Hope this isn't controversial...

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 5:15 PM

...so I will start off by saying that NOTHING I will state is meant to be insulting, but is meant to be honest questions, as I try to figure stuff out in my mind.  Deal?

It's about Military stuff.  Now, I am Canadian, so I know all of our military stuff is a bit different.  But I have a hard time hearing things like "Support our troops" or "Your husband is in the military?  That's awesome" when I think the war is a big heaping piece of CRAP. 

So...is it possible to support the troops without supporting the war?  What do you think?  I say yes, but some people say no. 

Also...I realize that troops have no say in where they go...that's correct, right?  The only thing I don't get is, knowing that, why would you sign up for the military when you could possibly be deployed somehwere to fight for a cause you don't believe in.  Can someone explain that to me?

I just can't imagine doing it!


40somethingbride Posts : 240 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 5:22 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I think when people say that they are just stating they feel that a military career is a noble and patriotic choice. Although many Americans do not support the war, we still feel proud of the men and women who step up to the plate and serve the country. When they sign up, yes, they do know they may get sent to fight a war they did not believe in, but they do it anyway, and we want to believe(and I do) that they want to serve their country. I would take it as a compliment. If you get a chance try to watch the movie "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson. It shows how Americans sometimes get caught up in wars they do not want, by the need to protect their country. However Mel loses a son in the movie and that is why he takes up the cause. Hope that helps. That's my take on it.


BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 5:34 PM Go to message in response to: 40somethingbride

That makes sense.  I guess I just have a hard time seeing how it's "noble" to have a career where you carry a gun and go around shooting people.

And yes, I realize there's a LOT more to it than that, but I can't help but seeing it as such (only sometimes)

But I think, with me, it's definitely the fact that so many wars these days seem to be started over NOTHING...I don't see the wars of today in the same light as, say, the World Wars...I don't know.  Maybe i'm taking the whole pacifist thing too far...


Angele Posts : 76 Registered: 8/15/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 7:33 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I guess you could put me in the group who supports the troops but does not support the war. I know before the whole 9/11 thing and Bush's war, many of the people I graduated high school with, went into the military so that when they got out, their college education would be paid for. Unfortunately in a post 9/11 world, it's very hard to separate the people serving from the president's personal vendetta. And yes, I know I will get flames and other posters telling me a whole bunch of other stuff of why and how I'm wrong, but that's the way I see it.

Also, given the fact that the U.S. does not have a draft, anyone who enlists is almost given automatic hero status, although I know a few who do not deserve it. (Both of them are guys, one was dishonorably discharged for smoking weed, and the other divorced my close friend after they had only been married for less than six months. He told my friend that he had found his soulmate at boot camp.)

Either way, the whole support the troops but not the war is very a gray, murky area. Even my dad, who is a Vietnam vet, does not support the war.

Sorry this is so long.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 7:40 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

dear BL,

I think it's a reaction to the post-Vietnam environment.

People served in Vietnam. Some enlisted, some were drafted, but they found life difficult when they returned. They were denied jobs, denied health care and denied housing. Various anti-war people blamed the returning soldiers for the fact that the war happened. Even draftees were blamed. "Why did you not dodge the draft?"

This caused a huge burden on many young men, and some women, and now that these people are in decision making positions they don't want to see the same thing happen to military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regardless of how an individual might feel about the two wars in the Bush Administration, the returning military deserves support. Housing. Health care. Jobs. Respect.


DestoB Posts : 638 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 7:57 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

it's interesting to see this topic broached by an outsider.  where to start... hmm...

like a previous poster mentioned, a lot of the younger guys went in for the perks of tuition.  when our friends joined (ten-ish years ago) there was no war in sight.  it was the logical choice for kids whose families didn't have money to send them to college and for kids that really didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives but were looking for some sort of structure.  our military system is actually quite wonderful and you can leart A LOT... it's just been misconstrued in the past few years by our countries current administration.

i can't get this stinkin' ticker to work so here...  april 18, 2009!


We're losing weight while we wait... la la la la laaaaaaaa!!!


