color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: A FEW GOOD MEN AND WOMEN

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A FEW GOOD MEN AND WOMEN

Here’s a subject that just GALLS me! This from Damian Cave’s June 3 New York Times article on high school parents and military recruiting:

“Two years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters cannot move.

Mothers and fathers around the country said they were terrified that their children would have to be killed - or kill - in a war that many see as unnecessary and without end.

Around the dinner table, many parents said, they are discouraging their children from serving.

At schools, they are insisting that recruiters be kept away, incensed at the access that they have to adolescents easily dazzled by incentive packages and flashy equipment.”

Oh, paahleeeze! I want to ask these parents whether they are so afraid that they have done such a piss-poor job of raising thinking, logical children that they believe that a military recruiter can convince their child to enlist against the child’s will? Well, then the hard sell of some universities will be more than they can handle and you should be on guard against all those liberal arts, lefty-leaning colleges that promote godlessness and socialism… or perhaps the righty-leaning, uberconservative colleges of the Bible belt? Surely they must oppose one or the other of those ideologies and surely they must be demanding that those recruiters be denied access to their precious and vulnerable children, eh???

One father said, "Because of the situation we're in now, I would not want my son to serve," he said. "It's the policy that I'm against, not the military." All of these parents fighting military recruiters on high school campuses claim that they are opposed to the war in Iraq… and the logic is then you should be opposed to the military? Are they also against the military saving the lives of tens of thousands after the most recent tsunamis? And they must be opposed to Guard units when they help after major disasters in the United States? Surely they also oppose the military that fly aircraft night and day 24/7 over the U.S. every day watching and guarding against those that would harm us? Harm the very children they think they are protecting?

One parent actually had the audacity to state, "The recruiters are in your face, in the library, in the lunchroom," he said. "They're contacting the most vulnerable students and recruiting them to go to war." No they’re not, you idiot. They’re recruiting them to serve in the United States’ military to protect this country -- my country, YOUR country. The military didn’t start the War on Terror, but given the chance, they sure as hell will finish it.

I can’t imagine the conversation that might go on at the dinner table? What exactly do you say to convince your child not to enlist? Do you tell your child that it is bad, wrong, evil to consider joining the military? Exactly what logical argument can you possibly use to sway a child? Tell them that you don’t want them to go to war (told our sons the same thing). Tell them you want them to consider all their options (told our sons that same thing). Tell them that the military can be really hard and involves a lot of sacrifice (told our sons the same thing). Tell them that they might be killed or injured (told our sons that, too). Yeah, well… my guess is that a lot of these sniveling parents simply TELL their children “no”. They don’t really allow an open discourse about the honest and honorable career the military might afford. They don’t really listen to what their children might have to say. No, it is about the parent, not the child.

Another parent said, "Pulling in this need for heartstrings patriotic support is clouding the issue," she said. "The point is not whether I support the troops. It's about whether a well-organized propaganda machine should be targeted at children and enforced by the schools." Ummm, 18 year olds aren’t technically “children”. We assume they can think for themselves. (If not, you’ve failed as a parent.) It’s not like they’re selling them candy or soda or porn… They’re offering your children the opportunity to serve in the United States military. They are offering them the opportunity to earn money for college. They are offering them the chance to learn marketable skills. They are offering them the chance to become proud, contributing members of society. They are offering them the chance to defend their country. It’s an offer. And it can be refused.

People need to get out of the way and let the military recruiters do their jobs. If your child is interested – or has an interest – in joining the service, do your job as parents: help your child explore the offer in the same way you would help your child explore a college. See what they have to offer. Talk about the limitations, the benefits, the upside and the down. Grill the recruiter (don’t be nasty, just insistent.) It’s their job – they don’t mind.

There isn’t a parent of a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman that likes war. We live with the specter of our children’s mortality every day… and we revel in the pride that comes from such selfless and strong children who listened to what we had to say and said, “I know, Mom. I know, Dad. But this is what I want.”

When they say you SERVE in the military, they weren’t lying. They serve something bigger and nobler than anything those parents will ever understand.

Brings to mind that soliloquy from the character Colonel Nathan Jessup (even if he was a real creep) in “A Few Good Men”:
“And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post.”
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

11 Comments:

At 6/04/2005 9:44 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

I agree with you 100%. I could not have said it any better. These parents who do not have a child in the military, don't have a clue. I am so very proud of my son for what he is doing for me, this country and everyone else in it. I thank him all the time for his service and what he is doing. It is the best feeling in the world to talk about him serving our country.

To the parents who don't have a child in the military...

Walk a mile in our shoes, and then you will know what the true meaning of PROUD is.

 
At 6/05/2005 3:28 PM , Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

Mom,

Well said. It's frustrating to see the recruiters having this type of opposition, but it isn't surprising. Recruiting has its ups and downs and it will rebound. In the meantime, the MSM and others will do their best to make it appear no one is joining; we know better, though.

Great parents like yourself help to highlight not only how important service to one's country is, but it's lasting effects over a lifetime. Keep up the good work.

 
At 6/05/2005 3:31 PM , Blogger Mom said...

I do Not have a child in your shoes. But I thank you for your child who is there serving take care of me and my sons.
I have a 20 yr old for health reasons who can't serve this great nation we have. I also have a 14 yr old who is going to. He has said it from 10 yrs old. He will serve and I have no say. Well as scared as I will be, to hear the conviction in his voice at such a young age makes me proud. I will be proud of my son the day he signes the *dotted line*. He knows the commitment it will take. He understands the time it will take, and the efforts. He has it all ready in his mind.
And guess who he said he is doing this for...ME! he is doing it for MOM. I tear up every time I think of it. I am supose to take care of my son. I am to say I will give my life for my child. Now he in return says the same.

