Sunday, February 04, 2007

It Is The Soldier

OK, time for me to weigh in (when I should be doing homework). I just cannot let this injustice continue without revealing it for the hypocrisy it is.

Arkin from the WaPo, and now O’Meara, a misguided moron over at Daily Kos, are trying to advance our defeat in a time of war. Since our first troops went into Afghanistan back in ’01, the MSM has spoon-fed the American public highly filtered propaganda in order to front their political ambitions. War does make strange bedfellows, because this one has the American Left biting the pillow for Islamic terrorists.

When the American Soldier finds a voice through the New Media and provides an unfiltered and unbiased firsthand account of what is really happening, the left tries desperately to discredit and/or silence that voice because it is contradictory to their distortion of the facts. These logical contradictions at the WaPo and Kos are attempts at both.

First, they claim that the soldier should not criticize the public. Last I checked, we were citizens of the United States and were still eligible for the liberties grated by our constitution which would allow each of us the right to express our opinion regardless of location. They claim that the military should not be involved in politics but they do not have the mental capacity to distinguish the difference between the military as an organization and individuals within the military.

Next, they try to discredit the force that stands between them and the next terrorist attack by calling us mercenaries. I cannot speak for everyone who enlists or reenlists, but I can speak for myself and know the people I work with. I, along with everyone else on my team, left a profitable job and volunteered to perform this mission in the Philippines at significant personal expense. Yes, we do receive additional incentives while deployed in a combat zone but it is a small pittance compared to the great sacrifices that we endure. On occasions the Army offers additional bonus for people to stay in and I would be stupid to turn down anything offered for something I would do anyways. Now, let me itemize all the bonuses I have received over the last 20 years of service. Above my regular pay and allowances, I have received: a t-shirt, a pen, a Camelbak, and a barbeque utensil set.

Some call me a mercenary just because I receive a – less than honest – wage. Can I apologize now for needing some money to live on? If I had alternative means to support my family, I would still be here even without pay if necessary because the job must be done! I have walked on foreign soil and have seen the price paid by those who do not stand up against despots and I will not lay that burden on my children.

You should be grateful for the sacrifice that I, and every other service member, willingly offer. Showing disdain for us only cheapens the liberties that you enjoy. Liberties you would not have without us.

It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005

Retrieved from International War Veterans Poetry Archives

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