Your Son is Not a Soapbox

Not to be one to let any more grass grow under my feet, here’s a new angry rant.

I’m not one to be a hater when someone dies. Grief is a part of life that no one looks forward to, and that everyone deals with in their own way.

Cindy Sheehan deals with the death of her son by belittling the decision that HE made. When I first heard about Cindy, I thought, wow, that’s too bad about her son, and it’s a shame he got drafted into such a dumb war.

Then I remembered. There isn’t a draft. There hasn’t been a draft since Vietnam. So naturally, that made me wonder why she was so mad at George Bush about her son’s death. You see, Bush will ultimately be held accountable for any decisions he made with bad motives, or without thinking first. If not before, he’ll be held accountable on judgement day.

But that’s not really the issue here, is it?

When a person signs up for the military, there are a multitude of different reasons. Let’s address some of them.

Some people sign up for the military because they want to have their college paid for. That’s their choice, and when you boil it down to it’s simplest reality, it’s a decision made from greed or desperation.

Some people sign up for the military because they are bums that need a kickstart to their lives. People like this need the structure and discipline that the military offers in order to get off their lazy butts. Again, it’s their choice.

Some people join the military because they are poor, and the military will give them three squares regardless of their educational background, intelligence, or work ethic. The military has a way of beating people into acting right.

Some people join the military for the right reason… because they are proud of their country and want to do their part to protect her freedom.

Some people join the military for a variety of these reasons.

So why did Cindy’s son join the military? Was it because he wanted the college money? If so, there are many other ways to go to college, and if you’re poor, there are countless grants available if you just have the wherewithall to get up and go to the building and apply. Did her son join because he was an unmotivated bum? If so, why was he a bum? Why didn’t his mother whip him into shape instead of having the military do it? Why would a mother stand by while her son signs up for service? Did he join because he was poor? If so, why didn’t his mother work a second or third job to allow him to stay here? Why didn’t she tell him about all of the options young people from low-income families will be happily given if they just ask?

Or finally, did he join the military because he loved this country and wanted to feel like a real contributor to freedom? I suspect this is at least a large portion of the reason that he joined. The kind of pride that young men feel after serving in the military can’t be bought or learned anywhere else.

If he served because he wanted to serve, then he is the only person responsible for that decision. He knew what the risks of service were, and he clearly knew that we were ready to wage a “war on terror.” Yet, with his eyes wide open, he still chose to join the military, and sadly, he paid the ultimate price.

BUT, the greatest dishonor we could ever bestow on him is the one that his mother and her supporters are giving him. He should be celebrated for what he did, not used as a political token, or as a soapbox, or portrayed as a “victim.” He was not a victim. He was a soldier, and he was doing what soldiers do. Regardless of the war, regardless of the President and his motives, he did the right thing, and his mother, in her grief… is doing the wrong thing.


  18 comments for “Your Son is Not a Soapbox

  1. September 20, 2005 at 1:36 pm

    I’m still waiting for that “draft” that all the Dems said Bush was going to enact. Of course, I’m also still waiting for the likes of Alec Baldwin to move to Canada…

  2. September 20, 2005 at 1:57 pm

    Amen Incredipete! Yes it is such a travesty all of the American soldiers who have been killed in this war and I don’t think one person will EVER disagree with that. But they all knew what they were signing up for. They have bigger balls then I ever will have for doing it but still. You summed it all up. THank you!

  3. September 20, 2005 at 2:24 pm

    Not that I support what the woman is saying…the kid did volunteer to serve, but maybe it’s some of that whole “It’s fine for them but not for me” I pray to never know the pain of losing a child. This could be her way to “vent it”. However, it does somewhat tarnish her son’s legacy. He voluntarily chose a job that contained certain risks…getting killed among them. Whether or not you agree with the war doesn’t change that fact. Assuming he signed up in the past 4 years, he likely did it to serve and protect the country, knowing what could happen. I guess because it’s so easy to blame the President for everything that this woman has chosen this as her grief’s outlet.

  4. September 20, 2005 at 3:14 pm

    I think it’s really a shame, because it does tarnish her son’s legacy, as you said. Thanks for the comments!

  5. September 21, 2005 at 12:37 am

    I disagree about Cindy Sheehan (mostly). Yes, her son knew the risk of enlisting in the army – especially if he did it recently. HOWEVER, she lost her child. And I don’t think you can condemn someone’s choice to be angry about her son dying, regardless of how it happened. Would I stand out in the middle of Texas screaming about to anyone that will listen if it was me? Probably not. But, since I am not a parent, I don’t know how I would react.

    How dare you call me a leftist. Sheesh. I’m going to go hug a tree to make myself feel better.

  6. September 21, 2005 at 10:01 am

    The washed up and not funny anymore Onion had this headline today: Bush Braces As Cindy Sheehan’s Other Son Drowns In New Orleans

  7. September 21, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    PS: Marxist – not any better than leftist. 🙂

  8. September 21, 2005 at 12:23 pm

    “Angry Rant?”


    I think you can get angrier than this.

    *throws down the gauntlet*

  9. September 21, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    Wanna bet?!

    *flexes giant conservative brain muscles*

    I can be a lot angrier than that!

    *passes out from to much exertion*

    Give me a topic and watch me go.

  10. September 21, 2005 at 5:43 pm

    Let’s discuss how the decision to have same sex marriages has fallen into the hands of a big sweaty movie-has-been Austrian. Shazam!!

  11. September 22, 2005 at 1:33 pm

    This very success, however, has meant that the original ideas of Marx have often been modified and his meanings adapted to a great variety of political circumstances. In addition, the fact that Marx delayed publication of many of his writings meant that is been only recently that scholars had the opportunity to appreciate Marx’s intellectual stature. Read more about me being a Marxist (and proud too!) at

  12. September 22, 2005 at 2:42 pm

    I know. I think Marx was a genius, aside from his foolish optimism.

  13. September 22, 2005 at 2:51 pm

    Silly Incredipete. That’s all communism is – foolish optimism. Looks great on paper doesn’t it? But thanks for slapping me in the genius category. I couldn’t agree more.

  14. September 22, 2005 at 5:16 pm

    Well, he was a foolishly optimist genius, but I agree… that’s really all communism… and incidentally, liberalism, ultimately is.

    So, as long as you like severe failure at every social program (which incidentally we already have), it’s all okey dokey.

  15. September 22, 2005 at 7:32 pm

    i NEVER SAW IT LIKE THAT. But now that I do I still don’;t have an opinion. I think all protesting is retarded, but I don’t know how to express my distaste.

  16. September 23, 2005 at 4:52 pm

    I remember you…

  17. September 26, 2005 at 7:58 am

    HEY!! did I miss a post? Did I miss you reveling in the love that is KC Jenna? Has she moved? was there trauma? What the fuck? Over.

  18. September 26, 2005 at 8:57 am

    Yes, go back one or two entries!

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