SammiAnn Posts : 114 Registered: 3/4/08
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 8:51 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Well...I know a lot of people in the military, and they all had different reasons for going...

Some wanted the chance to see other parts of the world.  Others wanted the hero status that came with being a soldier.  Still others didn't think they could afford college, so joined the military.  And yes, I did know one guy who wanted to go because he really did legally want to kill people (sick...I know).

And then there are people like my sister.  Right now, she is in an ROTC program in college and has already signed a contract that she will serve when she gets out of college.  She will come out as an officer.  She wants to be involved in foreign affairs.  Her reasoning for joining the military is that she wants to become a diplomat to other countires and try to solve problems through discussion, not war.  She, in no way, believes in the war or what the President is doing right now.  She wants to make a difference in the world, and sees the military as her chance to do so, and perhaps change the perception of the United States military...yes, she is only one person...but one person can make a difference.

So, there are many reasoins why people join the military, not just to go fight in a war...and not everyone in the military agrees with this particular war, but that's part of the job description.
June 7, 2008...here I come!


08divabride Posts : 831 Registered: 11/17/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 8:54 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Dear BirdLover,

I agree with you, I think the war is a big piece of crap!  Meaningless and stupid to add a couple more. 

But I support the troops because they are putting thier lives on the line, and I respect them for that.

Some people sign up for the military not even thinking about being deployed one day, and some people want to be heroes.  That's what I gather from people who join the military.


mdarcy Posts : 107 Registered: 2/8/08
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 8:55 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Hello Bird lover,

I sort of feel the same as you. I'm Canadian too, even more than canadian, I'm a french Canadian from Montreal, where you know, a lot of people are against the current wars, and so do i to a certain extent. But you know what, who would have believed it, I,m currently engaged with a reservist who has been deployed in Afganistan since July, ouch, though call. As ou might know, reservists have to volonteer to be sent to war, which he did. He left his carreer has a dentist for about a year and a half, including the 6 months training in Quebec city before he left. But you know what, even though I do not like this war, i understand why it was important for him to go there and even if its hard for me, I do respect him a lot to sacrifice all this time for something he believes in.

Let me explain; he's vietnamese and his familly first migrated in USA, then Canada in 1975, at the end of the Vietnam war. He knows that many american soldiers made sacrifices to go and help his people and now, he sorts of feels like he has to give back to other people to help them as well. does that makes sense? Anyways, I know he wanted to do at least a tour, and he really believes in what he does and he his sure that this is good for Afganistan's population.

But i understand your point, I thinks its possible to support our troops and respect them for what they do, while disagreeing with the ongoing wars.

by the way, he's well advised that if he wants to build a futur with me that this will be his one and only tour. I could not stand it otherwise. I really feel for all the military wifes and families. In canada, our soldiers leave for 6 months at a time. Since my Ifiance is working for the head quarters, he left for ten months and I can't barely tolerate it. I know that american soldiers can leave for like 15 months at a time. You ladies all have a lot of courage to cope with that.

I'm so looking forward to see him around May 20th!!!!!!!!!1


B2B999 Posts : 700 Registered: 12/7/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 9:07 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I have a lot of friends in the military, both fighting and spouses of soldiers...I have a friend who got pregnant and had her husband deploy almost immediately after they found out and when he came home (19 months later thanks to the surge) he met his year old daughter for the first time. 

I think it is very possible to support the troops, and the sacrifices that so many of them are making (4000 and counting having made the ultimate sacrifice if you believe the official numbers...which like deaths in disneyworld do not count the ones that are airlifted prior to death), without supporting the war itself. 

I also think there is a difference between having been a supporter of the original decision to go to war in Iraq, which I was not, and being a supporter of the need to stay there to finish the job which was so foolishly rushed in to, which I am.

Soldiers are not responsible for where they fight, and I agree with AOTB that there has been a concerted effort to ensure that the men and women fighting in this battle are not treated with the same disdain which met the returning members of the military who fought in Vietnam. 

