May Dad is a U.S. Marine. He trained near the end of the Vietnam era, and recieved a medical discharge after serving for almost three years. He gave his knees for his country, and I am proud of him.
It's taken me a while to reconcile my libertarian-leaning opinions with his sacrifice. I feel like I've learned a few things that have changed the way I think.
The country is not the government. Dad served his country, not some politicians in Washington D.C. He was not thinking of Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter when he volunteered for the Marine Corp. Nary a soldier was thinking of how much they loved Roosevelt or Truman as they pounded the beaches of Imo Jima. They did it out of love for their country, love for their moms and dads and sisters and brothers. Aunts and Uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends, co-workers, girlfriends, wives, sons and daughters. For their comrades and for freedom, for the American way of life, which was still relatively free in the 1940's.
Veterans fought for the right reasons. Politicians fought for power. Or maybe they just believed in power, the way George Bush does. They believe political power can be used to do good. I'm not convinced.
How were our soldiers to know that Roosevelt was provoking both the Germans and the Japaneese by supplying England and China with weapons? How were they to know that WWII was effectively over at the battle of Stalingrad, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor? They watched "Why We Fight" at the movie theaters and were told all kinds of propagandistic exaggerations of the story.
They bought into the same nationalistic story that the Germans were teaching their children.
They were lied to.
So, I'm grateful for all of the soldiers who sacrificed for their ideals and their true loves. I'm grieved at the clouded distiction between law and government, between State and Country, between security and liberty.