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Our Country – Part II


We support the troops…


J. D. Pendry


…but not the war.


Last week, I wrote that our country is worth living for and explained why I think Americans volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces.  I think those of us who’ve invested in our country through service are qualified to speak on the topic.  Serving Soldiers rarely speak out on their own behalf.  There are reasons for that.  Most importantly, they can’t focus on the operation at hand if their minds are on street protestors or the negative portrayals of their mission by the news media.  They need you and me to cover their backs and speak out for them while they do the hard work.  I’m but one voice, but enough single voices tied together can overwhelm those who claim to support our Soldiers while their words and actions prove otherwise.  It’s a principle of war to mass firepower. 


I question the logic of people who begin their anti-war comments with, “We support the troops, but not the war.”  Soldiers have a purpose and as much as some people dislike that purpose or think they should have another purpose, it still doesn’t change it.  Soldiers fight wars.  You cannot support them unless you support what they do and hope they succeed at it.


After The American Thinker linked to last week’s article, I received more than my normal amount of email.  One of them started, “How can you be a Bush supporter when…” followed by some uninformed boilerplate comments about poor war planning, etc.  The only problem is I never mentioned the President or his support.  I wrote about why I think Soldiers choose to serve.


A friendlier email suggested that I visit a forum that posted my article in it for discussion.  I won’t share the link to the forum, but if you search the right information, you’ll find it.  There were some interesting comments posted by the people who insist that they support the troops.


“…shallow drivel that's simply an example of old fashioned military patriotism…”


Must I conclude that there is a form of patriotism more sincere than “old fashioned military patriotism?”


“Mr. Pendry has been taught platitudes and patriotic expressions, but hasn't demonstrated an ability to think anything that the military would not want him to think...”


Not being capable of independent thought, I must conclude that when some declare, “we support the troops”, it’s really just “shallow drivel.”


One poster, in my defense I think, pointed out that “Mr. Pendry is a retired [Command Sergeant Major] with 28 years of service.”  And the response was:


“Mr. Pendry is also a brainwashed idiot.”


And on the subject of volunteer service…


“I suppose one could argue that Al Qaida is also voluntary.”


I truly felt the love for soldiers in those comments.  Didn’t you?


The Code Pink protestors showed up in front of Walter Reed Army Medical Center recently.  It’s a historic place where wounded Soldiers come to heal physically and mentally.  They carried signs stating, “Enlist here and die for Halliburton.” I have trouble containing my emotions when protestors taunt wounded Warriors.  They still insist they support the troops.  Should I ask whose troops?  Respect the protestors as they exercise their freedom of speech is what I’m often reminded – serving soldiers tell it to me all the time.  There are dignified ways and locations to express non-support for war and dignified people will find them.  But, when you mock wounded Soldiers to make your point I owe you nothing.  Nothing.


In Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 2000 Soldiers have lost their lives chasing down killers.  America’s news media would have you think that only one Mother lost a son.  She calls our President “the biggest terrorist” and the people who killed her son “freedom fighters.”  I must logically conclude from her statements that the high numbers of Soldiers reenlisting, as her son did, are also terrorists and the terrorists are actually freedom fighters.  I’m sorry, but for me, she forfeits grieving Mother status.


America stood by once when the same types of people welcomed her Soldiers home from war – burning flags not waving them and with welcome signs that said “Baby Killer.”  America stood by once when John Kerry, Jane Fonda and others unfairly painted our Warriors as murderers and rapists.  America stood by once while the news media fed it misinformation about the battlefield accomplishments of our Soldiers.  To borrow a phrase, because they lied, thousands of Americans (and millions of Southeast Asians) died.


America.  Don’t stand by again.


Copyright © JD Pendry



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J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone


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