Appreciation of veterans a must

By Megan Shuman

President Obama has authorized the deployment of special services to Syria this week to “assist” with the current issues occurring there. Deployment yet again. When one of the platforms he built his original presidential bid on was that he would bring our servicemen and women home. Perhaps it’s crude, but hope turned to nope a little too fast for my liking.

Everyone seems to have forgotten his promise. The main issue everyone has had with the past presidents had everything to do with this war. Yet here we go again, watching another wave of our men and women, sent to fight a battle that a man stood on a podium and promised America he would end.

Ignoring our president’s actions, and what I’m sure will be much protest behind them, there’s a much more important aspect to focus on. The soldiers, our heroes, whether you agree with their work or not, are fighting for our freedom. Now, some say there isn’t a freedom to fight for, or they’re just government machines, but behind every digital camouflage head cover, there is a human being, just like you and me. They have family, loved ones, friends, significant others and children. They have a place in the world, people who count on them.

They fight multiple wars, many we do not even know about. There are still many who argue that freedom does come free. That we would be fine without their services. I’m a firm believer we as a country should not be the world’s police force, and that many people are dying on either side that should not be. But I will not, and never will say our military isn’t paying a price. I don’t feel anything but gratitude towards them. Freedom isn’t free. Yes, we are invading another country. However, it could just as easily been the other way around.

The media, true to its form, only seems to focus on the negative events. They list the number of foreign civilians who were lost before they list the names of our own fallen. If they even list them at all. They publicize everything wrong being done, ignoring the positives. They seem to forget the mission of why were are over there.

If you can’t support the war, that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But the servicemen and women who dedicate their life to this service do not need to suffer anymore than they already do with their war wounds, physical and mental. You see them everyday. They go on living, knowing things we could not even dare dream about. Veterans have a high suicide rate. Protesting a war they did not start at their funerals is just bad taste, and disrespectful.  The veterans didn’t choose the war, they didn’t make it. They simply pledged they would protect this country, to protect each and every one of us, whatever the cost. They didn’t do this all for the government, they did this for us.

If you need a person to blame, take it up with the government, not the old veteran sitting across from you at a diner. He didn’t choose the enemy. In my opinion, the enemy chose us. He chose freedom. He chose to fight. But what do I know? I’m just an overgrown military brat who still tears up when I hear the national anthem. I’m just third generation Air Force kid. I’m just a girl who could have lost her father, and her friend’s fathers to a war I knew nothing about but still knew our servicemen and women needed us.

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