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View Full Version : We are not your sons or daughters, whom you must protect or defend


Wayneard3413
04-07-2009, 8:53 PM
This post is simply here to show why certain members of this community may feel so strongly about certain things

I ask that you keep the conversation civil; not due to my request or for the sake of keeping a thread on a forum alive, but on behalf of the brothers and sisters some of us have lost

It goes to show that sometimes it is not just the things we have seen done to our Joe's or the horrors faced by the innocents in these countries for years that get to us... Sometimes it is the words we hear and read from our "supporters" that get to us the most

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."
Abraham Lincoln,
Gettysburg Address

A few nights ago, I walked a quiet mile with hundreds of other service members. It was a clear night in Bagram, Afghanistan. Although it was late, the birds were singing, perhaps roused by the unusual occurrence of people walking under their trees at the late hour. Soft voices broke the solemnity, but no words were discernible. Suddenly, as if on cue, soldiers, airmen, seamen, marines, broke off the sidewalk and lined the road, spacing themselves regularly and assuming a position of silent watchfulness. The honor cordon had formed.

Heads began to turn right as flashing blue lights appeared far down the road. As the vehicles neared, one by one, service members assumed the position of attention and rendered the hand salute. In the back of an open truck sat eight military members, and between them, at their feet, was a flag draped casket.

As I rendered my salute, I thought about the fallen soldier. I did not know his name, his unit or his home. I never saw his face or spoke to his family. I did not know why he volunteered for the Army or what he was doing when he was killed. But there was much I did know. I knew he had fought and died in an honorable cause, a cause that had little to do with our policy on Afghanistan. This soldier had volunteered to put his very life on the line in service to his nation and his brothers-in-arms. I see no more honorable cause that that.

In a column, Mr. Putney has again raised the debate about the sacrifice of America's "sons and daughters" in uniform. Some have argued that we must continue the fight to honor their memory "so that they have not died in vain." Others argue we must stop the wars to save soldiers from this fate. I think an essential understanding of what motivates those of us in uniform is missing in this debate.

We are not your sons and daughters, whom you must protect and defend. We are your sword and your shield. We are men and women who volunteer to place our lives on the line so you do not have to. We do not decide when or where we will be sent. We go. You are our advocates, not our parents.

We trust you to care for our families, to hold our jobs, pay for our equipment, salary and medical care and yes, to honor our sacrifice. We trust you to vote for good political leadership, to speak out against bad policy decisions and to demand public accountability. However, we do not count on you to explain the honorable character of our service. We are ennobled by the very fact we serve.

Our "high moral cause" is one of service to a nation whose principles we believe in. We miss the point of political debate when we distill it down to numbers of service member deaths. Debate should be about the policy that leads us in or pulls us out of war. I, as a soldier, am personally insulted when debate about war becomes not about policy, but about deaths, because it implies that my service is at best uninformed or ill-conceived, and at worst valueless.

I know my life is in the hands of others because I choose for it to be that way. I am not your daughter, a child who must be guided. I have made my choice and pledge my honor to it. I will thank you to remember that because we serve our nation, none of us dies in vain, regardless of the cause; end of debate.

Every day a new Marine enlists or an airman puts on her uniform is a reminder that our defenders come from people who still believe in our nation and the values it aspires to, as flawed as we sometimes are. War does not make our sacrifice honorable, death does not make our service honorable; service itself is our honor.

We, your American service members, do not see the cause for which we may give our last full measure of devotion, as our nation's goals in Iraq or Afghanistan, and perhaps that is the difference. Our cause is our nation, in all her beautiful, imperfect glory.

So on a dark night in Afghanistan we stood under a velvet sky of a million stars to honor one man who lay under 50. We never doubted what he died for. Pfc. Patrick A. Devoe II died for you, the United States of America. That, Mr. Putney, is no goof.

Sarah Albrycht is a Bennington native serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

The Wingnut
04-08-2009, 1:20 AM
I couldn't have said it better.

Timberwolf
04-08-2009, 12:07 PM
Amen

GenLee
04-08-2009, 12:19 PM
:patriot: I thank you for the post. I would also like to thank all of you who serve.:patriot:

iddie
04-08-2009, 2:05 PM
Thanks for the post. :patriot::patriot:

Paltik.45acp
04-08-2009, 2:21 PM
Thank you! That's exactly how I felt and after serving 20 yrs in the military, I don't
regret a single day. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

AJAX22
04-08-2009, 2:52 PM
They may be our sword and our shield, but that does not remove our obligation to properly maintain them and see to it that they are wielded responsibly and in just cause.

IMHO we (the citizenry) have not done very well in fulfilling our obligations to them in this regard.

This in no way negatively reflects on our fighting men and women, it reflects negatively on us. We owe them better than what we have given.

Just my opinion

B-Onebag
04-08-2009, 6:27 PM
Very well written, I could not have committed my thoughts any better.

AJAX22: Perhaps but know I will never hold anything against the citizenry. Making responsible decisions about public policy is everyone's business in a republic. Regardless of whether they are military or civilian. I have written senators on a few occasions and found some of them to be a bit too bull-headed for our good. This is not to say some aren't more open-minded, but when some representatives simply refuse to listen to their constituents, they've chosen to undermine the system.

plankowner
04-17-2009, 2:22 PM
you said everything i have felt and would do it all over again.

Musclemom
04-17-2009, 2:34 PM
Excellent post. So many people ask me if my time in the Army was "worth it." I tell them that it certainly wasn't all wonderful and there were tough times, but that I'd do it all over again without hesitation.

I resent that there are some who treat our volunteer military as though we didn't volunteer and we somehow need to be protected or rescued. They just don't get it.

jayfarley3
04-20-2009, 1:00 AM
very well said! Do people not realize it's an all volunteer force?

Soldier415
04-20-2009, 5:53 AM
We have way too many of those fallen comrade ceremonies here :(

paintballergb
04-20-2009, 8:29 AM
Wow that was nicely written.

PatriotnMore
04-20-2009, 9:01 AM
Excellent post.

I, like many of you here, have served. Now as a civilian for over 24 years, and since leaving the service, I have always felt it was my duty to serve in another capacity, being a responsible voter, Citizen and American. To do my part to ensure the values and liberties, fought and paid for continue, because I believe in them with all my being.

For me, this is what being a good Husband, Father, Citizen, Patriot and American is all about. "We trust you to care for our families, to hold our jobs, pay for our equipment, salary and medical care and yes, to honor our sacrifice. We trust you to vote for good political leadership, to speak out against bad policy decisions and to demand public accountability. However, we do not count on you to explain the honorable character of our service. We are ennobled by the very fact we serve."

I am humbled by my fellow Patriots.

anhero
04-20-2009, 9:19 AM
thank you Wayneard. After coming back from an Appleseed yesterday and the events of april 19 1775, this hit home. even more so as a military member. i had to excuse myself from my coworkers because i was bawling as i was reading.

thank you for all the brothers and sisters in arms who volunteer as swords and shields. I wouldn't have it any other way. thank you for the folks at home who "...care for our families, to hold our jobs, pay for our equipment, salary and medical care and yes, to honor our sacrifice. We trust you to vote for good political leadership, to speak out against bad policy decisions and to demand public accountability."

"Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air."

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

john quincy adams