Sunday, November 11, 2012
Today, I think of my father, the reluctant soldier, and all the soldiers who were to become reluctant veterans of World War II, the wars before it, and the ones to follow.
As a teenager, I remember my father telling me about why, unlike most of his peers, he didn't want to join the military during WWII. He said that, in his view, both sides were corrupt, the Germans and the Allies, and that the war was not about ideals, but simply profits. Years after the war ended, we learned that the U.S. was, in fact, doing business with the Nazi's the whole time.
Another soldier, Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler was to say something quite similar, in "War Is A Racket," when talking about WWI.
It's as important now to remember the words of Stahl, and Butler as this country persists in the longest war in our history, the "war on terror," and especially in light of all the reluctant soldiers of today.
The soldier doesn't make the war. The soldier doesn't choose the battlefield. Yet, the soldier pays the ultimate price.
Those who are not reluctant about combat are those who pose the gravest threat.