When is my wedding


rubyred1 Posts : 968 Registered: 8/9/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 9:43 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I do not in any way shape or form agree with the war.  I think our president is a heaping piece of crap.  That being said, my FH is in the military.  He has been in for 16 years and even he does not agree with the war.  However, I wholeheartedly support the troops.  It is a huge committment to serve your country and I know a lot of people that have benefited as human beings just by being in.  There is always a possibility that they could be sent to war, but ours is a totally volunteer military.  I know that I could never join because I simply couldn't make that sacrifice, but a lot of men and women could and do every day.  Most of those men and women don't want to be involved in the war either, but they are given orders to do so.  Orders that have to be followed or they usually face pretty serious consequences.


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 9:44 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

First of all, yes you can support the troops and not support the war IMHO.  I have friends who have been career military, some believe in what they are doing, others not so much.

That said there are other places that we have US troops that I think their presence is good.

I don't have a military mind set, so when you go into the military you get sent where-ever.  I wouldn't be able to do that, but I'm not going tolook down on someone who can. 

I am proud of my friends who would willingly risk their lives for their beliefs, because their basic beliefs are a belief in our country.  (Not sure that I currently share that belief, but that's me.) 


BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 9:58 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Just to play devil's advocate (I do agree with most of what you all have said)

Why should the military get this "automatic hero status"?  Is their job really more important than a doctor, a teacher, or a police officer (who puts his life on the line, etc etc).  Just curious.

To me, it would be heroic for someone to say "I don't agree with this war.  I'm not going".  What happens?  Does he go to jail?  To me, it's heroic to stand up for what you believe in, regardless of the consequences.  Especially when the alternative involves the likelihood of killing innocent people.  (Not saying that people should just be willing to be like "sure, I'll go to jail instead of Iraq"not at all...just for someone to do that, to me, would be heroic in a way)

My husband, at times, has wanted to join the military reserves here in Canada.  I put the kabosh on that.  But that was for selfish reasons - I want a husband who is home!  I feel for you ladies with husband in the military!


SammiAnn Posts : 114 Registered: 3/4/08
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 10:08 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I totally agree with you in that why is it that soldier's get this heroic status while others get the shaft.  I think that teachers should be considered heroes because they have to "put on SO many hats" (of course, I'm going to school to be a teacher, so I would say that Smile)  But serioulsy, teaching is HARD and so much more than standing in front of a bunch of kids and lecturing them.

Also, my FH is a fireman.  He has gone into burning buildings, gotten trapped people out of cars, as well as helped those who had been severely injured.  Without him, and all those like him, many people that are alive now wouldn't be!

And I know some people in the military that I would NEVER consider a hero.  These guys are completely selfish and total a**holes!  They would save their own a**es before helping anyone else.

June 7, 2008...here I come!


mariedancer Posts : 29 Registered: 3/3/08
Re: Hope this isn't controversial...
Posted: Apr 9, 2008 10:32 PM Go to message in response to: SammiAnn

Well it has been quite interesting to read these posts.  Perhaps my two cents will be meaningful to you.  I grew up as a "military brat" as they usually say.  My dad was in the military for 20 years and although it was often difficult to move every 3-5 years growing up, I know that each different place I lived in made me who I am today - anyhow, as far as the war..

I think a few things should be noted.  It is clear that all of us have known people in the military who most would not consider "heros"... in my opinion heros can be found anywhere in any sort of person, regardless of what their career choice is.  There are so many different ways to impact lives and make a difference.  In the same way being in the military doesn't automatically constitute "hero," being a police man, firefighter, doctor, etc. doesn't either.  In some ways it can be more about character than career choice.  But, I think it is definitely a brave choice to join the military, knowing that it is possible you will end up in a war. 

Also, not all people serving overseas or in the war are necessarily killing people. My dad was in civil engineering and as I understand it helped to facilitate the camps and keep them up and going (or whatever they call it - where the troops stay) during Desert Storm...

I think that the best thing we can do in this situation if we want to support the troops is instead of complaining about all of the horrible things we can point out, it's to look for the good things and the things worth honoring, the sacrifice of the troops and their families (even those who do not die sacrifice), perhaps maybe even look for some sort of good that is being done.  So often we only hear about negatives, I am sure there are positive and heroic stories out there that we just do not hear...



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