all our modern conflicts.

      A “sense of duty,” commitment, etc., may be indicative of the non-thinking, slave mentality as you point out. But those same words apply equally to people of honor and integrity which I aspire to be…

      But I could be wrong… lol!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Non thinking says it best. My father was a war veteran and Resistance fighter and despised all aspects of it. The military is a brain dead institution. All wars bar none are the result of non thinking. Without willing sheeple with a murderous bent the elite profit mongers would have to fight themselves and there’s an end to that story. War veterans aren’t heroes and intelligence should recognize that fact. They kill helpless children and innocents don’t they? End of story.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Lisa, Tubularsock feels we don’t really disagree that much on this issue and as you have said “. . . we are looking at different situations….”

    For example, Tubularsock, as well, has known several people “. . . who literally joined the military to escape the lives they were facing, including jail, gangs and abusive families.”

    We SHOULD be a society that gives these types of people’s conditions support to change their lives for the better with societal solutions rather than the military option only.

    Tubularsock is sure we both agree on that.

    And Tubularsock believes that we agree on the fact that war has never been an answer.

    And to praise those who serve or have served is really a lie.

    War is murder and the fact that 30+% of mass shootings in the U.S. are done by former military trained killers attest to the fact that something is definitely wrong with our belief in war.

    We have created the “Bring The War Home” in our own backyard!

    By paying homage to stupidity and praising those who were tricked and/or lied to is not the way to a healthy society.

    THAT road has to be paved with THE TRUTH of the matter not move foolish phrases of an empty glory that is antithetical to peace.

    The best statement Tubularsock has found against war is found in the movie The Americanization of Emily (1964) with James Garner.

    Garner played Lt. Cmdr. Madison:

    “Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: War isn’t hell at all. It’s man at his best; the highest morality he’s capable of.

    It’s not war that’s insane, you see. It’s the morality of it.

    It’s not greed or ambition that makes war: it’s goodness.

    Wars are always fought for the best of reasons: for liberation or manifest destiny.

    Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity.

    So far this war, we’ve managed to butcher some ten million humans in the interest of humanity.

    Next war it seems we’ll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity.

    It’s not war that’s unnatural to us, it’s virtue.

    As long as valor remains a virtue, we shall have soldiers.

    So, I preach cowardice. Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.”

    This sums it up nicely for Tubularsock.

    STOP the adulation of trained killing and TELL THE TRUTH!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t handle that dichotomy but I had a thought. What is it about uniformed gun toters that makes them special? What about salespeople day or plumber day or nurses day, etc.? Who helps society the most? It’s propaganda. Veterans are essential to justify additional elitist wars, pure and simple. If you can make a hero out of a killer wars can be fought forever and the profits will keep adding up exponentially.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m 76 in January and I can remember an air-raid siren going off and Mum, pushing a pram, hurrying us home before the bombs came after having visited my Grandparents: and the gas masks under the stairs: and poverty: and food rations: and blackouts etc.
    And the lack of bitterness from that era’s generation including those rescued from the concentration camps . . .

    To Genocide Victims:
    Faith has a power that weakens the dread,
    something intrinsic that binds you
    to hope that someday the right time will come.
    Peace time, in our minds, freedom finds you.

    Sibyl X

    Liked by 2 people

  5. These comments reflect exactly what my post attempted to point out, and I thank you all for that. I understand that this is a sensitive topic and it tends to push buttons. But my point – what I was attempting to describe – is that it IS possible to separate war from the soldiers who fight them. War is bad. I get that. I agree. But soldiers aren’t, at least not because they are (or have been) soldiers.

    Most of the combat vets I know (or have known) actually despised war and all its atrocities. They felt their very souls were stained with the blood of those who died. And maybe they were. But they were/are people as well, with goals and hopes and values and needs and scars. Just like me. And many I’ve known (most even, maybe) were people of integrity. They were people of deep compassion, fierce loyalty, and determined self-sacrifice; much of which they developed either during or because of their military service. I will never fault them for that…

    And if Tubularsock is correct that 30+% of mass shootings are done by former military personnel, then the other 60+% are not. And our society’s unwillingness or inability to reintegrate soldiers into civilian life may play a part…

    As for honoring other types of workers, Sha’Tara, we do have designated days for honoring teachers, nurses, moms, dads and grandparents. Anything that allows some company (whether it be Hallmark or some warmonger) to make money off our unthinking consumer culture. It may be less offensive to think of Hallmark getting richer because of honoring teachers and nurses, but it’s all about greed in the end.

    And to NOT offer veterans respect, BECAUSE they are veterans, is against everything I personally stand for…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. War: The place where Bloody Paradoxes take place
    A private in the US army WWII Graves Recovery (that is bringing the dead in for burial) once said, something along these lines
    ‘Dead bodies have a different smell. You know if everyone smelt that I don’t think there’d be anymore wars,’
    War has its own dread logic, and in all damn sincerity you can find yourself explaining why this happened or that took place and you think ‘Did I just say that?’ and worse ‘Sure you did. Makes sense in war,’
    In the fearful battles of the Pacific Islands in WWII a young Japanese woman nurse gladly answered her nation’s call to serve. As defeat stared her in the face, she was ready to throw herself on a grenade. It did not go off. Later she staggered out of the jungles to find her brother who had been in a tank unit. She wandered the town, a found his wrecked tank (it had a particular emblem he had painted on it), she knew he was in there, but could not open the hatch. American troops who so recently had been killing Japanese soldiers with a ferocity witnessing her distress helped her open the hatch of the tank, she found her brother’s decomposing body, they helped her bring it out. She was ‘taken prisoner’ placed as a nurse in a hospital where a few Japanese wounded were.
    My father served in WWII and told me one of the worse (not the worse) sights he witnessed was the prison cages of the German surrendered he had never seen such despair. Although he and his comrades hated them, they still threw packets of cigarettes to the prisoners.
    War The Bloody Paradox. The places where heroes, the frightened, the confused, the criminals, the insane and the once ordinary dwell. No one gets out of there in one piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. PS.
    What if a Good Kind Shepherd was looking after his GENTLE Flock when a Rogue Wolf started killing them off one by one.
    After a while the wolf in sheep’s clothing had a better idea, he lured some men into his den of debauchery . . .
    The one rogue wolf became a pack of cold-blooded, insane, SCHEMING MURDERERS!
    And Judas played right into their hands.

    So, what happened to the Good Kind Shepherd?
    HE ROSE UP AGAIN and had to become a Sane murderer . . .
    But it’s crucial TO KNOW THINE ENEMY First.

    Do as you would be done by, many times back-stabbed, defeat. Turn the other cheek and repeat, and repeat. FUTILITY as RAGE replaces greet . . .

    Sibyl X

    Liked by 1 person

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