The U.S. soldier who reportedly murdered 16 Afghan people, including children, served three tours in Iraq, before Afghanistan.
Football player Michael Vick was sent to prison recently for training and fighting pit bulls, making them as vicious as possible. People with more money than heart gather around these pits and bet on which dogs would win the fight. Some of the dogs were rehabilitated, but some were too vicious and couldn’t be helped, nor saved. After prison, Mr. Vick trained and went back into football, a brutal occupation, where people gather around a larger pit and bet on who wins.
The U.S. like Mr. Vick, trains soldiers to fight, and sends them into battle after battle. Powerful people, who will never get bloody nor their suits dirty, gather around and bet on who will win.
Many Vietnam veterans spent only a single tour in other people’s country but it was enough, between the training and the fighting, to brutalize them like the pit bulls. Many later ended up homeless, or committed acts they shouldn’t.
Now with our “all volunteer” army, soldiers like the poor fellow from Lewis-McChord base in Washington, can be forced to serve not one tour, but multiple tours. What does that do to someone? The pit bulls were put ‘to sleep’. People are calling for the death penalty for the soldier.
Voluntary service is as “voluntary” as our income tax system. Many ‘volunteer’ because they can’t find jobs, or can’t afford to get schooling. Who’s sending jobs overseas? Who’s cutting school funding?
Whenever I see a soldier, I’m not tempted to say “thank you”, but to say “I’m sorry”. I can still buy their lunch, but I don’t think it makes us even.