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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patriotism is Alive! Hoo-Rah!

While perusing the blogosphere I came across a comment that read, “The truly sad thing is there are two reasons kids join the military: The first and likely most prominent is to escape poverty and horrendous living conditions at home, second, to satisfy some misguided sense of duty/patriotism that's handed down from one generation to the next.” Now, I haven’t been one to write a blog post about another blogger’s comment, but today I’m compelled to make an exception. Please keep in mind that it does NOT matter WHO wrote this comment so I will NOT divulge that information and I will NOT permit anyone who is familiar with it to inflict any negative or inflammatory rhetoric against this person in my comment section. I’m steadfast in our right to speak freely and believe we can all disagree with dignity, thus, I wholeheartedly, but politely have to disagree with these statements and I’ll tell you why.

As many of you know MY oldest son joined the Army last July, consequently he took the oath to protect and defend OUR Constitution. During this last year, it also being his senior year of high school, he performed “drills” once a month. He graduated from high school, with honors, on June 10th and as of this writing is sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for a bus to take him to Fort Benning, Georgia where he will undergo 15 weeks of Basic Combat and Advanced Individual training. Needless to say, I’m a bit emotional and that comment struck a chord with me.

My son did NOT join the Army to escape poverty and horrendous living conditions at home. There is nothing that could be further from the truth, but I don’t have to defend my parenting or my finances to anyone, because my husband and I did a damn good job (not that we were perfect) raising him. That was our JOB! We made it our MISSION! (There are way too many parents today who do NOT do that, to the demise of their children and it breaks my heart.) I also know a lot of other young men, NOT in my family, who have joined the military, and their reasons weren’t to escape poverty or horrendous living conditions at home, either, so this blanket statement, in my opinion, was made out of ignorance.

As far as my son joining the Army to satisfy some misguided sense of duty/patriotism that was handed down from one generation to the next. While I have never hidden the fact that I have military members in my family tree and possess VERY patriotic emotions toward my country, I do NOT believe that is in any way misguided. I also logically know that my son is NOT misguided. I brought him into the world, loved, nurtured, guided and helped him evolve into the courageous, respectful, proud young man that he IS today. He knows his heart, his mind and his dreams and he is a warrior. Like his Uncle Tim, the cop who wants to get the bad guys to keep people safe, my son wants to defend OUR country to keep US safe! THAT is NOT misguided.

There are way too many people in our country who have no sense of right or wrong let alone a sense of patriotism. They get up every morning, put on whatever article of clothing they want, drive the car they want, go to the job they want and do what they want to entertain themselves (okay, within the confines of the laws and their pocketbooks!), but they don’t give one thought to the men and women who have died to give them those freedoms. Who’s misguided?

Have we been in wars that were senseless? Yes. But that’s not our soldiers’ fault. That’s the fault of the brain trusts on Capitol Hill. Our military does, without question, what it’s told to do. The misguided ones are those sitting behind desks playing games with the blood and lives of our soldiers.

MY son is a brave young man who is willing to lay HIS life on the line so that we can sit behind the safety of our computer screens and type what we want, when we want. He’s not misguided…he’s insightful for knowing that his path is dedicating his life to serving our country and anyone who knows himself THAT well is not misguided and I’m a VERY PROUD MOM!

**Crossposted @ Rational Nation USA**


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  2. Whomever wrote that quote must really hate the men and women of the armed forces, and the freedoms and nation that these men and women knowingly defend out of a proper and civically-informed proper sense of duty.

  3. Pamela, I also left this following @ RN USA.

    Quoting Pamela... "Please keep in mind that it does NOT matter WHO wrote this comment so I will NOT divulge that information and I will NOT permit anyone who is familiar with it to inflict any negative or inflammatory rhetoric against this person in the comment section. I’m steadfast in our right to speak freely and believe we can all disagree with dignity..."

    Pamela, you are above all else one of the most intellectually honest and sincere bloggers on the net.

    As the proprietor of Rational Nation USA I thank you for both.

    As a loving grandfather I hope my grandson never makes the choice that will possibly put him in harms way.

    If he ultimately does it will not be to escape poverty or horrendous living conditions. It will be I am sure for the same reasons your son chose to serve.

    Your son represents the best in America Pam. You have every right to be both fearful for his well being as well as DAMN PROUD.

    As a friend and fellow patriot I give honor to your son as well as the fine parents who raised him.

  4. First, I would like to say Thank You to your son for making the choice to put his life on the line to defend our country. We need more brave men and women like him, who feel called to serve in the military. May God keep him safe.

    Thinking the statement was made in a negative manner - What is wrong with having a sense of honor or duty as long as the person isn't being forced into something he doesn't want to do?

    What is wrong with a person who is living in poverty taking the opportunity to better themselves and serve our country at the same time? Quite a few living in poverty get into trouble so I would rather them take advantage of a wonderful opportunity - joining the military.

    Pamela, you have every right to be PROUD of your son.

  5. Pam,

    My nephew is a US Army Ranger who was deployed in Afghanistan. He's home now, but could be deployed again. He joined the army because it was what he wanted to do. [His dad is a retired bird colonel.]

    My nephew speaks fluent Chinese and Japanese, and will be sent to the language school in Monterey California to study Arabic.

    Like your son, he's a smart, dedicated young man. We're proud of him as you are of your son.

    I wish the best for these two wonderful young men.

    Huzzahs to you and your husband for raising such a good man!

    Well done.

  6. Happy Independence Day Pamela!

    May our nation enjoy another 235 years of liberty and American exceptionalism!

  7. I'd just like to say that I know four different kids, all living in Section 8 who have enlisted because they have no money and no opportunities for education past highschool and whose parents have strongly encouraged the military as a place where education and the basic necessities of life are guaranteed versus the instability and uncertainty of the world they live in.

    The conditions at home aren't 'horrific' but they are such that it's a dead end street and the environment in the neighborhood etc is one that carries a lot of danger in it.

    The military itself uses education and benefits to market itself to people to get them to enlist. I have had two occasions in my life when I was close to enlisting and both of them were derailed; but my advice to kids who mention it to me is if you're going to go in, go in for the long haul and make it a career; you're just wasting time if you go for four.

    The military is a job like any other. (And there are plenty of jobs where people put their lives on the line for others.) I don't think every single person who joins the military does it out of some starry-eyed desire to go lay on a red white and blue blanket in the name of some abstract principle. Sure, some do. But I think the most of them are there for a job. It's a job; it can be a good job. But just like being a firefighter or a cop or a nurse doesn't automatically put you on some higher moral ground, neither does being in the military.

    They have a job to do. It's not a nice job; not a job I'd want, but they have to do it just like I have to do mine. I have protested every war since the time I was old enough to understand; but you can't protest the people, because they have no choice. They have to do what they have to do regardless.

    Anyway I forgot now where I was going with this; maybe just that really, I do know people for whom joining the military was a purely economic decision.

  8. If you really want to protest the war, go to the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. And the back "woods" of Yemen. Get the terrorists to call off their unprovoked aggression. THAT is what has forced us to go to war, and has made retaliation necessary and the only sane option.

    It is pointless and destructive to protest to have the victims roll over and die.

    And yes, the people DO have a choice. They joined the military knowing what it is and what it does. If you are protesting against the military, and asking for our side to give up, you are protesting against the interest of the men and women in uniform.


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