Soldiers Are Not All Worth Supporting

I'm a little sick of hearing people shot down if they criticise war, on the basis that they "aren't supporting the troops".   I don't think you are an immoral person if you choose, in some or  many instances to say - "no, i do not support the actions of my country's soldiers in this instance"

Now, there are many reasons people become soldiers.  Some are good reasons, some are bad.  Some have no choice and are drafted, others may feel they have no other real carreer options.  Some think its one thing going in,  and suddenly find themselves in hell, but they have to do what they have to do until they get out.

But let me say this clearly:  I do not think that fighting an enemy overseas, that is not in any way directly threatening your country, is the best way to "serve your country".  There are many ways to serve your country:  work in the health and community sectors, either paid or unpaid.  Contribute to your democratic system.  Stand up for the poor and dispossessed in your locality.  Help the youth.  Contribute to the arts and culture of your society. 

Now, none of these are as dangerous as being a soldier, I respect that - they won't get you killed or injured. But also, you won't kill or injure other people, either soldiers from other countries, or innocent civilians.  And most people have a choice to do these things rather than join the army.  And some choose the army instead because it offers more prestige, or more excitement or, lets face it, more money.

No, this does not apply to all soldiers.  I'm not saying it does.  But it applies to many, and it is the reason I will not blindly support all my country's solidiers no matter what they do.  There are many good men in the army, and there are also some psychopaths who use the cloak of war as an excuse to commit horrific acts.  They are no better, or worse, than the rest of us.  I say we should judge them by their acts, including the act of volunteering to go overseas to kill others, if this is the case.


GoldenArrow GoldenArrow
31-35, M
7 Responses Feb 15, 2009

Thank you for your Story Golden Arrow,greetings to Australia!!

There is no reason good enough to join the murder club!!<br />
The problem is that the mental and psychological malfunction of them is transmitted to the civil life in their families and from there on it really does damage ,not in the Battlefield but on their very personal home front behind closed doors!! <br />
WHY is this article Flagged???ahh the Military Industrial Complex in full effect!!

Shadowcinder,<br />
This is a great compliment, thank you. Next time you feel inarticulate on this topic - feel free to cut and paste from me! :o)<br />
Vulcan - while the army might attract a few truly selfless people (though I think they are a little misled), it seems logical to me that any job that promises you the chance to murder people you've never met will attract a few psychos.

This is why I love EP - I can read stuff from people who feel the same as I do on so many things, but can articulate them far better than I can :)

I totally agree with what u say, ive met psychos and borne again Christians in the army. Some brave and some stupid. Some gay some just in to get the training then become mercenaries. Either way you don’t my support just by flying the flag of my country.

Micahae,<br />
A good point about the pay structure. I guess I was using "job" fairly loosely - I meant whatever role you're happening to do at the time, I wasn't being very specific about how the person got into the particular role. Perhaps that's why your husband is willing to take lower pay, because he feels confident he will rise up and get higher pay in future. In Australia, a young lawyer might have the same motivation for joining a big law firm - low pay to begin with, but fairly good chances of good increases if he hangs in.<br />
Actually very few soldiers in the Australian army are actually dying for my safety or even at risk of doing so, I would imagine. Most of their operations in Iraq, for instance, I believe have endangered me more than making me safe. From what I understand, the existence of that occupation has only exacerbated extremism and made my country more of an Islamist target. So thanks but no thanks, guys, come on home and get another job!

I didn't exactly say that people join the army only for money, but it is a job for many people, and for most people the money they get paid is one of the main reasons people are doing that job rather than another one.<br />
I'm sure their are badly paid roles in the army. However there is no doubt there are some very well paid ones as well. In the US, the military is a huge employer and there will be a variety of pay rates I guess. <br />
Perhaps your husband is underpaid, but then so are most teachers, nurses and social workers. <br />
I don't mean to suggest that all are soldiers are bad or act on poor motives. My point is that its an oversimplification to suggest that just being a soldier for your nation's army is in itself worthy of everyone's praise or support all the time.