“There’s something about putting on the uniform of one’s service, about stepping up to represent one’s country in the name of her population, that few people get to experience at all. For many of us, that’s the reason we join up—the opportunity, till now, of putting aside one’s every day concerns for the sake of others, to take up the cause of those who could not fight for themselves, to fight on their behalf. For many soldiers, the military is is the first, and best family they’ll ever know, and it takes their character and makes more of it than what would be possible in the civilian world. While soldiers are trying to do a job that civilians must be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do, they experience great personal deprivation, primative conditions, and great stress and fear. The money isn’t enough to explain it, and a lot of the excitement it used to hold is being replaced by the daily fear and knowledge of death. In Iraq, not a day goes by that some soldier, sailor, or Marine does not die. Even so, they serve. They will continue to serve, while those who send them there continue to hear requests not made, and ignore the simple pleas for simple things: medical care. Loyalty. Remembrance. We serve, and all we ask for is aid when our service leaves us injured. There are those who would take away even that simple, elegant, just equation. It costs money to treat the wounded soldiers, you see. Worse than that are those who do not see it costs us the nation’s honor.”
They asked for it, View From a Broad, March 31, 2007
Thanks, Ginmarie, for saying it so well.