1. I was a noncommissioned officer, as opposed to the commission implied when you say “retired Navy officer”.
  2. You apparently have no clue as to what service in the military means, particularly for enlisted people. If you were to do something totally different and ask why they join the military, it’s because it was seen as a good-paying job, or because it was a way out of a bad family situation, or it was the only way one could get away from living out in the middle of nowhere (which was why I joined). VERY few enlisted join just out of patriotism (which is more often misguided nationalism — note the difference), and those who do so are not always the best people to be around. In other words, MOST people in the military are people just like you, with the same hopes and dreams, the same ranges of good and bad and stupid and intelligent…and if you’re wise, you learn far, far more than you ever dreamed possible. In my case — as I saw so many times with others — my experiences forced me to unlearn my racism…something that would NOT have happened if I’d stayed in the Mississippi Delta.
  3. The vast majority of the military do NOT want to go to war. The vast majority of us — like you — do NOT want to go kill people, much less put ourselves in a position where we might be killed, sometimes in horrible ways. But we go…and as always, we go at the direction of our civilian leadership.

In other words, you haven’t a clue whereof you speak. You wanna blame someone? Blame the civilian leaders of our nation…because the military is a historically nonpartisan TOOL. Our military is the hammer that’s in the toolbox of our civilian leadership. If you’ll check, every single war we’ve ever fought was at the DIRECTION of our civilian leadership…and sometimes those wars were ones that most of us in the military did NOT want to be involved in e.g. Iraq and Vietnam.

Don’t get me wrong the military has big, stinky, wart-ridden feet of clay, and I know its faults better than you do. And every military — every single one throughout human history — commits crimes, and sometimes those crimes are what we would today call crimes against humanity. War, sir, is organized murder on a mass scale. But if you refuse to have a military willing and able to commit that organized murder of the other side, then history shows again and again and again what happens to those who choose to remain weak.

You, sir, need to learn what the hell you’re talking about before you start pointing fingers. After all, who really causes the harm — the tool…or the one wielding the tool? I would suggest you learn to lay the blame where it truly belongs.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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