 
At 6/06/2005 12:32 PM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Thank God we all don't make our children's decisions.
I want to say first off, I don't want my son to be in the military going off to war, but he doesn't want to go either, (who would). But if my son didn't do this who would. It is a good thing we have people willing to serve. If we all felt the way some parents do then we would not be an independent nation, for long.Nobody wants to go to war or send their family member, but somebody better answer the call, and I am proud my son did. I am afraid, but proud. I feel like I am serving right along with him. Who said life was easy.

 
At 6/06/2005 2:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree. I do not want my child used as fodder with this insane irresponsible use of our wonderful men and women in uniform.
I have two children who serve in uniform and I am proud they do so. But I am not proud at the way they and the entire military has been misused by politicians. We fight wars for defense of America. If we took out all the worlds bad guys that is all we would do. As you can see, we do not have the man power to fight the wars we've got. The military will be broken (again) and the draft will be a bitter but neccessary pill. Only then will people realize wars aren't games, people die and live in hell during wars and many times, long after they have left it.
Where are all these war supporters now and why aren't THEY signing up to go? Voter registrations should be pulled, Bush voters go first. They should be more than willing to uphold this ideology they so cling to, despite its ongoing, endless drain.

 
At 6/06/2005 6:03 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Dear Anonymous... My point was not the right/wrong of the War -- this or any war -- but the improvidence of parents who would keep recruiters from speaking or reaching those individuals that might be interested in VOLUNTEERING for military service. Such tactics are shortsighted since if they succeed and recruiting goals can not be met, there may well be a draft -- the one thing these obstructionists obviously want less than the recruiters talking to their kids.

And the cold hard truth is that since we abandoned long ago subsuming the land mass of other countries, ALL wars are political in their source... I'm way past caring about how or why we got there -- just focused on doing the right thing so our soldiers (including mine) can all come home.

 
At 6/12/2005 7:30 AM , Blogger Militantpundit said...

Hi Soldier Mom,

Thanks for pointing me to your site! I have one thing that I see everyday that most people miss in every report. It is not that the kids (and parents, in most cases) are afraid of war. They do not believe in duty. I call it "Entitlement without Responsibility". The belief that the US is supposed to give them all of the freedoms and not even VOLUNTEER for anything that does not give them some amount of fame (name/picture in the paper) in return. I see it everyday. I talk to kids that are from all walks of life. The kids that have everything are more willing to talk and give back that the lower income, government riders. It may not be that way everywhere, but it is here.

I have added you to my Roll of Military Blogs. Good luck to you and your family.

MP

 
At 6/13/2005 11:04 PM , Anonymous eyeaye@sbcglobal.net said...

Mom:

Thank you for your site. I am a prior Navy Hospital Corpsman who has tried to go back to active duty and be in Iraq without success. I am in anguish about not being able to be there; most people do not understand that.

I completely agree with you. I am also a father; although my son is almost ten, I have concern for him in regards to serving. I do not think these issues in Iraq will be solved in eight years...or else new ones will arise. I would be PROUD of him, but which parent could not worry. As a Christian I do not fear death, therefore do not fear my child's death. I love my son...I AM proud of him. When the time comes we will sit down and look at the benefits that serving your country offers...the tangible and the intangible.

 
At 6/13/2005 11:11 PM , Anonymous eyeaye@sbcglobal.net said...

Anonymous:

If we fought JUST for the defense of America, we would be hypocrites!!! What we hold dear as Americans is not JUST for America! ALL men were created equel. ALL men have the right to persue freedom and happiness...and peace from agression. I do NOT want to be part of a people that says, "No, just for ME"!!

No personal offense, but think about what I just said. Is it about others, or is it about just you? Freedom is not free. If it is not worth dying for, than it is not worth living for.

 
At 3/21/2008 4:37 AM , Blogger join us said...

BLESSED ARE THE WARMAKERS FOR THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, Wait thats not right. No I don't want recruiters talking with my boys, not when we have this certifiable commander in chief in charge. The military right now has a mission and thats to make as much cash for halliburton as possible, its up 300% since Iraq. This has nothing to do with the honorable pusuit of defending our nation. Walmart needs a new place to sell its wares as does MacDonalds and thousands of other companies. It's about more cash for the wealthy. As Martin Luther King said," The chain reaction of evil Hate begets hate, War produces more wars, this must be broken or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of anialation. I am not against all war just those that are waged for imperialistic puposes, not self defense. America is not the world police. If it is the cops are corrupt.

 
At 3/21/2008 2:01 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

join us: 1. if you are afraid to let your children speak to recruiters, then you have failed at indoctrinating them in your wild and baseless mindset -- they should be able to think for themselves at that stage... and you should be there to help them sort through their options in life -- the military is just one. 2. if the war is only for the rich, then where the hell is my share? 3. if the war was for the oil, where's my share? 4. if war only begets war, how do you account for the years of peace between Gulf I and OEF and OIF? 5. thank God no one listened to people like you when Europe needed us -- TWICE... and then Korea... and such a shame Congress cowed to people like you and retreated in Vietnam and MILLIONS (1/3 of the population) died in Cambodia as a direct result. 6. we didn't start the fire.

and lastly, when you post on a blog -- to a post that is almost 3 years old (however true it still is), I can only figure your tinfoil has slipped.

when Iraq is stable and the people truly free and our troops are home, whom or what will you blame then for all the troubles in the world??

 

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