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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patriotic Freedom

I served in the military for 6 years in the Army National Guard, and then I served for 2 years in the active duty Army. In that time, I earned the Army Achievement medal , two battalion coins, and soldier the month for my battalion which was a self propelled artillery unit. 

There are a variety of reasons for why someone joins the military. Some join it, because they want money for college. Some join it, because they have nowhere else to go. Some join it, honestly, because they want to kill somebody. So, there are noble intentions and selfish intentions and noble people and selfish people in the military just as in every area of society.

For myself, I joined for deep convictions of American ideals, not for any specific president or any specific war. Specifically, I believe in defending freedom, both at home and abroad. Many people, in fact, not only join the military but fought in wars for that exact reason. Many of our leaders have lost the sight of that today, and if you ask them why it was that we fought a war in Korea or Vietnam, they would have a hard time answering you short of responding in a very crusader, we win every victory and take over the world mentality. The fact is that we fought those wars, because we believed that people should be free, it's why we have the statue of liberty...It's why we have songs of patriotism singing about keeping our country free and spreading freedom to all the rest of the world...which is what the crown on the statue of liberty represents. And, then came the mishmash of current wars. Some of these wars were indeed fought for the freedom of those that were suffering oppression.  We went into countries where aggressive brutal dictators were oppressing people, and we liberated them from their oppressor.

What bothers me... And I think bothers many Americans today... Is that the current wars fought by this president are less about spreading freedom from oppression and more about oppression and hatred of entire groups for how they freely choose to be different from America.

But this war on differences is not simply being waged outside of our borders but within as well. It is being waged by those praising freedom but taking it from their neighbor every time they differ from them in religion, politics or even how they choose to love.

So to the conservatives that scream that liberals are unpatriotic, I want to say as a veteran that we are loyal and patriotic to the very things you are fighting for.  I invite you to stand for what our what our fathers died for ...Freedom. To do otherwise to me seems very unpatriotic.

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