"Thanks for Your Service?"Submitted by go213mph on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 21:20
Callers to some radio shows who identify themselves as being in the military are thanked for their service. Well-wishers in airports thank returning soldiers for their service. Signs outside of churches on the Sunday before one of the three military appreciation days (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day) thank veterans for their service. Signs outside of businesses thank the troops for their service every day of the year. Even postal clerks thank military personnel for their service.
This "military service" mindset leads to some absurd conclusions, like this one I received from a critic: "Enjoy your right to express such intellectually bankrupt ideas. It is through the sacrifices of veterans that you enjoy this right. I just suggest that you exercise it a bit more wisely." Or this one: "They continue to stand guard for us, so that if someone comes to take away your freedom to write your nice little remarks about them, they stop them dead in their tracks." Or this bumper sticker: "If You Can Read, Thank a Teacher. If You Can Read in English, Thank a Marine." Or this one: "If You Can't Get Behind Our Troops, Feel Free to Stand in Front of Them."
Are these men (and women) who recently joined the military serving "us" or just getting a paycheck? Oh, they may be serving Uncle Sam; they may be serving an evil empire; they may be serving the president; they may be serving a rogue state; they may be serving themselves--but they certainly aren't serving "us."