I received this from a friend and it touches my heart so deeply that I feel I must share it again.
Our troops were sent to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to
counter a global threat of extremist Islam by Congress and two Presidential
administrations. War bonds were not sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the
average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing
unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts. The only people
who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The volunteers. The
people who swore an oath, with their right hand held high, to defend this nation.
They stood there, deployment after deployment and fought on. They've lost
relationships, spent years of their lives in extreme conditions, years apart
from kids they'll never get back, and beaten their bodies in a way that even
professional athletes don’t understand, whom America seems to idolize as
"heroes". Through the media and popular culture, sports figures and
celebrities have become larger than life figures, people who are paid millions
of dollars to provide entertainment . The military is paid a very modest
salary, and they only complain when congress says they are being paid too much.
These veterans come home to a nation that doesn't understand. They don’t
understand that bad people exist out there that want to destroy this country.
They look at military and veterans like they're a machine, like they're nothing
– like something is wrong with them for wanting to hunt down and kill the
enemy, an enemy that has seen fit to use suicide bombing and flying airplanes
into buildings full of civilians as a way of "holy" war. Society will
tell you that America hasn't suffered like the rest of the world has suffered.
Society will tell you that because America hasn't suffered like Afghanistan,
Palestine, and other places that have been war torn for years, that we have no
right to act the way we are because we are a "young" country. Society
will also tell you that America is the terrorist.
When they get out of the military, people who have never served sit in college
classrooms with political science teachers that discount vet's opinions on Iraq
and Afghanistan because THEY seem to know more about the “macro” issues they've
gathered from books and their own dream world opinion. You watch TV shows where
every vet has PTSD, and in reality some of these vets have it, and have it bad.
Chances are one of the combat seasoned vets you know has it, and yet the
majority of this country has the gall to look down on them when it's because of
their sense of duty to protect this country is the reason why some of these men
and women come home mentally and physically scarred.
Your Congress is debating their benefits, their retirement, and their pay
(incredibly ironic when you look at the benefits package for anyone serving in
the congress or senate) while they ask U.S. service members to do more. Do you
want to know what the amazing thing is? Military members know ALL of this. They
know their country will never pay them back for what they've given up. They
know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what
they have done for them. Hell, they know that in some circles, they will be
thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform, in fact, demonized by
some sects of American culture for ever taking a stand to terrorism and
extremist Islam with a gun in their hand.
Guess what? These brave men and women do it anyway. They did what the greatest
men and women of this country have done since this country was born in 1775 –
THEY SERVED. Just that decision alone makes them part of an elite group. People
who realize our freedom is at stake and took a stand, sacrificing in some
cases, their lives, limbs, and eye sight for a country that will fully never
understand their position, and they do it with a smile on their face. I am
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, AND I AM THE 0.45%!!!!!
(Written by and shared from a friend)