On my father’s side of the family there is a long history of military service. I served, my uncles served, my father served, my great-uncles served, my great-grandfather served, and it continues back. My Uncle Randy, a career soldier, gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country and defense of the American people while serving in Iraq. In my house, military service is something to be respected and honored.
It’s no surprise that I find myself thinking about our country’s military and military actions, both past and present, on this day. Today marks the anniversary of a moment in time I, and countless other Americans, will never forget. An event wrapped in horror, shock, fear, uncertainty, heroism, unity, grief, pride, revenge, and waffles. I was having breakfast in the university cafeteria when I overheard the kitchen staff’s radio. I remember how eerily quiet the campus was that morning, how empty the sky. And how nervous it was by afternoon, with students crying, calling home, and casting nervous glances back and forth. And how loud it was by nighttime, as select students found their inner sense of duty and declared intention to leave school and fight for America. And many did. The war on terrorism had been declared. America would have her revenge.
But it took ten long years to bring the man responsible for the events of 9/11 to justice. In those 10 years the face of the war on terror changed. Was it about defending America’s security? About restructuring governments and lifestyles of our enemies to bring about a common ground? About gaining fiscal sovereignty over our declared enemies? In the midst of considering current and proposed military actions, a question came to my mind.
Have our military been turned into a pack of mercenaries? Used by the government not in protection of American freedoms or the furtherance of democracy throughout the world, but an armed group trained to search, seize and destroy in promotion of an agenda that surrounds the attainment of more and yet more power?
Let me explain this. I do not believe this is how our men and women in uniform see themselves. I have worn the uniform myself and it is no simple thing to keep it on. I will repeat that in my house my children learn to respect and honor military service. What I mean, is I fear our government has become nothing more than a complex commercial organization that uses the military to enforce grabs for power in the form of political, financial, and physical dominance. I have to admit, the thought makes me sick a little.
But what other explanation is there? Tell me your thoughts.