4 results for tag: Military


Patriotism is learning to live with one another

Since I was a young child I was fascinated by pyrotechnics. While the chemistry of fireworks is fascinating, and the artistry that goes into creating the visual display is impressive, I have never really cared for the volume of the resulting booms. While I personally have never been in a war zone, I think about all the friends and family that have and imagine how hard it is for some of them to deal with a display which could look and sound something like a battleground. So, during this celebratory season around the 4th of July, I often think about the people I know who have fought for our country. I would like to share one of those stories with you ...

Waste not…

I was just a low level “grunt,” but I saw and participated in a lot of waste. So when I write about waste in the military budget it is not based on political opinion or cherry picking the numbers.

Rethinking Militarism

We have a culture in this country of violence and militarism. Many of our national myths are based on violence. The six-gun toting cowboy, the tough cop, the military hero, and mafia godfather are typical Hollywood themes. Even our national anthem is all about war and “bombs bursting in air.” Around patriotic holidays, like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, this culture is promoted with speeches honoring the “sacrifice” of our troops. They died to “defend freedom” and protect our way of life. Implied in these stories is that our many wars were necessary and justified. In our zeal to honor military service we create a mythology of ...

Veterans Day Reality

On Veterans Day I am reminded of the many popular misconceptions about veterans. We have an almost cult hero worship of veterans and their “sacrifice” for “freedom.” The truth is veterans are just people. They reflect a cross section of our society. They have the same mix of dedication, patriotism, and competence as other public employees. They also exhibit the same prejudices, character flaws, and foibles as the general population. The periodic scandals (rape, torture, killing of civilians, sexual harassment, cheating on competency tests) clearly illustrate this point. It is a myth that we owe our freedom to veterans. Our many wars were ...