December 01, 2006
DOING THE BIDDING OF THE UNWILLING
Posting date: 11/30/06
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: armysailor.com
I have to admit that I have been feeling pretty crappy lately. I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping, and I am having trouble staying focused. My tour is rapidly coming to an end, and I can feel it. I am ready to go home.
For a long while I was able to look at all the good we are doing in this country, whether it is building schools or killing Taliban, and use that as a means of staying motivated. But lately that hasn't been working. With each mission I can't help but worry in the back of my mind that this might be my last, and how much would it suck to die so close to the end...
But what's far worse, in my opinion, is the feeling I have been getting by reading some things from back at home. I read opinions of people who say that we (the service men and women) should be ashamed of ourselves, as if we had a choice in the matter. I will never be ashamed of my service. I may be ashamed of something I am asked to do by my country, but then I think civilians should feel ashamed of themselves for letting me (a serviceman) be put in such a situation. How easy it has become to send men into harm's way. But it takes nerve to blame us for it.
What is worse is that I recently read an article about students against the draft. That's fine, I personally am against any draft that is instituted for the purposes of serving a specific military mission. However, I am all for mandatory government service for everyone after high school. I think two years of service, whether in the Peace Corps, the Military, or as a government intern, would not only benefit America but would also benefit the people doing the service. What bothered me about this article in particular was the cowardice that so many American high school kids openly expressed, and the pride with which they seemed to express it. Some of these kids wouldn't be willing to die for anything. That is amazing to me. The way I was raised, cowardice is simply unacceptable. It is the worst of all sins, and it is shameful. It seems that all some kids want is to be able to play with their new Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or Playstation 3, and they don't even want to have to work for that. I sometimes fear that our opulence will lead to our ultimate demise, as it does in all great empires.
None of this has helped me get to sleep at night. None of it is helping my waning motivation. But it has helped concrete my personal belief that "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything".