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.