JP Mac’s Armed Forces Day Rant:
We hear all the time in seems about tough jobs that supposedly, American’s won’t do. I don’t believe it, mainly because I’ve worked in several of those jobs myself. Thank God there is one really tough job that for centuries, so far enough Americans have wanted to do. One where the pay and living conditions aren’t always the best, one that calls for huge sacrifices on the part of those who volunteer to do it and their families: Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Americans are supposedly too soft to do some jobs. No American would take a job filling sandbags in 110 degree heat, right? Surely no one living in the greatest nation in world history would slog through a mosquito infested swamp, walk for half a day though the forest, or climb a mountain just to get to the job-site. Who from this country would choose a job that makes you long for things things like warm food, hot water, a bed? Of course no self -respecting, video game playing, social media obsessed American would ever want to stay out in sub-freezing weather for hours watching an empty field or patch of sea right? Yet somehow for generations, by the tens of thousands, Americans have volunteered to for jobs that entail doing all of these things and more– and by the way, sometimes while people are trying hard to kill them.
Thank God for such men and women. For some reason, (rarely the great pay) they have decided to, at least temporarily, forgo many of comforts that come with so many other jobs. For some, it’s the promise of adventure, or having that “hero” switch, or protector gene. Other just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It may be that they realize that they live in a country– more that many others, that is worth fighting for. They, in put the ‘exceptionalism’ in American Exceptionalism. Whatever the reason, these men and women have chosen a vocation that routinely requires sacrifice, sometime of the ultimate kind. That is why today is their day, a day for them to be proud, and the rest of America to be proud of them.
Today is Armed Forces Day in the U.S. We should take the time today to thank those in uniform and remember them in our prayers. These people are living heroes, people who answered and continue to answer the call to serve. These men and woman have asked themselves question: If not me, who? Rather than leave it up to someone else, they took it upon themselves to help bear the burden of our national defense. Often they put things like college, families, and civilian careers on hold. Those persons who wear the uniform today do so knowing of the high probability that their country will call upon them to serve in dangerous places, many already have. They do so knowing they could be separated from their loved ones for weeks, months, and in some circumstances, forever. Few other professions ask this of those who work in them.
We also need to get back to looking at military service as a profession, and an honorable one. After Vietnam, it was trendy to think of people joining the military because they had no other choice. Who would join the military if there were any chance of meaningful employment outside? This was the often unspoken attitude for many years. It angers me when at the height of the Iraq and Afghan wars, college campuses would not let military recruiters or ROTC programs on campus. It apparently never occurred to them that some young people might actually be interested in a career in the military. Yes, Mr./Ms. university dean, believe it or not, some people actually choose to make the military their career, or at least try it. These people are not losers, (they’re attending your school aren’t they?) or without other life options, some people actually want to serve their country, even in wartime if need be.
Today, set aside some of your thoughts and prayers for those who put on the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are brave, honorable, and some of the best citizens of this country.